Pick of the Year
Each year children all over the country read and review hundreds of books, and the top 50 of these are our Pick of the Year.
The Top Ten make up the 2013 shortlist but the other 40 books are favourites too and come highly recommended. Whether you’re interested in books for younger children, books for younger readers or books for older readers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in our Pick of the Year.
A House in the Woods by Inga Moore
Walker Books // ISBN 9781406342819
Warm, rich and funny, this beautiful book from renowned illustrator Inga Moore will introduce young readers to Moose and Bear, two delightful new friends. Full of idyllic woodland scenes and telling the story of how two chums have to build a new house so that all their friends have a place to stay, its a fantastic celebration of friendship!
Again! by Emily Gravett
Pan Macmillan // ISBN 9780330544030
Cedric the dragon wants his mum to read his favourite bedtime story… again… and again… Sound familiar? Emily Gravett’s clever book will strike a chord with all parents who have to read their little darling’s favourite story for the umpteenth time. Watch out for squeals of delight as you reach the book’s explosive ending!
Barry the Fish with Fingers and the Hairy Scary Monster by Sue Hendra
Simon & Schuster Children’s Books // ISBN 9781847389770
Barry is a fish with fingers – that look strangely like fish fingers! Barry and his friends are playing hide and seek. Puffy finds a great hiding place in an old wreck, but he gets scared when he sees a hairy monster lurking in the shadows... Funny and sweet, this colourful story conjures up an undersea world that any child who is a fan of Finding Nemo will absolutely love!
Brave Little Penguin by Tracey Corderoy
Little Tiger Press // ISBN 9781848952430
When Plip the penguin loses his favourite toy, it seems like the end of the world! As the sky grows dark, Plip runs off to find it, all on his own. What will become of poor little Plip, out in the snowy storm? This book is perfect for any child who has ever lost a toy... and for any parent who has ever tried to find it! This charming story, paired with gentle illustrations, will enchant little ones everywhere.
Bright Stanley Double Trouble by Matt Buckingham
Little Tiger Press // ISBN 9781848953215
Far below the waves at the bottom of the sea lived a sparkly fish called Stanley.
Stanley is looking after his cousin Dennis. But little Dennis is determined to have a BIG adventure – like arm-wrestling an octopus. Stanley says he is too small to join the big boys’ games, but when Stanley lands in trouble, it’s little Dennis who has all the big ideas. This is the third picture book in Matt Buckingham’s bestselling series of fishy tales! His simple and cheery text is complemented by colourful and sparkly illustrations that are reminiscent of Rainbow Fish. Perfect for reading aloud and poring over!
Duck Says Don't! by Alison Ritchie
Little Tiger Press // ISBN 9781848952973
Goose has gone on holiday and left Duck in charge of looking after her pond. But Duck is a bit TOO enthusiastic ‘No splashing! No fishing! No racing!’ he quacks. Soon he puts up signs EVERYWHERE! Diving and swimming are forbidden and one by one the farm animals start to leave because Duck’s rules are ruining all the fun. Can bossy Duck figure out a way to share the pond with his friends?
Eric! by Christopher Wormell
Jonathan Cape // ISBN 9780224083966
Eric is a boy who sometimes gets things wrong. Some days he’s a bit slow, some days he’s a little bit clumsy and most days people would agree that he’s the opposite of a hero. But when a monster stomps down the mountains, Eric might just get the chance to prove everyone wrong. A wonderfully positive, reassuring and funny story for everyone, but especially valuable for sensitive little children who don’t always fit in with the crowd.
Harry and the Jaggedy Daggers by Jan Fearnley
Egmont // ISBN 9781405261692
Harry the harbour mouse is heartbroken when his boat is dashed and smashed on the dangerous, mean old rocks – the terrible Jaggedy Daggers. But just as the sea brings mischief, it brings surprises too! This is a fun story with engaging illustrations that will appeal to lovers of sea adventures and swashbuckling stories.
Odd Dog by Claudia Boldt
Jonathan Cape // ISBN 9781780080055
Helmut is an odd dog. He doesn’t like bones, but instead he loves apples. The only problem is that Helmut thinks that his next-door neighbour Igor might be plotting to steal the apples from his tree. But when the best and juiciest of all his apples falls into Igor's garden, Helmut is in for an unexpected surprise. A simple story accompanied by Boldt’s surreal sense of humour makes this book irresistible.
Puffin Peter by Petr Horácek
Walker Books // ISBN 9781406337761
Meet inseparable puffin pals Peter and Paul! When a terrible storm hits, Peter gets lost. So Paul travels to the ends of the earth to find him, encountering whales, penguins and parrots along the way. With artwork that reminds us of Eric Carle, Puffin Peter is bright, bold and full of fabulous detail!
The Great Explorer by Chris Judge
Andersen Press // ISBN 9781849394017
When a famous explorer goes missing at the North Pole, his son Tom decides he must find him. And so begins a daring adventure across the treacherous icy terrain of the North Pole, braving dizzying heights in a hot air balloon and crossing paths with some scary animals. Will Tom be able to overcome the many challenges ahead and find his father?
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bunny? by Steve Smallman
Little Tiger Press // ISBN 9781848952263
Lenny, Benny, Barney and Itty Bitty Betty are four hungry bunnies, but each time they go to the garden to pull a juicy-looking carrot, out jumps A Big Bad Bully Bunny! Can Itty Bitty Betty help her three brothers outwit the bully so he falls on his big, bully bunny bottom with a big bump?
Wibbly Pig has Ten Ballons by Mick Inkpen
Hachette Children's Books // ISBN 9781444902662
If your child is learning to count, who could be a better teacher than Wibbly Pig? In this colourful book from Mick Inkpen, creator of Kipper, Wibbly starts off with ten balloons, but one by one he gives them away. Can Wibbly hold on to his favourite teddy balloon in Wibbly Pig has Ten Balloons?