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Best Easter Holiday Reads for Children

Best Easter Holiday Reads for Children

Whether you are jetting off somewhere exotic for the Easter holidays, staycationing in the UK, or simply staying at home to re-charge your batteries, the break from the term-time chaos is a great time to get some reading done. 

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Or, if you need to occupy your children during the holidays, a good book is a super way to while a way a few hours (depending on their age) wherever you are.  Here is our great guide to Easter holiday reads for children which are out now or soon to be published.  Scroll through and have a look, hopefully you will find something to suit your child, depending on the age of your Mini Traveller. 

You can also check out our best books for Springtime and Easter in our earlier book blog. 

Happy holidays!

Board Books and Books for Younger Readers

That’s not my Deer – Fiona Watt (author), Rachel Wells (illustrator) Usborne Books (publisher)

This is a gorgeous addition to the “That’s not my….” series of books published by Usborne.  This board book has a beautiful, springtime palette of colours and delightfully sweet drawings of the deer (and other animals) which will captivate your tiny reader.  There are interactive texture patches throughout the pages of the book for your little one to feel and explore, developing their sensory awareness and strengthening those fine-motor skills by touching, feeling and turning the pages.  With special, blue-sprayed edges, this board book is the perfect size to travel with to keep your babies and toddlers entertained on long or short journeys.  Just pop it in your changing bag and off you go on a sensory adventure!

That’s not my Deer
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This is the Way in Dogtown – Ya-Ling Huang (author and illustrator) (First Editions) (imprint of Quarto) (publisher)

Arrggghh! I can’t get this ridiculously fun and catchy tune out of my head now!  “This is the way we get dressed, we get dressed, we get dressed!”  Never mind singing it to the children, I keep repeating it to myself as I am pulling on my jumper in the morning (mental note, I must get a life!).  This is such a sweet, and clever, way to introduce lots of first experiences to your young children.  Not only are the illustrations absolutely adorable, they are hugely fun (the dog eating the spaghetti: oh my!) and can be used for so many different talking points with the book.  A twist on the classic nursery rhyme, this rhyme follows a day in the life of the pups of Dog Town, seeing what the various playful pups get up to, and finishes with a calming “this is the way we go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep” that is a lovely end to a busy day of experiences for the pups and your young reader.  Dog Town is such a fun world (I’d like to live there!) and there are new things for you and your child to discover every time you look at the book.  The pictures, combined with the sweet, sing-song style of the rhyme, are just great for engagement with your little reader(s).

This is the Way in Dogtown

Busy Party – Jill Campbell (illustrator), Campbell Books (imprint of Pan Macmillan) (publisher)

Celebrating 50 years of “Busy”, this board book is a riot of celebration and fun.  It has a gorgeous, eye-catching gold cover and lots of push, pull and slide interactive parts to encourage development and improvement of fine motor skills. There is a lovely, rhyming story to go with the fun party theme and the illustrations are wonderfully bright and colourful with lots of detail to spot.  We also love the little speech bubbles throughout the book, encouraging further interaction with the book, such as finding and counting the number of cupcakes, or having fun and roaring like a tiger.  The illustrations are adorable: vibrant and fun to match the party atmosphere.  This would be a wonderful gift for any child who has a birthday coming up, or indeed any young child wanting to join in the fun of the party.  It’s a great little board book for playing and learning, hip hip hooray!

Busy Party

Seaside – Anne-Kathrin Behl (illustrator), Nosy Crow Limited (publisher)

For little explorers, what better read for the holidays than one which explores the big outdoor world of the seaside?  This sturdy board book is perfect for any little animal lovers as it dives into the sea to discover various sea-life creatures and also looks at life on the beach to see what kind of animals reside above the shoreline.  There are brilliant interactive sliders to move, push or pull on every page to keep your little one engaged and to help practise those fine motor skills and finger strength, so they can make a dolphin dive or swish an octopus’ legs.  The illustrations are so sweet with beautiful, vibrant colours used to depict the gorgeous marine life.  It’s a fin-tastic (see what I did there?!), handy size for packing in your bag and taking to the beach (or anywhere else for that matter). 

Seaside – Anne-Kathrin Behl

Let’s Wash our Hands – Marie Kyprianou (illustrator), Campbell Books (imprint of Pan MacMillan) (publisher)

Leo and Lottie love having fun but, gosh, do they get mucky!  This interactive board book follows Leo and Lottie throughout their day as they learn about the importance of washing your hands and keeping yourself clean.  There are fun flaps to lift and sturdy spinners to spin (developing those fine motor skills), all to keep up engagement with the story.  There is a spinner with the alphabet on it and you and your child are encouraged to sing the alphabet song while you go through the letters as a simple, catchy way for a child to realise that they have been washing their hands for a good length of time (and also practising letters without realising it – win, win!).  On each page of the book, there are fun illustrations and interactive parts to go with the text and I loved that at the bottom of the page there are also some very useful tips for carers and parents to encourage and endorse good personal hygiene for young children.  This is a super board book about such an important subject matter, particularly in the world we live in at the moment.

Let’s Wash our Hands – Marie Kyprianou (illustrator), Campbell Books (imprint of Pan MacMillan) (publisher)

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Best Easter Holiday Reads for Children

Picture Books

A Dress With Pockets – Lily Murray (author), Jenny Lovlie (illustrator) Macmillan Children’s Books (publisher)

 I loved my wedding dress.  I really did.  But do you know what would have made it even more perfect?  If it had had pockets.  I am a HUGE fan of pockets in dresses, and I have definitely passed that love on, because both of my daughters are obsessed with them too.  All my son wants for his next birthday is a dress that his older sister has when she grows out of it.  And guess what, it has pockets! So, this is the perfect book for all of my children.  It’s colourful, fun and full of possibilities.  Lucy’s Aunt Augusta takes her dress shopping for her birthday to the Fabulous Fashion Store.  A store full of frills, sparkles, feathers and sequins.  A store full of dresses.  But Lucy just can’t find the perfect dress because Lucy wants a dress which will help her explore the world around her and record her findings.  A dress which will store the wonders she sees.  A dress with pockets.  Pockets to hold the treasures she finds.  Pockets to hold the trinkets from the adventures she goes on.  The illustrations are just gorgeous, so playful and fun with beautiful, captivating colours.  For every child who loves to dream big and have fantastic adventures, this is the book for them.  I may even start the “every dress should have pockets campaign” (I admit, the title might need a little work) – who’s with me?

A Dress With Pockets

Trains, Trains, Trains! – Donna David (author), Nina Pirhonen (illustrator), Macmillan Children’s Books (publisher)

Choo choo! All Aboard!! Are you travelling by train at all this Easter holiday?  Do you have a little one who is obsessed with trains?  This fantastic book is just the one for you then.  It’s bold, it’s bright, it’s colourful; there is a catchy, rhyming text that you can practically here chuffing along as you read: what’s not to love?!  The illustrations are brilliant, with the most adorable little animals driving and riding on the different trains.  There is a fantastic final pull out page spread featuring all fifty of the trains depicted and each is numbered so this is also superb for number recognition and counting.  There is also a brilliant spread on ‘things’ to find within the book which is always a winner with my twins.  They love a good search and find and these pictures are some of the cutest around!  As a parent, I also found the reading hints and tips at the back of the book a really useful starting point for further discussion about the book with my children.

Trains, Trains, Trains! – Donna David

Big Hedgehog and Little Hedgehog Take an Evening Stroll – Britta Teckentrup (author and illustrator), Prestel Verlag (member of Penguin Random House) (publisher)

I’ve lost my heart to this book.  So has my youngest daughter (who is four).  Little Hedgehog and Big Hedgehog are slowly making their way back home at the end of the day.  Big Hedgehog wants to get Little Hedgehog back as the day is drawing to the close but Little Hedgehog is curious about everything (I have all the feels for Big Hedgehog here – anyone else’s children only start to tell you about their ENTIRE day at bedtime?!). Little Hedgehog wants to watch the sun set, and the moon rise, and to smell the flowers, and say goodnight to the owls, and watch the fireflies… Each step of the way, Big Hedgehog patiently asks, “What are we waiting for now?” as they watch the natural world get ready for sleep.  Finally, after counting the infinitesimal stars, Little Hedgehog falls asleep in Big Hedgehog’s arms.  This is such a gentle, comfort-blanket of a story about appreciating the small things and slowing right down to see the world around you.  It is made all the more exquisite by the rich beauty of the spacious illustrations which perfectly convey the calm, wonder and magnificence of the natural world.  This book is a treasure to behold.  A wonderful read which would be perfect for any bedtime or naptime, particularly if you need something comforting if you are away on holiday.

Big Hedgehog and Little Hedgehog Take an Evening Stroll

The Drama Llama – Rachel Morrisroe (author), Ella Okstad (illustrator), Puffin Books (publisher)

Poor Alex Allen.  Whenever he worries, or has a drama, he gets a living, breathing llama that won’t go away!  The more Alex worries, the bigger the llama grows.  In this laugh out loud rhyming text, Alex tries everything he can think of to get rid of the llama but it just keeps hanging round like a bad smell!  Until one day, his teacher, Ms Myrtle, suggests that talking about his worries might help: “When a fear or worry starts to leave you feeling stressed, find someone to talk to because talking is the best”. Publishing mid-April, this is such a clever book.  It deals with childhood worry and gives practical advice on how to deal with it in such a gentle yet effective way, whilst at the same time taking you and your young reader on a hilariously funny ride with Alex and his mischievous llama. The illustrations are brilliant: playful, colourful and bright, echoing the fun feel of the story yet at the same time highlighting the important message of sharing your worries.  I love the tips at the back of the book for children and their caregivers and parents to talk about ‘llamas’ and how to deal with them.  There are lots of practical and age-appropriate suggestions for dealing with worries, lending weight and importance to the worries that any child might have and how they can help themselves to deal with them.

The Drama Llama – Rachel Morrisroe

Zoopertown – X-Ray Rabbit – Jem Packer (author), Emily Fox (illustrator),Bloomsbury Children’s Books (publisher)

Oh no! There’s a disaster in Zoopertown: all the food seems to have gone missing! With Mayor Go-Go Gorilla’s birthday picnic happening that afternoon, this can only be a job for the Zooperheroes. Only one Zooperhero seems cut out for the missing munchies mission though – X-Ray Rabbit.  Can she follow the trail of discarded banana skins out of town and into the deep Forest of Fright to solve the mystery of the disappearing delights?  HI-YA! You bet she can!  Each page is very detailed with humorous drawings of the animals of Zoopertown which my children love.   These bold and colourful illustrations on each page, plenty of cartoon style “kabooms” and “ker-runch”es, mean that this is a fun, catch-the-baddie style picture book which any superhero loving little one will be sure to love.  It’s a new favourite in my house for my superhero-loving twins.  We can’t wait for the next Zooperhero adventure!

Zoopertown – X-Ray Rabbit

The Boys (Lauren Ace) (author), Jenny Lovlie (illustrator), Caterpillar Books (imprint of Little Tiger Group) (publisher)

From the creators of the award-winning “The Girls”, “The Boys” is out in mid-April in paperback and is the perfect holiday read.  Jammed packed full of seaside scenes, lifetime friendships and beautiful illustrations, I think I might even like it more than the first book (and that is saying something!).  Ray, Nattie, Bobby and Tam are all very different but the boys are firm friends.  Following their adventures as they grow up and learn to express themselves and have adventures and make mistakes, this is such a brilliant book to portray to boys (and girls) everywhere that they can share feelings and emotions with their friends and support each other.  It is a superb book to begin discussions about friendship and how friendships can change but can still remain supportive and loving.  We love the imagery of the sea and beach which is used throughout and the final page brings a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye: “They knew that their friendship would always bring them back together, just like the waves returning to the shore”.   When I asked my four-year-old twins (one boy, one girl) how this book made them feel, they said “happy”.  I couldn’t agree more.  Thank you for this delight.

The Boys (Lauren Ace)

The Tiger Who Came for Dinner – Steve Smallman (author), Joelle Dreidemy (illustrator), Little Tiger Press Ltd (publisher)

The latest in this series, this book has become a new favourite: my lupine-loving son obviously loves it because it has a wolf in it, but with a lamb called Hotpot, a crocodile called Omelette and a cute (or is she?!) little tiger cub called Fluffy, it’s the kind of story that captures every young child’s imagination.  No one in the unusual family of Wolf, crocodile and lamb can resist the adorable little eyes of the lost tiger cub… apart from Omelette.  Omelette isn’t so sure about that fluffy veneer; he thinks it might all be an act.  You will just have to read the book to find out what happens but, I promise you, you and your little ones will not be disappointed.  Not only is this a fun story with an underlying message that appearances can be deceptive, but the illustrations are just fantastic, perfectly capturing the mood of the story in every way.

The Tiger Who Came for Dinner - Steve Smallman

One Tiny Dot – Lucy Rowland (author), Gwen Millward (illustrator), Templar Books (an imprint of Bonnier Books) (publisher)

Publishing in mid-April, I have SO much love for this book.  One tiny dot.  One whole world of kindness.  When a tiny blue dot jumps onto a little boy’s shoe, a fantastic adventure ensues.  This rhyming story tells the tale of the little blue dot who grows bigger every time an act of kindness is done: “see the thing is with kindness – it just spreads if you let it”.  The kindness in the book overcomes other powerful emotions such as sadness and anger in such a visually effective way for young readers.  The artwork is as bold and bright and powerful as the kindness dot itself and really helps to reinforce the uplifting message of kindness and empathy towards others. If there is one character trait I would really like my children to have, it is kindness.  This book is a triumph in embodying that both in words and pictures.  Thank you.

One Tiny Dot – Lucy Rowland

Don’t Ask The Dragon – Lemn Sissay (author), Greg Stobbs (illustrator), Canongate Books Ltd (publisher)

What a gorgeous book!  Stunning artwork, fabulous message and gorgeous rhyming folktale make this picture book one to truly treasure.  It’s Alem’s birthday.  He’s all alone and doesn’t know where to go to celebrate it.  One thing is for sure though: he should not ask the dragon.  The dragon will eat him. Everyone tells him so.  Or will it?  This is a heart-warming story about looking inside yourself and finding joy so that wherever you are, it will always be home.  It’s also a story about not judging by appearances – everyone was afraid of the dragon but they didn’t seem to stop to get to know him in the way that Alem did.  It’s a very simple book in some ways but with such profound messages.  The wonderful drawings perfectly match the feelings of the book and the final pages will leave you and your children feeling all warm and fuzzy. We heart the dragon and the book in this house! 

Don’t Ask The Dragon – Lemn Sissay

An Artist’s Eyes – Frances Tosdevin (author), Clemence Monnet (illustrator), First Editions (Quarto Group) (publisher)

Have you ever tried to look at the world from a different viewpoint?  This is the story of Mo and Jo.  Their eyes look the same but they don’t see things in the same way. Mo has artist’s eyes.  She sees the world in a riot of technicolour and descriptive shades.  Jo sees “bright yellow” where Mo sees “mellow yellow of melons and the pale pastel of primroses”.  Jo becomes increasing frustrated that he cannot see the natural world around them in the glorious tones that Mo does.  But Mo asks him to look, to really use his eyes, and describe what he sees.  He sees points, and swirls and squiggles and feathery fans and yet Mo can see none of these.  Both of them look at the same scenery and see things from a uniquely different, yet equally beautiful, viewpoint.  This is a lovely message for any young reader – that we don’t all have to be the same and that each way of looking at things is beautiful – and I particularly liked Mo’s encouragement of Jo to keep going and to try and look at the world using his eyes, rather than giving up.  The illustrations are stunning – lots of strokes of colour, light and depth used in each spread and there are so many details to notice on further readings of the book.  This is a super story to spark your little one’s creative imagination.

An Artist’s Eyes – Frances Tosdevin

Sunshine at Bedtime – Clare Helen Welsh (author), Sally Soweol Han (illustrator), Storyhouse Publishing (publisher)

Publishing in mid-April, this book has refreshed my memory about the earth’s orbit around the sun and educated my children hugely in the process!  The best thing though?  They don’t even realise that they are learning!  This book has also actually been a bit of a lifesaver for us because it explains why it’s lighter at bedtime now for those children (like mine!) who refuse to go to sleep during the lighter nights ….. Curious Miki notices that the sun is still playing out even though it’s her bedtime and she doesn’t understand why so her Mummy takes her off on a cosmic adventure through space to look close up at the star we call our sun.  With the help of some gorgeous and beautifully drawn illustrations, the story gently explains the science behind the lighter nights and the different seasons for different places on earth.  There’s also a wonderful double-page spread of facts about the Earth’s rotation around the sun (again, exquisitely illustrated) and a stellar artistic spread, all labelled, of our solar system.  Unique, fascinating and fun, this is a brilliant bedtime read.

Sunshine at Bedtime

All About Cats – Frantz Wittkamp (author), David Henry Wilson (translator), Axel Scheffler (illustrator), Macmillan Children’s Books (publisher)

Fans of the feline world, look no further!  This adorable picture book filled with rhymes about your furry friends is fabulous and fizzing with fun.  It’s playful, it’s boisterous, it’s delightfully silly and it’s brought to life through the artistic genius of the best-selling illustrator of “The Gruffalo” (and others), Axel Scheffler, and the brilliant and quirky language of the rhymes themselves.  Your little one can develop a love of language through the mischief of the playful cat, or the cheekiness of the collector cat, or the misery of the grumpy cat.  Find out whether cats really do arithmetic, have bubbly baths, or play the piano in this fun collection of rhymes.  The sing-song style of the words and the colourful and bright pictures, full of mischief and fun, will ensure that your young reader is captivated.

All About Cats – Frantz Wittkamp

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Best Easter Holiday Reads for Children

Punk Rocker Poodle – Laura Dockrill (author), Sandhya Prabhat (illustrator), Faber and Faber Limited (publisher)

Some days we have a Punk Rocker Poodle (or two) in this house!  Punk Rocker Poodle is FULL of attitude (and loves the word “No”).  She’s stroppy, she’s stompy, she’s shouty, she’s bad. She’s stampy, and pouty and mad, mad, mad (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it!).  She’s so relatable to both children and adults!  There’s a funky, rap-style to this rhyme which is so unique and fun and the artwork is just fantastic: it’s colourful, hilarious and anarchic all in one go.  Will Punk Rocker Poodle stamp her feet all day long, or does she really just want (and need) a cuddle and a kiss and to slow down a bit at bedtime?  Well, yes, she does …. But only to re-charge her batteries again for the next day of attitude and fun!  I love how different this book is.  The writing style and the fantastic artwork (those endpapers!) with vibrant pages of colour make it a book to stand out from the crowd, much like Punk Rocker Poodle herself.

Punk Rocker Poodle – Laura Dockrill

The King’s Ship  – Valerio Vidali (author and illustrator), Farshore (publisher)

Based on the true history of a 17th Century Swedish warship, the Vasa, this tale is masterpiece in warning of the perils of greed, pride and materialism.  A long time ago, there lived a rich and powerful king who had everything he wanted, apart from a ship.  So, his carpenters cut down all the trees in the land to build him a ship.  Yet, it still wasn’t good enough, he wanted it to be more terrifying so all the cannons in his kingdom were put on board.  Now it wasn’t beautiful enough so they placed every beautiful (and heavy!) marble statue on the ship.  Everyone in the land came out to admire the huge, terrifying, powerful and beautiful ship on its maiden voyage but the wind blew and the ship toppled…and “plop”… you might be able to guess the ending of the story!  We just love how mischievous and fun this book is throughout, even when cautioning against greed, pride, ambition and vanity.  The illustrations are brilliant, perfectly matching the simplicity yet playfulness of the story.  We also loved reading about the true history of the Vasa warship at the end of the book.  I can see this book being a brilliant tool to start talking points about, or conducting experiments with, your little ones around the idea of floating and sinking, light and heavy.  I can’t tell you how much we enjoy it (well, I just did….!).

The King’s Ship  - Valerio Vidali

Chapter Books

The Story Shop Blast Off – Tracey Corderoy (author),Tony Neal (illustrator), Stripes Publishing Ltd (imprint of Little Tiger) (publisher)

Roll up, roll up! Step inside the Story Shop and take yourself off on a and wild and wonderful adventure of your own choosing.  Wilbur owns the amazing Story Shop on Puddletown High Street.  Together with his assistant, Fred Ferret, they can take you on a story beyond your wildest imaginings where you will actually meet the characters in a tale you dream up.  When the daring Mouse enters the shop and demands a story which is “out of this world”, what ensues is three laugh out loud stories set in bizarre landscapes.  Boastful Mouse gets up to no gouda (boom boom!) on the Moon through his penchant for nibbling cheese so it’s off to Planet Winner for his second adventure where all sorts of risky games take place (which Mouse thinks he can win, of course) before being whisked off to Planet Cog, home of inventions, where Mouse’s far-out inventions end up causing chaos.  With hilarious black and white illustrations which complement and break up the text, this is the perfect early reader to take your little off into a wonderful world of adventure and fun.  A great book to pack in your suitcase.

The Story Shop Blast Off – Tracey Corderoy

Leonora Bolt Secret Inventor – Lucy Brandt (author), Gladys Jose (illustrator),Puffin Books (publisher)

We have a whole host of Leonora love going on in this house!  Leonora lives with her mean Uncle on Crabby Island, precise co-ordinates: the middle of nowhere!  But is Leonora bored?  No, she is not.  She spends her days making fantastic inventions in her laboratory at the top of the lighthouse on the island with only her pet otter (nickname: Twitch) and a housekeeper named Mildred who makes the most awful food (would you like Jellyfish fritters with squid slime for your tea?!) for company.  Until, that is, a boy called Jack washes up on the shore with a mind-blowing revelation about her wicked Uncle and the secrets he has been keeping from her.  What follows is an adventure of fun and mechanical mayhem as Leonora tries desperately to outwit her nasty Uncle.  Brimming full of friendship and loyalty from loved ones, fabulous inventions and ideas, this is a story which is sure to spark your child’s imagination.

Leonora Bolt Secret Inventor

Cosmic Creatures – The Runaway Rumblebear and The Friendly Firecat – Tom Huddleston (author), Sophy Williams (illustrator), Nosy Crow Ltd (publisher)

A new, cute animal series for readers age five plus has been released and it is out of this world! We’ve reviewed the first two in the series, The Runaway Rumblebear and The Friendly Firecat, and my daughter has declared them “soooooo cute”.  The Cosmic Creature series features life on Planet Vela where some adorable alien animals need help from Charlie and her robot friend Random.  Whether it is rescuing and helping a wounded little firekitten, or assisting an adorable (yet noisy) rumblebear and its pack get the food they need, these books are the perfect introduction to independent reading. Combined with the unique creative cosmic world, the gorgeous black and white illustrations generously interspersed throughout the story, the short chapters and larger font size, these stories are sure to capture your little reader’s imagination right from the first words.  We can’t wait for more cosmic creatures adventures!

Cosmic Creatures

Middle Grade

My Brother Ben – Peter Carnavas (author), Pushkin Press (publisher)

Oh, how I loved this story! It’s a story of long, lazy summer days, beautiful birds galore and the love, bond and friendship of two brothers.  Quiet, avian-enthusiast Luke and his older, more adventurous brother couldn’t be more different yet they share a deep and loving sibling bond which is dealt with in the most beautiful way in the book.  Luke likes to sketch pictures of birds, Ben likes jumping out of the Jumping Tree into the creek and is also starting to form new friendships as he begins high school.  Luke feels like his brother is slipping away from him, just as his father also left him last summer.  Can a competition to win a boat keep the boys together so that they can pursue their dream of exploring Cabbage Tree Creek together?  This book, like all the very best ones, will stay with you for a long time.  The sketches of the different Australian birds are exquisite and the story of sibling love is so powerful and beautiful.  It’s an easy-to-read page-turner which packs an uplifting punch.  It fills your heart with (bird)song: of love, hope, happiness and the message that it is ok to be different.  It’s a must-read for the holidays.

My Brother Ben – Peter Carnavas

You’re Not the Boss of Me! – Catherine Wilkins (author), Nosy Crow Ltd (publisher)

I cannot tell you how much I loved this book.  I cannot wait until my eldest daughter is old enough to read and enjoy it. Following the story of Amy, a forthright, very positive, rather interfering, sometimes bossy, never-shy but very funny, fiercely loyal (to her friends and family) and genuinely nice girl who just wants to have the chance to take part in, and have her sketches fairly read for, the school comedy show, this is a genuinely laugh out loud story.  With themes of sexism and feminism running throughout the book, Amy deals with these blatantly inappropriate attitudes and deeds with humour, wit, resilience and killer one-liners. I loved the perseverance of Amy, the brilliant characterisations in the novel and the hilarious plot.  But what I loved most?  The hugely positive messages that the book leaves you with: be yourself, celebrate inclusion, stand proud for who you are and work together with your friends.  If you can do that, the sky is your limit.

You’re Not the Boss of Me!

Coming Up For Air – Lou Abercrombie (author), Stripes Publishing Limited (imprint of Little Tiger) (publisher)

Take me to the beach!  This is the perfect Easter-holiday read, particularly if you are lazing on a sun-lounger on holiday.  Coco and her Mum are forced to move out of their London flat in Soho and back to the seaside town where Coco’s Mum grew up.   Coco is excited to make new friends and explore her new home but the locals are not very accepting (that is an understatement!) and Coco seeks solace in the natural world through her love of swimming in the sea and her natural talent for free-diving.  Through Coco’s determination, ebullience and resilience, she starts to unravel the secrets of her past and bring the locals round to her way of thinking until a trip to the dangerous Morvoren Cave goes very wrong.  Can Coco prevent history from repeating itself and the pain of the past from re-surfacing?  No spoilers here but you need to find out!  We loved the way this book was written, with asides in italics from Coco’s aspiring film debut (“cut to a shot of my bored face”), and the depictions of the ever-changing and powerful sea on the English coast, although I did want to give Coco’s Mum, Min, a shake at various points in the book because as a mother myself I found her slightly irritating (although she had been through a lot in her life!)!

Coming Up For Air

The Girl who Lost a Leopard – Nizrana Farook (author), Nosy Crow Ltd (publisher)

If you have a child who is obsessed with animals then this is the book for them.  Set in the beautiful, wild and luscious landscape of Serendib, this is a fast-moving story of friendship, hope and the passion and determination to fight for what you believe in.  Selvi loves animals and she loves to run free in the verdant and richly beautiful mountains around her home.  Lokka, a wild and magnificent gold-ringed leopard, also loves exploring the same landscape and the two become firm friends.  But Lokka is being hunted by a group of powerful men.  This is a real page-turner of a story, set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan sun, with as many twists and turns as a flicking leopard’s tail.  Can Selvi manage to fight for her own freedom and ability to explore when her powerful Uncle wants her wild ways to be tamed?  Can she help Lokka evade capture and death?  I’m not telling! You will have to read it.  It’s a must.  It’s a perfect school holiday read (especially if you are jetting off somewhere sunny!). We certainly can’t wait for more in the series by this author.

The Girl who Lost a Leopard – Nizrana Farook

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency – The Secrets of the Stormforest – L.D.Lapinski (author), Orion Children’s Books (imprint of Hachette) (publisher)

What better story for an audience of mini travellers than the latest in the series from The Strangeworlds Travel Agency.  Packed with bags of adventure, this is a fast-paced, other-worldly story which will take you on journey like no other.  Every suitcase transports you to a different world in the multiverse but, this time, Flick Hudson and her friends are on a dangerous mission to find and collect all the suitcases to save the multiverse from being destroyed by a threatening and mysterious group known as The Seren.  The Seren are looking for the most powerful suitcase of all – The Final Doorway.  Can Flick and Jonathan, as members of the The Strangeworlds Travel Agency, and their friends find The Final Doorway before it is too late?  And what of Jonathan’s missing father, Daniel?  The friends will have to journey to perilous planets and strange shores, encountering more danger than ever before and stumbling across hidden secrets along the way.  L.D. Lapinski creates a fabulously fantastical, fast-paced adventure which will keep your reader gripped throughout, even if they haven’t read the other stories in this series. Don’t forget to pack this one in your (magical) suitcases, it’s a triumph.

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency

Teen and Young Adult Books

This Woven Kingdom – Tahereh Mafi (author), Electric Monkey (part of Farshore, imprint of HarperCollins) (publisher)

I confess, I had never read any books by this bestselling author before but, goodness, this one blew me away.  I was captivated from the off by the equal parts sumptuous, equal parts harsh, world this book creates: it’s glittering, beautiful and decadent on the one hand and terrifying, dark and dangerous on the other.  Darkness is fast descending on Crown Prince Kamran’s kingdom-to-be and he sees only light in the other-worldly, spectacularly beautiful, downtrodden Jinn princess, Alizeh, who has been forced into servitude and hiding.  But should he trust her when his grandfather, King Zaal, warns that she will be his downfall?  Should Alizeh trust him?  This is a fast-paced, heart in your mouth story of warring empires with some searing scenes of forbidden romance, a dash of magic, budding friendships and some brilliant characterisations.  I loved it: I read it until the small hours and I am now left with bags under my eyes and feeling desperate to find out what happens next!  Please don’t keep us in suspense for too long!!

This Woven Kingdom

Activity Books

The World of Dinosaur Roar – Sticker Book- Macmillan Children’s Books (publisher)

Can you design your own new dinosaur out of stickers? Can you help Dinosaur Munch find his lunch?  Or how about completing a dino dot-to-dot and then colouring it in?  With these being just some of the activities to do, this fun-filled book of facts meeting all the characters from The World of Dinosaur Roar!, is a must-pack holiday read for any young dino-enthusiast.  Jammed packed with puzzles and activities, colouring and fun dinosaur facts (did you know the Diplodocus had a row of short spines along its back?!), as well as over 300 stickers to use, this activity book will keep your little ones entertained for hours.

Why not PIN this Best Easter Holiday Reads for Children

Best Easter Holiday Reads for Children
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