Children’s books: the best reads for autumn

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An illustration of Still This Love Goes On

Where have you been, little cat? (Simon and Schuster, £12.99) by Richard Jones imagines the day in the life of a furry feline. Full of imagination and adventure, the little cat reveals her secrets to the reader while her owner remains curious to know what she is up to. The clean text asks questions while the cheerful illustration provides the answers, and it’s a great starting point for quizzing young children about their day.

We Are The Shapes by Kevin Jenner (Happy Yak, £7.99) is an original and fun picture book about squares and triangles that can’t (or won’t) get along. Squares are honest and reliable, but triangles are bold and different – can the circle shape things so everyone is on the same side? Filled with delightful puns and highly expressive shapes, this is a great book about appreciating differences with a dash of geometric learning.

An illustration from We Are The Shapes

In Tom Percival’s Milo’s Monster (Bloomsbury, £6.99), when Milo’s best friend Jay starts hanging out with Suzi from across the road, a grumpy (and utterly lovable) monster with green eyes appears. Part of the Big Bright Feelings collection, the story tackles the issue of jealousy in a thoughtful and careful way. Milo doesn’t know how to get rid of his new green friend until he realizes the monster is making him miserable. Perfect for helping toddlers understand all the rambunctious feelings they have growing up.

Still This Love Goes On (Greystone Kids, £12.99) is a stunning, sweet story about love that spans time and distance, and how we carry it with us no matter where we go. The story takes us on a journey across lands and through seasons, celebrating the natural world and the people we know and love. Using the words of Cree musician Buffy Sainte-Marie and brought to life with striking imagery by illustrator Julie Flett, it’s a beautiful ode to Indigenous traditions and cultures. -Emma Dunn

Cats: Understanding Your Whiskered Friend by Dr John Bradshaw and illustrated by Clare Elsom (Andersen Press, £6.99) takes you through a day in the life of a domestic cat with fun facts and illustrations. Cats are often misunderstood animals and Dr. Bradshaw brilliantly explains why cats behave the way they do and what we can do to ensure our own cats are happy and content.

British black airmen

Human Kindness: True Stories of Compassion and Generosity That Changed the World by John “The Planetwalker” Francis and illustrated by Josy Bloggs (What on Earth Books, £14.99) introduces us to people around the world who have shown kindness to others and the world around them in inspiring ways. The illustrations by Josy Bloggs are a lovely addition to this uplifting book that would be a perfect addition to Empathy Day.

A Beginner’s Guide to Ruling the Galaxy by David Solomons (Nosy Crow, £7.99) is a fun and hilarious family adventure that proves families can come in all shapes and sizes – and you never know who might become your best friend . The action is non-stop, with a wonderfully diverse cast of characters, both good and bad. For anyone who has ever wanted to rule the galaxy, this book is for you. –Helen Symington

The Story of Britain’s Black Airmen by KN Chimbiri and illustrated by Elizabeth Lander (Scholastic, £8.99) tells the stories of a group of black men in Britain who became airmen. Starting with some of the earliest pilots in history to those who fought in wars, you’ll learn how these men became aviators and the heroic deeds they performed in service to their country. Each story is beautifully illustrated by Elizabeth Lander.

The Wonders We Seek: Thirty Incredible Muslims Who Aided Shape the World by Saadia Faruqi and Aneesa Mumtaz, with illustrations by Saffa Khan (HarperCollins, £12.99) is an incredibly beautiful and uplifting book with superb illustrations. The “Thirty Incredible Muslims Who Helped Shape the World” hail from all periods of history and have had a huge impact on science, medicine, literature and more.

Gender Swapped Greek Myths by Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett (Faber & Faber, £20) swaps the genders of Greek mythology characters, leaving stories otherwise untouched. Join Persea in her quest to cut off the head of Medu and Atalantus, the male huntress, in her adventures, and revel in how the stories remain so captivating and interesting regardless of the gender of the protagonist.

Beautiful illustrations by Karrie Fransman perfectly capture the characters and stories. War of the Wind by Victoria Williamson (Neem Tree Press, £8.99) tells the story of Max who lives on a remote Scottish island who has just had a wind farm installed near his house. As Max learns to accept his hearing loss after an accident and the impact it has on his life and his relationships with friends and family, he begins to realize that all is not as it seems on his island. . Wonderfully atmospheric and challenging with a fantastic cast of characters that will engage any reader of any age.

The Treekeepers by Kieran Larwood, illustrated by Chris Wormell, (Faber & Faber, £12.99) tells the story of Liska, a shapeshifter who wants to be a warrior like the rest of her family and protect their home, the town of Arbroven and the huge tree it is built in and around. Kieran Larwood has created a living world full of wonder, magical and fantastical creatures that have a deep connection to their home and the nature around them. –Helen Symington

The wait is over – now kids can bring Bookbug home! Families across Scotland are familiar with the beloved character through the Scottish Book Trust’s universal book donation program and free song and rhyme sessions that take place in libraries and other community spaces across Scotland. Now, however, for the first time ever, you can now buy your very own Bookbug soft toys from Scottish Book Trust’s new online store. You’ll also find a Bookbug coloring book and sticker sheets, and Scottish Book Trust have teamed up with Teemill to create sustainable and ethical Bookbug t-shirts and hoodies for toddlers too. Scottish Book Trust is a national charity which believes that everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. All proceeds from the new shop will support the work of the charity and help bring the magic of books to people across Scotland. Support Scottish Book Trust and get your very own Bookbug and more at www.shop.scottishbooktrust.com

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