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The Waterstones Round Up: April's Best Children's Books

Posted on 25th March 2020 by Mark Skinner

With children across the country spending nearly all their time indoors, it is more important than ever to have plenty of great reads to distract them. Below is our selection of the very best book bounty that April has to offer from pre-schoolers to young adults.

Please Note: Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, publication dates are liable to change at short notice. All publication dates were correct at the time this blog went live.

Older Fiction

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A blistering blast of funny fiction ideal for fans of Davids Walliams and Solomons, Jenny Pearson’s rollicking debut introduces an endearing new hero on a surreal summer holiday adventure which keeps going awry.
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£12.99
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With a splendidly quirky main character and a richly imagined fantasy landscape, Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day became a word-of-mouth sensation in 2019. Now, Willow Moss is back with her powers run amok and her best friend kidnapped and in great peril. Packed with bewitching humour and absorbing adventure, Willow Moss and the Forgotten Tale is one of the children's books of the year.

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£14.99
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The thirteenth novel in Derek Landy’s phenomenally successful series sends Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie on a secret mission through uncharted territories.
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Brilliantly fresh, funny and original, The Infinite tells the story of Elle, a Leapling ¬– one of the special children born on 29 February who possess The Gift of moving through time. With her best pal Big Ben, she sets off on a journey into the future – to fix things before it is too late. Delightful and energetic, The Infinite is a smart adventure full of lovable characters.
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Sarah’s super busy parents decide to invest in a TrooFriend 560 Mark IV – a robot buddy to keep their daughter company. This wonderfully thought-provoking story deals with some important questions about AI, friendship, compassion and what makes us human, and does it with exquisite subtlety. Thoughtful and warm, TrooFriend delights and moves in equal measure.
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Following the wonderfully insightful Can You See Me?, Rebecca Westcott and Libby Scott return with another novel starring the brilliant, autistic and true-to-her-own-self heroine Tally. Do You Know Me? explores some of the most crucial issues in a young person’s life – loyalty, acceptance and the intricacies of social interaction – in a moving, illuminating story of friendship and courage.
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£12.99
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Beguiling and utterly original, Storm is the new novel from the author of the magnificent Bloom. Frances was born on a beach during a storm, and acquired a temper to match her turbulent start in life. When she dies in a catastrophe and wakes up a hundred years later, there are a great many new things to enrage her. A stunning narrative about forces of change, full of unexpected twists.
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£6.99 £4.99
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Boasting delightfully creepy artwork from Chris Mould, Jenni Spangler’s outstanding gothic chiller features a manipulative medium and a gang of plucky orphan children.
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Teen and YA

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In this dazzling second installment, our fearless heroine breaks free from sixteen years of captivity, into a world full of possibility but also unfathomable danger.

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Going deep undercover to investigate the shadowy Nightshade organisation, Alex Rider, legendary teen spy, returns in another high-octane, blockbuster adventure from the pen of storytelling maestro Anthony Horowitz. This book contains content suitable for middle grade readers looking for a more challenging reading level.
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Boasting incredibly assured plotting and an involving, credible cast of characters, Good Girl, Bad Blood is a terrifically engaging sequel to the bestselling A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.
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£7.99 £6.49
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A magisterial maritime fantasy from the Costa Award-winning Frances Hardinge, Deeplight probes the treacherous undertow of obsession and greed. Wrapped tight in evocative prose and sinuous, slithering atmosphere, this is a marvel of construction and technique.
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The Young Adult debut from Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winning Kiran Millwood Hargrave is a sensuous, sinister chiller that reimagines the story of Dracula from the point of view of his enslaved brides. A compelling tale of love and companionship set amongst the stygian murk of Transylvania, The Deathless Girls is a scintillating work of gothic fiction.

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Superbly dark and utterly gripping, The Loop is the first book in a new series by Ben Oliver. Inside a hi-tech prison, Luka awaits his death sentence. One day, a considerate warden who brings him books, also brings him a warning: the world is headed for a catastrophe, which might still be averted – but only if Luka manages to escape the Loop.
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A delightful rendition of the story of Jane Austen and her two nieces, brought to life by historian Lucy Worsley, the author of the bestselling My Name is Victoria and Lady Mary. Anna and Fanny Austen both need to marry well, and there seems to be no other option – unless, of course, you ask their Aunt Jane. Vivacious and witty, The Austen Girls offers a sparkling dose of Georgian feminism.
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Moving, intricate and haunting, The Last Paper Crane explores the 1945 tragedy of Hiroshima, revealed to teenager Mizuki through the memories of his grandfather – an eyewitness to the unspeakable horrors of the atomic bomb. Mixing prose with verse and Haiku, and accompanied by the exquisite illustrations of Natsko Seki, this beautiful book manages to uphold faith in human compassion.
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Children's Reference

£12.99
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From the award-winning creators of the splendid Tiny and Lots, Grow: Secrets of Our DNA offers a fabulous introduction to the mysteries of DNA and how things grow. With Davies’s paramount talent for explaining scientific concepts in an engaging and highly digestible way, and with Sutton’s exquisite illustrations, this is the perfect book to enlighten and inspire curious young minds.
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Picture Books

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Reuniting one very clever bug with two serially stupid criminals, the latest installment of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’s bestselling series finds Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len attempting to snaffle some mermaid hair in a misguided get-rich-quick scheme.
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A raucous, wonderfully silly picture book with a serious environmental message, Elephant in My Kitchen sees lots of jungle animals in desperate need of rehoming. Perfect reading for all ecologically aware youngsters, Halls and Okstad’s charming work is a verbal and visual treat.
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Telling an informative story of excess plastic wastage through an endearing cast of anthropomorphic characters, The Tale of a Toothbrush is a vibrant, educational picture book from the freewheeling imagination of Beetle Boy’s M.G. Leonard. With charming, colourful illustrations from Daniel Rieley, this is a wonderfully fun way of teaching children about the environment.
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From the illustrator of former Waterstones Gift of the Year I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree comes a heartwarming tale of friendship, kindness and understanding featuring a lovable cast of animal characters. All the creatures of the forest are having a bad day but mouse is struggling more than most; will his woodland buddies band together to help him?
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Younger Fiction

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Inspired by the picture book of the same name which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2016, Super Happy Magic Forest is a fantasy frolic exploding with fun. Join a band of friends – a unicorn, a gnome, a fairy, a faun and a mushroom – on a mission to save their home, the Super Happy Magic Forest.
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£5.99
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Publisher reprinting
Temporarily out of stock
The phenomenally popular Sticker Dolly Dressing activity books make a seamless transition into young reader fiction with this beguiling tale of the Magic Dolls and their mission to save a frightened unicorn.

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More fun and adventure from the Spellwood as a band of troublesome trolls threaten to ruin the Magic Dolls idyllic picnic. A winning offshoot from the Sticker Dolly Dressing activity books, Fairy Picnic is a bewitching read.
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