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

Posted on 29th March 2021 by Mark Skinner

As the Easter Bunny nimbly distributes their chocolate wares to eager children around the country, take a peek at the bookish treats for young readers arriving this April. Beloved series like Skulduggery Pleasant and Dragon Realm return, whilst exciting children's debuts from Ashley and Jordan Banjo and Zadie Smith jostle for position with Akala's electrifying historical fantasy The Dark Lady and Radiya Hafiza's enchanting twist on traditional fairytales, Rumaysa

 
 
 
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The penultimate, rip-roaring instalment of Derek Landy’s bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series finds our charismatic anti-heroes faced with a dreadful decision which could mean the difference between survival and annihilation for humanity.
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£7.99 £6.99
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Coming soon - 29/04/2021
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The sequel to the roarsome former Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month, Dragon Mountain, finds Billy and his buddies soaring through the Dragon Realm and Ancient China in a bid to save their friend Dylan from the Dragon of Death.
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Blending fairytales and cultures in a witty and playful story of strong-willed female protagonists, Hafiza crafts a world of magic and enchantment with immense skill.
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When aliens put adults under their spell, the street dance collective Fly High Crew is determined to get things back on track in this riotous, feel-good story from Britain’s Got Talent stars Ashley and Jordan Banjo.
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The acclaimed YA author turns his hand to middle grade fiction with this nuanced and poignant tale of friendship between a man who lives in a cardboard house and a boy who doesn’t fit in at school.
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£6.99
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The follow-up to the wildly popular The Strangeworlds Travel Agency sets Flick and Jonathan on a thrillingly inventive journey to a Pirate Queen’s world that’s in danger of collapse.
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Once again deftly presenting serious subject matter with a wonderfully comic lightness of touch, the author of former Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates introduces Lucy, a girl who decides to raise her mother’s spirits by breaking a world record.
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The first in a magical realist series set in Shakespearean London and written with the kind of lyrical dexterity and power that one would expect from Akala, The Dark Lady references the Bard’s sonnets as well as crafting an uncompromising picture of street life in Renaissance England.
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Young Native American woman Daunis is drafted into a covert FBI operation in this gripping and brilliantly nuanced debut thriller about community, corruption and identity.
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Deliciously eerie and unsettling and blessed with a haunting gothic atmosphere, House of Hollow centres on the mysterious disappearance – and even more mysterious reappearance – of three glamorous sisters possessed of a chilling charisma.
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A blazingly original collection of short stories linked by towns in Alaska and the American West, Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town perfectly captures the experiences of young people living a frontier existence.
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Perfect reading for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and The Gilded Ones, Smart’s evocative fantasy sets two rival witches on a mission to destroy the powerful ruler who threatens both their worlds.
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Both a touching love story and a sensitive exploration of the Northern Irish Troubles, Divin’s beautifully wrought debut brings a Catholic boy and a Protestant girl together in the wake of a sectarian attack.
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One of the most original storytellers in Young Adult fiction returns with a brilliantly realised dystopia where climate disaster has transformed London into a lagoon and two rebellious youths fight back against the crippling conformity of the current regime.
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The multi-award winning McCaughrean returns with a bitingly acute and exciting satire on self-serving demagogues and political spin, as a deceitful leader flees controversy leaving her maid to step into her shoes.
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A truly remarkable novel describing a terror attack on a small town from multiple perspectives, This Can Never Not Be Real takes dark and troubling subject matter and finds the hope and optimism behind it to create an exhilarating reading experience.
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£6.99 £5.99
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A brand-new lift-the-flap board book to join the iconic Acorn Wood series, Cat’s Cookbook finds our feline friend on the hunt for the perfect recipe guide.
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£12.99 £10.99
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The author/illustrator of A Bit Lost and Shh! We Have a Plan tempts a trio of monkeys with a tantalising mango tree in this joyous picture book packed with youthful cheekiness and boundary pushing.
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With vibrant illustrations from Emily Gravett, Michael Morpurgo celebrates the diversity of the natural world with a tour of English gardens, African savannah and forest canopy and the wild and wonderful creatures that live there.
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Boasting the same wry, deadpan humour and distinctive artwork that made Klassen’s Hat trilogy such a phenomenon, The Rock from the Sky is a hilarious tale of friendship and frustration between a turtle and an armadillo.
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The beloved poet and author pays tribute to the wonders of the natural world in incandescent verse, accompanied by gorgeous illustrations from Nila Aye.
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£11.99 £9.99
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Following up the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize category-winning The Girls by tracing the paths taken through life by a quartet of young boys, Ace and Lovlie craft another charming and inclusive picture book which encourages difference and love.
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£6.99
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A bright, colourful and delightfully silly tale about a unicorn whose horn can change into the most incredible things, Timms’s picture book bursts with wit, wordplay and warmth.
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From the author and illustrator of the bestselling The Lion Inside comes a heartwarming rhyming tale about a whale on the hunt for the one trinket that will make him feel complete.
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Zadie Smith teams up with acclaimed poet Nick Laird and debut illustrator Magenta Fox to produce a marvellously funny and warm-hearted story about a rather unconventional guinea pig.
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£10.99 £8.99
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The fourth book in Dawnay and Barrow’s enchanting rhyming series finds our young hero dreaming about the pros and cons of keeping an octopus for a pet.
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With a wry sense of humour and bold illustrations, Haddow and Adeola’s riotous, vibrant tale of bears in the family is a wonderfully warm-hearted tribute to dads the world over.
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Another thirteen storeys of storytelling fun get added to Andy and Terry’s ever-growing treehouse in the tenth hilarious book in the phenomenally popular series.
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The author of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-shortlisted Brightstorm serves up a great adventure series guaranteed to get younger readers enthused about science, as a resourceful girl must save the day in the mechanical world of Inventia.
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The first in a wonderfully endearing series featuring an outcast genie in a cracked teapot and inquisitive puppy sees the lovable duo kidnapped by the evil Lavinia Lavender.
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Swift’s fabulously funny series about a little pooch with a big imagination continues with a trip to the seaside and a hilarious attempt by Peggy the pug to transform herself into a mermaid.
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Isabella is nervous about going to live with her stepdad but the revelation that his son has a puppy is a big help in this typically adorable story of canine cuteness from the bestselling phenomenon that is Holly Webb.
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From gowns and tiaras to wellies and headscarves, celebrate the Queen’s 95th birthday with this sumptuous journey through an incredible life, told through a selection of iconic royal outfits.
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Drawing both from her own experiences of overcoming adversity and those of famous and inspirational figures, national treasure Clare Balding delivers an invaluable guide to resilience and self-belief.
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