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

Posted on 26th January 2024 by Mark Skinner

Whether it's thrilling adventure, freewheeling comedy or heartbreaking romantasy they're after, there's plenty of unputdownable reading for children and young adults this February. Dive into our hand-picked selection below.  

 

 

Fans of the Adventures on Trains series are in for a treat this February with the arrival of the first in a thrilling new sequence from that series' co-creator Sam Sedgman. There's also shimmering new fantasy from the author of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency series and madcap mythical shenanigans from Tom Vaughan that are perfect for all lovers of Louie Stowell's Loki.   

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The co-writer of the Adventures on Trains series spins a thrilling, brilliantly clever mystery through the streets of London, as the Chief Horologist in charge of Big Ben disappears and his son must solve a multitude of clues and codes to find him.
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The first instalment of an effervescent fantasy saga from the acclaimed author of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency series, The Forgotten Magic focuses on an adopted boy from an enchanted Artezan family and the problems that stem from his unique ability.
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The final, compelling instalment in Leonard's acclaimed Twitchers series revolves around the theft of hundreds of bird of paradise skins and an entry into the sinister world of fly-fishing.
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The author of A Gangster Stole My Trunks spins a side-splitting story in which a boy called Hercules takes it upon himself to become the equivalent of his Greek namesake in the heroism department, with hilarious consequences.
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As her knights prove pretty useless at defending the kingdom, the fearless titular princess of this rich and riotous new fantasy series has her hands full fighting off all kinds of creatures from bare-bottomed gnomes to spooky zombits.
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When city-dweller Ava moves to the countryside it takes a very special lamb to make her feel at home in Baker's heartwarming farmyard tale.
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The spectacular sequel to the mega-selling Skandar and the Unicorn Thief finds our young hero and his friends embarking on their second year at the Eyrie amidst the terrifying slaughter of immortal unicorns by sinister, unknown forces.
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February is a bumper month for young adult fantasy as eagerly-awaited titles from Hafsah Faizal, Jay McGuinness, Rachel Greenlaw and others finally hit the shelves. Keeping it real is Laura Nowlin, with the heartbreaking sequel to TikTok romance sensation If He Had Been With Me

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The author of the bestselling Sands of Arawiya duology returns with a scintillating crime and dark fantasy mash-up, as a group of outcasts mounts a heist to save a tearoom which acts as a front for local vampires seeking fresh blood.

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Richly atmospheric and darkly seductive, Greenlaw's heartstopping YA debut centres on an island 'wrecker' and the battle she must join both for her homeland and her heart when her father is spirited away.
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The former member of boyband The Wanted spins a deliciously dark YA dystopia with a serious message about poverty and inequality, as Bear's formidable abilities rocket him into a spiteful world of privilege and entitlement.
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Weighty wishes and monstrous magic aplenty in this sumptuous gothic fantasy adventure, as a young girl strikes a dangerous bargain and makes unsettling discoveries in a crumbling manor.
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Mafi's glorious This Woven Kingdom series continues with a gripping third instalment, as Alizeh makes a costly pact with the mercurial ruler of Tulan - one that might gain her a kingdom but cost her her freedom.
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Told through Autumn, Finn and Finn's best friend Jack, this enticing companion novel to Nowlin's TikTok sensation If He Had Been With Me tells an enticing tale of love, heartbreak and unexpected connections.

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From the author of The Hazel Wood comes a haunting supernatural tale of vanished girls and mysterious goddesses, as a series of disappearances reawakens an eerie legend.
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Filled with blackmail, danger and shapeshifting emotions, this mesmeric slice of YA LGBTQ+ romantasy follows three young alchemists, as they embark on a dangerous mission seeking to find the all-powerful Book of Source.
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A luminous sapphic love story from the bestselling author of Afterlove, In the Shallows finds two lovers torn apart by a mysterious accident and then reunited with one of them having lost all memories of what they were before.
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Concluding the Gilded series in breathtaking style, The Eternal Ones finds Deka on the cusp of becoming a goddess - and anxious that her transformation will make her as evil as her enemies.
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Supertato - scourge of supermarket villains everywhere - is back this month with a side-splitting new adventure, whilst X. Fang serves up a delightful twist on Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen with the dumpling-based fun of Dim Sum Palace.

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Another unbeatable instalment of the beloved picture book series that finds our super spud and his small, green nemesis swapping places.
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Liddy's much-awaited trip to Dim Sum Palace takes an unexpected turn that entails a bowl of dumpling filling in this delicious and adorable picture book homage to Maurice Sendak's In The Night Kitchen.
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From picture book phenomenon Julia Donaldson and award-winning illustrator Catherine Rayner comes the adorable rhyming tale of Bert the bowerbird and his attempts to impress the bird of his dreams.
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Proving that size doesn't matter if you've got a big heart and lots of determination, this adorable picture book tale from 'Draw with' Rob Biddulph revolves around the titular tiny whale's enormous mission.
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The creator of both Amelia Fang and Rainbow Grey Laura Ellen Anderson unleashes the first of a brand new series this February, as David Walliams' illustrator of choice Adam Stower introduces the adventures of a rather adventurous cat.  

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The first in a new series from the bestselling creator of Amelia Fang, Marnie Midnight and the Moon Mystery finds the titular moth enter Minibeast Academy with huge ambitions to unravel the secrets of lunar magic.
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From the author of King Coo and illustrator of numerous David Walliams books comes a bright, wacky and completely adorable tale of unexpected adventure, as Murray the cat and his best friend Bun undertake a mission for some Vikings.
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Green's adventurous alligators are back in a riotous graphic novel romp, as Mango and Brash get to grips with a madcap maritime mystery.
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From saving the planet to explaining the way the world works, entertaining and informative children's reference books are heading your way this month.    

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Much-loved nature expert Chris Packham takes readers on an incredibly eye-opening journey into the world of the animal kingdom's superheroes in this delightful addition to the Little Experts series.
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Upbeat and utterly hilarious, Campbell's side-splitting yet informative guide to climate change is perfect for transforming children from eco-worriers into eco-warriors.
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The Little People, Big Dreams series turns its attention to the much-loved comedian and activist Lenny Henry, tracing a path from a tough childhood to pioneering charity work through vibrant illustrations and clear text.
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£20.00 £17.99
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From Professor Robert Winston comes a captivating guide to chemistry, biology and physics that brings science alive for inquisitive young minds.
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