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

Posted on 27th May 2020 by Mark Skinner

June sees the return of E. Lockhart, author of the seminal YA thriller We Were Liars, with a charmingly understated love story, as well as the enthralling conclusion to Soman Chainani's bestselling School of Good and Evil series. For younger readers, there is the fourth installment of Andy Shepherd's former Waterstones Children's Book of the Year shortlisted The Boy Who Grew Dragons sequence and the paperback arrivals of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's The Smeds and the Smoos and Don't Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton.      

Older Fiction

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A hugely exciting and playful mash-up of video game and history, Bell’s time-hopping adventure flings a trio of resourceful kids into a far future contest involving famous figures from the past.
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The masterly fairy tale epic reaches its dramatic conclusion, where scores are settled and the identity of the One True King revealed. Concluding the series with all the magic, wit, excitement and intelligence of the volumes that went before, One True King is an utterly addictive read. The fairy tale of Sophie and Agatha comes to a dramatic conclusion in this sixth and
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Thoroughly charming and endlessly intriguing, Bower’s accomplished debut combines a magical mystery with a heartfelt account of adoption and trying to fit in. Written with grace and flair, School for Nobodies exerts a luminous hold on the imagination from start to finish.
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The debut children’s novel from the author of the bestselling Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different crackles with good natured charm and a festive sense of magic. The real-life appearance of an imaginary friend kicks off a series of madcap escapades as two plucky schoolchildren attempt to elude the shadowy Ministry of Unreality.
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When Addie decides to memorialise the victims of the historic witch trials that took place in her hometown, she hopes to change the way her neighbours see her, in this beautifully judged and compassionate novel.
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Teen and YA

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Featuring beloved characters and iconic scenes to colour from Alice Oseman’s bestselling Heartstopper series, this charming colouring book also boasts blank speech bubbles to create new, personalised stories. A must own for all Heartstopper fans.
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Featuring a warm and relatable protagonist and a narrative full of welcome surprises, the author of We Were Liars returns with a touching and absorbing drama of the many differing forms that love can take.
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An empowering tale of friendship, individuality and creativity, Curham’s masterful drama meshes art and poetry together in a celebration of belonging and nurturing talent. Tracing the bond between two maverick teens, Clementine and Rudy is powerful, inspiring YA fiction.
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An enchanting YA romance set amidst the excitement and vibrancy of the music festival scene, Domingo’s story of burgeoning love over a party-packed summer is an escapist gem. Light, bright and giddily romantic, Love on the Main Stage delights from first page to last.
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Younger Fiction

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The fourth book in Andy Shepherd’s delightfully whimsical series sees another dragon hatch from Tomas’s dragonfruit tree to cause all manner of mischief and mayhem.
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Another wildly entertaining swim into the perfectly realised world of the Bad Mermaids, Sibeal Pounder’s latest gem introduces a suspicious pair of reality TV stars and a sinister haunted loch. Deliciously witty and dizzyingly inventive, Bad Mermaids Meet the Sushi Sisters is an underwater extravaganza.
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A raucous comic story of a ramshackle football team and their newly installed assistant manager, Johnny Ball: Accidental Football Genius serves up soccer heroics and sporting laughs on every page. The debut children’s novel from the author of the hugely popular Ultimate Football Heroes series, this is perfect reading for any footie-mad youngsters.
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Following the humungous success of the Isadora Moon books, fans can now find out more about Isadora’s cousin Mirabelle. Half-witch, half-fairy and all trouble, Mirabelle Gets Up to Mischief is packed with Harriet Muncaster’s unique brand of anarchic comedy.
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Picture Books

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The ultimate picture book dream team return with a charming tale of star-crossed (quite literally) alien love and an entertainingly conveyed message about difference and tolerance. Told in Donaldson’s trademark flawless verse, The Smeds and the Smoos is another classic to rival Zog and The Gruffalo.
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A little crab is both very excited and very scared about taking a dip for the very first time. Haughton’s instantly recognisable artwork adorns this adorable story about working up the courage to take on a big challenge.
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The ever-resourceful Miss Rabbit guides Peppa and George around the aquarium in the latest lift-the-flap book from the bestselling series. With a host of fish and other sea creatures to uncover, Peppa at the Aquarium is an endless supply of fun and activity for all Peppa fans.
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A delightful interactive adventure for all little pirates, We’re Going on a Treasure Hunt follows four intrepid bunnies on a treasure seeking mission. With gold coins to uncover and a variety of exciting obstacles to overcome, this winning picture book will occupy the little ones for hours.
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The eagerly awaited follow-up to No-Bot, the Robot with No Bottom, Hendra and Linnet’s spectacularly silly picture book finds our mechanoid buddy on the hunt for a substitute posterior.
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The sequel to the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize shortlisted Mini Rabbit: Not Lost, John Bond’s exquisitely colourful picture book sets our titular miniature hero off on a very important quest from which he will definitely not get distracted.
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A wonderfully inventive story of standing out from the crowd, courtesy of the author of the phenomenal bestselling Oi Frog series. Based around a rebellious musical note that won’t do what it is supposed to, The Diddle that Dummed abounds in wordplay and musical humour.
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A delightful, educational tale from Beetle Boy author M.G. Leonard about two rainforest-dwelling rhinoceros beetles. Focusing on issues of courage, truth-telling and friendship, this hilarious and warm-hearted picture book delivers fun and facts on every vibrantly illustrated page.
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Celebrating difference, flamboyance and fun, Green and Parsons’s lovable picture book boasts a hero to root for and a message of acceptance and pride. A riot of colour and energy, this tale of Larry, the disco dancing llama, is a quirky and endearing treat.
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Heartwarming and diverse, Hitchman and la Baleine’s bright, vibrant picture book is a celebration of everything that goes to make up a home. Inclusive and joyous, In Every House on Every Street is a wonderfully fun way for little ones to learn about families and cultures.
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Joy
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A playful and touching tale about perseverance and parental love from one of the most distinctive picture book authors currently working, Joy follows a bouncy kitten as she gets into all manner of bother with her favourite toy. With dynamic illustrations from Jenni Desmond, Joy is a tender and funny delight.
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Activities & Reference

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With its bold, vibrant illustrations and commitment to factual accuracy, Emergency Vehicles is a wonderful addition to the world of children’s reference. Featuring helicopters, speedboats, cars and so much more, this is the perfect introduction to these hugely important vehicles.
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Clear, concise and colourful, My First Book of Nature is a fount of information on bugs, birds, plants and animals. Written in an easy-to-understand style by Camilla de la Bedoyere, this is an invaluable introduction to the natural world for younger readers.
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£9.99
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The iconic athlete gets the exquisite Little People Big Dreams treatment, with Sanchez Vegara’s concise text and Jansen’s bold artwork combining to tell a powerful story of determination and decency in the face of cruelty and arrogance.
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A striking addition to the Little People, Big Dreams series, Sanchez Vegara and Lozano’s picture book retelling of the life of the street art pioneer is both entertaining and informative. Through bold illustration and simple text, Jean Michel Basquiat’s story comes vividly to life.
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