Those long, hot summer days may be a distant memory but autumn has always been our favourite season. Crisp air, colourful leaves and cosy coats – not to mention the darker evenings that give you the best excuse to curl up with a book.
There’s a stack of superb new stories out this month and next – here are our favourites for a bedtime read…
1. Angry Cookie by Laura Dockrill, illustrated by Maria Karipidou. £6.99 (paperback), Walker (out now)
Don’t even think about missing this witty and wise tale about turning your frown upside down, you nosy noodle! This first picture book by celebrated performance poet Laura Dockrill (already an established middle grade and young adult author) has a hilarious, quirky charm.
We especially love Angry Cookie’s recorder playing flatmate Barbra and totally empathise with that post-haircut fluster when you know its just a bit too short for your face. The cartoonish illustrations are very cool, too.
2. I Am: a Book about Feelings / All of Us: a Book about Family by Alice Melvin. £6.99 each (board book), Tate Publishing (out October 2018)
The newest members of the Alice Melvin first concepts series tackle the topics of feelings and family with exquisite paper-cut artwork and a thoroughly modern baby and his loved ones.
We especially like the gorgeous autumnal feel to I Am and the subtle story lines which tie each book together. Proof that simple can also be sophisticated. They make for a wonderful new baby or christening gift too.
Read our review of the Alice Melvin board book series
3. Oi Duck-Billed Platypus! by Kes Gray and Jim Field. £12.99 (hardback), Hodder Children’s Books (out now)
The frog, the cat and the dog are back for a fifth instalment of super silly seating scenarios – and this time they’ve got a cast of impossible-to-rhyme-with animals to help perch their behinds.
Thanks to Kes Gray’s tongue-twisting text and Jim Field’s bonkers illustrations, the joke remains as funny as ever.
Why we can’t stop laughing at the Oi! books
4. A Pile Of Leaves by Jason Fulford & Tamara Shopsin. £12.95 (board book), Phaidon (out now)
This innovative wordless book, created in partnership with the Whitney Museum of American Art, uses see-through pages to create a collage of beautifully coloured leaves.
And as your child investigates the pile, they will find all sorts of interesting insects and items hiding underneath. It’s a clever idea that sparks conversation and encourages curiosity.
5. Girls Can Do Anything by Caryl Hart and Ali Pye. £6.99 (paperback), Scholastic (out now)
This ode to the wonders of women is a perfect and positive way to prove that you can grow up to be whatever you want, whether that’s a baker or builder, athlete to astrophysicist.
Caryl Hart has carefully tailored her rhyming text to a younger readership while Ali Pye’s artwork is energetic and inclusive. We especially like the gallery of real-life inspiring females, including boxer Nicola Adams and builder Sue Wimpenny.
Caryl Hart tells us why being called a tomboy inspired her to write Girls Can Do Anything
6. Grandma Bird by Benji Davies. £6.99 (paperback), Simon & Schuster (out 18 October 2018)
The highly anticipated third story in The Storm Whale series sees our hero Noi going to stay with his eccentric Grandma Bird while his father works. The little boy thinks he’s just cramping her style – until his fearless granny comes to the rescue.
It’s another beautiful book about love and family from Benji Davies, brought alive by his compelling cinematic illustrations.
Read our interview with Benji Davies about the inspiration for Grandma Bird
7. Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett. £10.99 (hardback), Walker (out 4 Oct 2018)
Another witty and interactive tale from award-winning Emma Yarlett, about the fiery friendship between a little boy and a dragon he finds under his stairs.
Perplexed about how to look after his unusual new pet, resourceful Alex writes to the fire brigade, the butcher and others for advice – and your child will just love opening the adorable envelopes to see their entertaining replies.
8. Maybe The Moon by Frances Ives. £12.99 (hardback), LOM Art (out now)
Eric lives a happy, colourful life in the forest with his animal friends until his mother takes him to live in the city. Everything is strange and grey – even the moon looks different – but as he explores, he finds new beauty, new friends and realises he will never be alone when he has the moon.
It’s a striking picture book debut by author-illustrator Frances Ives, with dreamy artwork and a wonderful, life-affirming message.
Frances Ives picks her favourite five picture books to make you think about life
9. Hedgehogs Don’t Live In The City by Lucy Reynolds and Jenna Herman. Price TBC, Doodles & Scribbles (out October 2018)
This dynamic duo’s debut picture book about London’s parakeet population was just dazzling so we can’t wait to see their autumnal follow-up about one of Britain’s most beloved – and endangered – creatures.
Expect charming rhyme, a gorgeous colour palette and delightfully detailed drawings celebrating the wonder of our natural world.
Read our review of the prequel – Parrots Don’t Live In The City
10. The Giant Jumperee by Julie Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury. £6.99 (paperback), Puffin (out now)
Two titanesses of picture books pair up for the first time for this read aloud mystery, where a group of scared animals try to work out who the mysterious Giant Jumperee is.
The storyline is a sort-of reversal of Julia’s much-loved Gruffalo while the pastoral feel to Helen’s artwork is reminiscent of her classic illustrations for We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.
Julia Donaldson reveals which of her books is her all time favourite
11. Cook in a Book: Cookies, illustrated by Lotta Nieminen. £12.95 (board book), Phaidon (out 19 October 2018)
Inspire the Bake Off champions of the future with this latest sweet addition to the innovative interactive recipe book series.
Using a real recipe, your child can ‘make’ a batch of cookies, using the flaps, spinners and pull out pieces to enact the stages. Baby Bookworm loves the Tacos version so much, he takes it to bed and the pieces are all chewed!
Inspire budding chefs with the Cook in a Book series
12. The Wobbly Waitress by Lisa Stickley. £11.99 (hardback), Tate Publishing (out now)
We’re massive fans of Lisa’s quirky collage style and off-beat humour – and this tale about a hiccuping giraffe waitress is sure to tickle your child’s funny bone.
Can Mabel’s friends find a way to cure her and stop the sandwiches spilling all over the Zoo Cafe? Read it and find out!
Lisa Stickley tells us why you can’t beat a bit of toilet humour to cheer a child
13. Mini Rabbit: Not Lost by John Bond. £12.99 (hardback), HarperCollins Children’s
The lure of cake is a powerful one – and when Mini Rabbit and his mum run out of berries, the sweet-toothed bunny is determined to save the day by locating the missing ingredients.
So begins an epic and possibly perilous adventure for our tiny hero who is most definitely not lost… is he? An impressive debut by author-illustrator John Bond with stunning artwork and a offbeat wit that channels Jon Klassen and Oliver Jeffers.
14. Peek & Seek, illustrated by Charlotte Milner. £9.99 (board book), Dorling Kindersley (out now)
This chunky and cleverly-designed wildlife book is packed with fascinating facts about the natural world, all hidden beneath irresistible flaps. There are also objects to find and count within the detailed scenes.
A great gift for any budding Chris Packham’s and ideal for getting children enthused about animals.
15. The Way Home For Wolf by Rachel Bright and Jim Field. £12.99 (hardback), Orchard (out 4 October 2018)
The dream team behind the award-winning The Lion Inside and The Koala Who Could team up for a fourth inspiring animal tale, this time set in the snowy Arctic.
Wolf cub Wilf is the star of the story, who discovers that even the most strong and independent individuals need the support of a friend when times get tough. As always, Rachel’s rhymes scan perfectly while Jim’s cinematic illustrations are especially epic.
Rachel Bright tells her how being a mum has influenced her writing
16. JM Barrie’s Peter Pan, retold in rhyme by Caryl Hart and illustrated by Sarah Warburton. £14.99 (hardback), Nosy Crow
The much-loved traditional tale about the boy who never grew up is reinvented for a new, younger generation in the capable hands of Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton.
It’s the second title in Nosy Crow’s Classic series and stars all your favourite characters, from sweet Tinkerbell to villainous Captain Hook, with fresh rhyming text and luxurious silver-foiled cover.
17. Storm by Sam Usher. £11.99 (hardback), Templar (out now)
Something is brewing in the sky so a boy and his grandfather decide to grab the opportunity to fly a kite – if only they could find it! Their search uncovers happy memories of good times together and when they finally make it outside, another adventure awaits…
This final installment in Sam Usher’s seasonal quartet of books is a fitting finish, full of energy, drama and atmospheric artwork.
18. Lifesize by Sophy Henn. £8.99 (paperback), Red Shed (out now)
We’ve got a huge soft spot for Sophy Henn and her characters, especially Pom Pom the Panda.
And in her clever book about some of the world’s most amazing animals, you get an idea of how big a real Pom Pom truly is, thanks to scale drawings of paws and roars! Baby Bookworm especially loves high-fiving the polar bear.
Sophy Henn picks her favourite five picture books
19. Oscar The Hungry Unicorn by Lou Carter and Nikki Dyson. £6.99 (paperback), Orchard Books (out now)
The unicorn trend has made its way into picture books of late and this one is a corker, with lots of laughs and a sparkly cover to boot.
Oscar is the hungriest unicorn in fairyland and when he eats his stable, he needs somewhere new to live. His insatiable appetite does not endear him to the pirate, fairies or dragons, but then Princess Oola comes along. Can she see past his ravenous ways?
20. Lowly Worm’s ABC / 123 by Richard Scarry. £7.99 each (board book), HarperCollins Children’s
The busy world of Richard Scarry has been delighting children for decades, even inspiring some of our favourite modern illustrators like Rob Biddulph.
These chunky first concept books help your child learn about letters and numbers with Lowly Worm and a cast of comical characters from the late author’s archive.
21. You Can Tell A Fairytale: Little Red Riding Hood by Migy Blanco. £6.99 (paperback), Templar (out now)
This classic story gets a cool twist with this picture book that put your child in control of what happens next, using visual clues to prompt and the chance to add new details.
It’s a clever way to engage a reluctant reader and to prompt discussion at storytime, not to mention keeping the book fresh with every reading.
23. The Rescue of Bunny Wunny by Emma Chichester Clark. £12.99 (hardback), HarperCollins Children’s (out 4 October 2018)
Everyone has come across a child like Imelda. Bad-tempered, spoilt, used to getting their own way – all ably assisted by a pair of doting parents.
But in this wickedly funny modern fairytale by the Blue Kangaroo author, the demanding diva gets her comeuppance when a real life rabbit comes to rescue her mistreated toy Bunny Wunny.
24. Mummy Time by Judith Kerr. £12.99 (hardback), HarperCollins Children’s (out now)
Her first and arguably most famous book was about a 1960s mum and daughter – and the extraordinary teatime they have when a big, furry, stripey tiger knocks on the door. Now in her latest tale, Judith Kerr is very much focusing on a modern day family, exploring the adventure a toddler has when his mum is busy on her phone.
She might be 95 but this ironic story shows that the legendary author-illustrator still has the magic touch and is as whipsmart as ever. It might inspire you to ignore that mobile phone a little more often too.
See the National Trust’s touring exhibition about the life of Judith Kerr
25. Hubert Horatio: How To Raise Your Grown Ups by Lauren Child. £12.99 (hardback), HarperCollins Children’s (out 4 October 2018)
Technically it is going to be quite a few years before Baby Bookworm can read this one at bedtime but we can’t leave out this first title from a highly illustrated young fiction series by Children’s Laureate Lauren Child.
The superstar author-illustrator’s brilliant new character is Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent, a very responsible child who spends his time keeping his very irresponsible and wealthy parents in check, with hilarious, off-the-wall results.
You may also like…
Our 10 best books of baby’s first year
The best picture books of 2017, as chosen by Baby Bookworm
These all look really striking. Definitely filing a few of these away. You’ve got great taste!
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Thank you for the kind comment! There are some wonderful new releases – the authors, illustrators and publishers should be applauded.