KIDS love to be captivated by a good story. So what better way to discover, explore and learn than with a selection of the best new children’s books?
Experts claim that children’s books are beneficial for many things. Not only do they stimulate curiosity, develop social and communication skills, they also help with memory.
Reading also enhances the development of language and other critical thinking skills that provide the foundation of learning.
Books can also be great fun – kids will love jumping into a wonderful world that dips between ‘real’ and ‘make-believe and helps to hold their attention time and time again.
The Publishers Association reports that Brits spend approximately £387 million per year on children’s books in imports and sales.
Whether it's a classic story or a new bestseller, children’s books are a valuable item that you can read over and over.
Maybe you are looking to cut down on your child’s screen time by sinking their teeth into a good book, or perhaps you want to further their imagination and educate them- there are plenty of classics and new releases to suit all.
2021 is sure to be a great year of reading for children so we've rounded up the best books to buy for your little ones, from Zadie Smith to Richard Scarry.
This article and any featured products have been independently chosen by The Sun journalists. All recommendations within the article are informed by expert editorial opinion. If you click a link and buy a product we may earn revenue: this helps to support The Sun, and in no way affects our recommendations.
1. The Problem With Problems by Rachel Rooney
- (AD) The Problem With Problems, £6.17, from Amazon – buy here
Reading age 2-5 – 32 Pages
Have you ever met a Problem? They come in all shapes and sizes, and can pop up at the most inconvenient times! But you should know some things about them that will help you make them disappear…
This skillfully written message book is a one-of-a-kind picture book to help little ones (and even grown-ups) deal with everyday problems that can occur.
This is a great book to help children recognise and talk about solving problems, rather than hiding them, from award-winning children’s poet Rachel Rooney and highly acclaimed illustrator Zehra Hicks. The pictures are really vibrant and captivating while the rhyming words make it simple and easy for young ones to understand- and even memorise and read time and time again.
2. Sorrel and the Sleepover by Corrine Averiss
- (AD) Sorrel and the Sleepover, £5.32, from Amazon – buy here
Reading age 4-7 years – 32 Pages
A beautiful storybook portraying a celebration of what friendship really means, with a hidden message that no matter how rich or poor you are, friendship is the most important.
If your children love animals then this is the book for them! Two squirrels find friendship in unexpected circumstances.
From the creator of classic bestseller Badger’s Parting Gifts, Corrinne Averiss, has written other children’s books including The Boy on the Bench, My Two Grannies, and My Pet Star.
3. I’m Not Cute, I’m Dangerous by Bruna De Luca
- I’m Not Cute, I’m Dangerous, £7.99, from Amazon – buy here
A captivating storybook with bold vibrant pictures, this book teaches a very good lesson to not judge based on appearances.
Aimed at children between four and seven, it is the perfect age to start teaching about inclusion and accepting others for all they are. It is also very encouraging for children that are learning how to read with easy-to-follow words matching the pictures.
4. Slow Down by Rachel Williams
- Slow Down , £17, from Kidly – buy here
Ages 3+ – 128 Pages
Nature is the place that children feel happy in. Learning about nature and being surrounded by it is calming and relaxing.
That's why Slow Down Bring Calm To A Busy World is a captivating, engrossing book that hones in on the beauty and drama of 50 incredible natural stories in ways little ones can understand. A great book to read at home and then go out to the park or countryside to explore and see if they can find and observe what they’ve learned about.
One fan says: “This book’s a perfect introduction to the joys of nature-spotting, like having David Attenborough in the room with you.”
5. Busy, Busy World by Richard Scarry
- Busy, Busy World , £14.24, from Amazon – buy here
Ages 3-7 – 96 Pages
A book with a thousand stories in one! A storybook that will charm and captivate your child’s imagination with intricate illustrations. Each story has the chance for your little one to decide exactly what is going on- and most have a little drama in them.
Little explorers can travel the world thanks to Richard Scarry, with 33 stories featuring fun-filled stops in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Egypt, Australia, and more. An adventure of visiting worldwide places will have children ready to pack their small suitcases and want to visit those international Busytowns themselves.
6. Weirdo by Zadie Smith and Nick Laird
- Weirdo, £8.99, from Blackwells – buy here
Ages 3-7 years – 30 Pages
Weirdo introduces a story that many young children can enjoy and learn from; about the quiet power of being different and why being yourself is always key.
With stunning illustrations that adults and children will enjoy and treasure, this book is written by two well-known writers, Zadie Smith and Nick Laird, who have joined forces to create a picture book with a difference.
7. The Little Gardener
- The Little Gardener, £19, from Kidly – buy here
Ages 3+ – 224 Pages
Filled with seasonal activities for your little ones to enjoy, this book is a 'how-to' book that will fill your kids to the brim with practical ways to enjoy, play, and learn about nature.
Great for summer holidays or weekend adventures, it teaches children all about gardening basics and even has activities, tasks and a journal to keep track of their wonderful progress.
We also love the illustrations that give detailed accounts of how to care for nature. A perfect keepsake book that your child can enjoy time and time again!
8. The Gruffalo
- The Gruffalo, £6.99, from Waterstones – buy here
Ages 3+ – 32 Pages
Following their 20 th year anniversary, Pan Macmillan have redesigned the cover and beautiful finish of this classic children’s book, making it a must-have addition to the bookshelves for young and old!
The Gruffalo is an endearing story of a little mouse, who meets many animals, including, the iconic Gruffalo! Watch how he navigates through the dark woods and is a captivating bedtime story.
The Gruffalo is an undisputed modern classic and has become a best-selling phenomenon across the world with over 13.5 million copies sold.
9. All I want Is An Octopus
- All I want Is An Octopus, £7.99, from Amazon – buy here
All I Want Is An Octopus is a rhyming picture storybook that opens up the conversation about pets, with a few twists and turns along the way! Incorporating all the family into the story, including Dad, Mum and Gran, this book is a great way for little ones to see how family conversations work…and is sprinkled with comedy throughout.
Our three-year-old tester learnt the words in just a few days and we think this book is great for supporting language development as well as fully stimulating the imagination. With its beautiful illustrations throughout, we think this is a great book for kids aged two and above.
10. Emma on Mars
- Emma on Mars, £7.99, from Waterstones – buy here
Emma on Mars is a great intro to the wonderful world of science as well as how to keep our planet safe. With intricate illustrations, the story follows Emma as she realises how unclean the planet is and ponders how she can help… along with Teddy.
Aimed at those between four and seven, the second non-fiction picture book written by Billy Dunne is perfect for teddy and space lovers alike and is great at discovering how the solar system works.
What is the most-read children’s book?
Children’s books are stories that are treasured throughout the years, even beyond childhood! Many children remember their favourite children’s books and even love to keep them well into adult years.
A mix of classics and new releases are always great to stir the imagination and some of the U.K’s most-read children’s books include Harry Potter, The Cat in the Hat, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Winnie the Pooh and The BFG by Roald Dahl. Although some of these are for different ages, why not try them too?
Who is the best children’s book author?
There are many classic authors that kids (and adults!) are sure to love. Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Eric Carle, and Beatrix Potter wrote some of the best classic stories, with many now turned into films and television series’.
More modern best-selling authors include Zadie Smith and David Walliams, who write compelling children’s stories with a message.
What is the best children’s book?
There are many best-selling children’s books on the market and many focus on dark wisdom, fairy tales, animals or ‘how-to.’
It’s always best to try a mixture to see which your child is really drawn to.
Where to buy children’s books?
Buying children’s books can be purchased in a number of ways. Amazon is, of course, an easy way to buy books but other online retailers include Waterstones, Blackwell’s and Foyle’s.
Alternatively, you can also find your local book shop or try more independent retailers.
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