Top Ten 2019
The children from our nationwide voting groups have done a fantastic job of choosing this year’s Top 10 titles.
Written and illustrated by Arree Chung
Published by Macmillan
Despite their differences the Reds, the Yellows and the Blues live peacefully together until one of them announces that they are the best. The colours end up living completely separately until a Yellow and a Blue meet and become friends, and gradually new colours emerge. This is an inspiring and thought-provoking tale about tolerance and celebrating differences presented in an age-appropriate way. The delightful black and white illustrations with vivid spots of colour for the characters enhance the words wonderfully.
The Last Chip
Written and illustrated by Duncan Beedie
Published by Templar
Although Percy the pigeon is desperately hungry, he is thwarted at every attempt to find food. In spite of the other larger greedy birds he encounters, Percy’s determination and resilience wins through and he is eventually rewarded by human kindness. A great book for reading aloud, with endearing and amusing illustrations to enjoy, this also (very gently) touches on some major social issues, including poverty and homelessness.
The Wondrous Dinosaurium
Written by John Condon and illustrated by Steve Brown
Published by Maverick
When Danny goes shopping for a new pet, rather than going to a regular pet shop, he goes to the shop that sells ‘pets for the very brave’ – a dinosaur shop! It’s only through trial and error that Danny comes to realise that most dinosaurs present major challenges – until he finds one that is just right! Big bright illustrations are the perfect match for this fantastic reptile-filled story.
What Do You Do if Your House is a Zoo?
Written by John Kelly and illustrated by Steph Laberis
Published by Little Tiger
Oscar is delighted when his parents say he can have a pet. Unable to decide on the perfect pet he decides to advertise in the local paper and soon the house is filled with every animal imaginable. But which is the right pet for him? The colourful illustrations bring the humorous text to life perfectly and children of all ages will love reading the letters of application from the prospective pets.
Funny Kid Stand Up
Written and illustrated by Matt Stanton
Published by Harper Collins
Being funny is pretty much the only thing Max Walburt is good at but now he’s lost his “funny”. His grandpa has been kidnapped, there’s a strange clown in town and the talent contest is just around the corner. Max goes on an adventure to find out what is going on, meeting new friends along the way. Funny, fast-paced and illustrated throughout in cartoon style, this is a worthy successor to Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates.
Mr Penguin and The Fortress of Secrets
Written and illustrated by Alex T. Smith
Published by Hachette Hodder
Stylish, hilarious and fast-paced, this tale just speeds along. Mr Penguin, together with his quirky friends, Colin the spider, Edith Hedge & Gordon the pigeon, career through a series of adventures from glamorous hotels, to snowy mountainsides, to a forbidding abandoned fortress in a quest to unravel the mystery of the missing hamsters in Schneedorf on the Peak. The fun and frivolity is perfectly complemented by the atmospheric illustrations and chic black and orange design. Ideal for reading aloud or independently.
The Dog Who Lost His Bark
Written by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by P. J. Lynch
Published by Walker Books
A touching story about a boy called Patrick who helps a traumatised puppy regain his trust in humans. Patrick is also having to come to terms with changes in his own family and the puppy instinctively knows how to help. Music is the key to recovery for both dog and boy alike. P J Lynch’s gentle pencil drawings are beautifully matched to this heart-warming tale.
Written by Tom Palmer
Published by Barrington Stoke
Compassionately and sensitively told, this is the gripping story of Lily, a young and anxious fell runner, troubled by self-doubt and the effects of Alzheimer’s on her beloved grandmother. Her moving tale is intertwined with the compelling First World War diaries of her courageous great-great grandfather, also a fell runner. The need for speed, terrain knowledge and grit is paramount. The power of memory, loyalty and resilience shine through and inspire.
The Light Jar
Written by Lisa Thompson
Published by Scholastic
This new page-turning mystery from the author of Goldfish Boy will not disappoint. Nate and his mum are on the run and hiding in a tumbledown cottage in the woods. When mum fails to return from a search for provisions, Nate is helped to face his fears by two unusual friends. Atmospheric, sometimes chilling, but in the end hope-filled, this explores dark real-life themes with a supernatural twist.
The Storm Keeper’s Island
Written by Catherine Doyle
Published by Bloomsbury
Magic is stirring on Arranmore Island where Finn and his teenage sister Tara have gone to spend the holiday with their ageing grandfather. It’s time for a new Storm Keeper to take the helm, but this is not going to happen without an elemental battle. As the past and present collide, Finn receives help from a truly unexpected source during a dramatic attempt to rescue Tara from unimaginable danger.