The Case of the Missing Cake, The Girls I've Been and Waiting for Murder among the top children's, teenage and young adult books to look out for in April
Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling...
Dear Reader. Here are some brilliant new children's books hitting the shelves this month.
From missing cake to murder, these will get your children reading in the holidays!
The Case of the Missing Cake by Eoin McLaughlin and Marc Boutavant
A graphic, bright, imaginative alphabet book, with a smart and laugh-out-loud whodunit twist.
This was meant to be a simple alphabet book, but something has happened. Something horrible. The most terrible crime! The world's most completely delicious, tongue-jinglingly, chocolaty cake has been stolen!
As Bear travels from A to Z, visiting all sorts of characters, objects and extraordinary places along the way, can YOU help him search for the culprit? But, wait! Are those crumbs on Bear's page? And are those Bear-shaped pawprints next to the empty cake stand?
It seems our narrator might not be as reliable as we first thought...
This is Not a Unicorn by Barry Timms and Ged Adamson
Get ready for a magical and hilarious adventure about the most fantastic unicorn ever!
This book is NOT about a unicorn! Well . . . OK, maybe it is! But this unicorn has a horn that can turn into the most incredible things - a magic wand, a helicopter, even a space rocket!
Join the hilarious adventure and prepare to be amazed by your brilliant new friend. With wonderful wordplay and a funny and sweet friendship at its heart, this is NOT a unicorn book to be missed!
This fabulously funny story has stacks of appeal for both girls and boys - watch out for rockets, rainbows, helicopters, massive fish, ice cream sundaes and magical adventures.
The Whale Who Wanted More by Rachel Bright and Jim Field
"Under glittering waves of a vast ocean blue, a beautiful world is hidden from view.
And there, in the cool and the quiet of the deep, a great, gentle giant was stirring from sleep . . ."
Humphrey the whale is on a quest: to find the one perfect object that will make him feel complete.
He roams far and wide, gathering endless undersea treasure as he goes. Yet, no matter how many goodies he accumulates, Humphrey still doesn't feel content. Could it be friendship, not possessions, that will really make Humphrey's heart sing?
A sparkling rhyming tale that encourages sharing and kindness, this heartwarming story of friendship is perfect for reading aloud.
Waiting For Murder by Fleur Hitchcock
It's a long, hot summer. As the water drains away from the reservoir, a car emerges. And there seems to be a body in it, a body that then disappears... Daniel and Florence start to investigate and uncover a long-ago robbery, missing gold and murder.
When the drought breaks, everything is swept downstream and the truth is revealed...
The Day I Fell into a Fairytale by Ben Miller
Lana loves stories. Especially the ones she and her brother, Harrison, share in their make-believe games.
But when Harrison decides he's too grown-up to play with Lana she finds herself feeling lonely. Until something magical happens . . .
Hidden in the strange new supermarket in town, Lana discovers a portal to a fairytale world! But these aren't the happy-ever-after fairytales that Lana knows, they are darker and more dangerous, and the characters need Lana's help to defeat an evil witch.
But she can't do it alone. Can she convince Harrison to believe in stories again and journey to the world with her . . . before it's too late?
Everyday Magic by Jess Kid
Welcome to Little Snoddington, where nothing is normal and every day is magic.
Nine-year-old Alfie Blackstack's parents have met a very unfortunate end. Now he's living in the super creepy Switherbroom Hall with his mad-haired Aunt Gertie and warty Aunt Zita. The thing is, Alfie's aunts aren't just weird - they're WITCHES!
When the circus arrives in town Alfie makes his first ever friend, the fearless Calypso Fagan.
But when Calypso's little sister Nova disappears, they must face the terrifying Head Witch in a race to find Nova and stop the next Witch War.
Teenagers and YA readers
Skulduggery Pleasant: Dead or Alive by Derek Landy
Skulduggery, Valkyrie and Omen return in the 14th and penultimate novel in the internationally bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series – and their most epic test yet…
In a matter of days, the world will change. Billions of lives will be wiped away in a final, desperate search for the Child of the Faceless Ones ― she who is destined to bring about the return of humankind's ancient overlords.
To prevent this, Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain have one last, terrible, option: the assassination of Damocles Creed.
With protests stirring in the magical city of Roarhaven, with riots and revolutions on the horizon, Valkyrie must decide who she wants to be: the hero who risks everything for a noble ideal, or the killer who sacrifices her own soul for the fate of humanity.
The decision must be made, and time is running out.
The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne by Jonathan Stroud
Set in a broken, future England, where gunfights and monsters collide, this is the exciting first title in a phenomenal fantasy teen series by the bestselling children's novelist.
England has been radically changed by a series of catastrophes – large cities have disappeared and London has been replaced by a lagoon.
The surviving population exists in fortified towns where they cling to traditional ways, while strangely evolved beasts prowl the wilderness beyond.
Conformity is rigidly enforced and those who fall foul of the rules are persecuted: some are killed, others are driven out into the wilds.
Only a few fight back – and two of these outlaws, Scarlett McCain and Albert Browne, display an audacity and talent that makes them legends.
The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe
Meet Nora. Also known as Rebecca, Samantha, Haley, Katie and Ashley - the girls she's been.
Nora didn't choose a life of deception - she was born into it. As the daughter of a con artist who targeted criminal men, Nora always had to play a part. But when her mother fell for one of the men instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con herself: escape.
For five years Nora's been playing at normal - but things are far from it when she finds herself held at gunpoint in the middle of a bank heist, along with Wes (her ex-boyfriend) and Iris (her secret new girlfriend and mutual friend of Wes... awkward).
Now it will take all of Nora's con artistry skills to get them out alive. Because the gunmen have no idea who she really is - that girl has been in hiding for far too long...