Let me start by saying that children are NEVER too old for picture books. EVER. There, I’ve said it. But there will probably come a time when they’d like something a little wordier to tuck into. Luckily, there is now a huge range of highly-illustrated first chapter books designed especially for this market. All the books featured in this post are suitable for our youngest readers and even better, most are part of a series!
“Princess Minna loves to sort out mix-ups and mishaps in the kingdom! In this full-colour, illustrated chapter book, join her on a funny, exciting adventure to wake a sleeping prince and much more – all in time for tea.
Princess Minna lives in Castle Tall-Towers with the King and Queen, Raymond the Wizard and her best dragon friend, Lorenzo. There are often mix-ups and mishaps in the kingdom and Princess Minna loves to sort them out!
She can tame unicorns, kiss frogs and fight dragons (apart from Lorenzo) and she is very good at fixing things before it’s time for bed.
In The Enchanted Forest, Princess Minna has to wake a sleeping prince before nightfall. But along the way, she finds a swan, an old lady and a very fluffy sheep – all of them in a fix! Can she help them and still reach the prince before sundown?”
I’ll be honest, it was the neon covers which first caught my eye (the inside is just as vibrant) but then I noticed Princess Minna wore glasses. Win! Upon further investigation, it soon became apparent that she didn’t subscribe to the patterns of behaviour normally attributed to a princess. Double win!
I can see any young reader throughly enjoying this headstrong princess’s magical, action-packed adventures. 5+
“Mirabelle’s mum is a witch, her dad is a fairy, and she is a bit of both!
Mirabelle and her class are going on a school trip to a magical-creature sanctuary, and Mirabelle can’t wait! Even being partnered with annoying goody-two-shoes Lavinia can’t ruin her day.
But when she accidentally lets the bittens (part bat, part kitten, totally adorable, slightly fierce) out of their enclosure their day becomes a bit more complicated.
Can Lavinia help Mirabelle stay out of trouble? And can Mirabelle show Lavinia that maybe some things are worth getting in trouble for. . . ?”
Everyone’s favourite part-witch, part-fairy is back in another mischief-filled adventure. As ever, I love the two-tone colour palette and glitter details of this series. If your child already loves Isadora Moon, this is an obvious next read! I will warn you though, the bittens (bat kittens) are not as cute as they seem! 6+
“Kitty is a superhero-in-training with feline super powers. She dreams of being just like her superhero mum one day, but she’s still got a lot to learn. Join her for a series of enchanting adventures by the light of the moon. In Kitty and the Star Stone Robber, Kitty is called to a break-in at the city museum. Dinosaur bones, glittering gems, and a special sparkling meteorite are all missing. Kitty has a clear idea of who the robber could be, but is it a case of mistaken identity?”
I’ve loved reading about Kitty’s nighttime escapades and meeting the rest of her kitty cat crew. They always have such strong themes of bravery, friendship, and doing the right thing. Stylishly produced and great for readers aged 5+
“Autumn Moonbeam loves gymnastics and dance so when Sparkledale Dance Academy have try-outs for their competitive dance team, Black Cats, she thinks it’s the most broom-tastic opportunity ever! Just one problem, Autumn is nervous and worries she won’t make it onto the team. And then she discovers that her nasty neighbour Severina Bloodworth is trying out too. But with her best friend Batty by her side can Autumn overcome her shyness, lack of confidence and magical mishaps to be chosen to join Sparkledale Dance Academy?”
This engaging story is all about following your dreams and trying your best. The gymnastics and dance themes are sure to be popular with its readership – it may even inspire some to train for the Aaarghlympics or try out some dance magic themselves! It features lots of black and white illustrations which will engage readers aged 6+
“When ordinary boy Marvin wears his super-suit he becomes MARV. A superhero with infinite powers . . .
Marvin and his friend Joe are at the brand-new super-spectacular waterpark – WAVE WORLD! But despite the excitement, Marv’s reluctant to get in the water. Although Marv can swim, sometimes he gets struck by a fear of the water that he calls ‘The Panic’. Marv uses excuse after excuse to stay out of the pool. Then someone shouts ‘SHARK!’ Shark!? It looks like a supervillain is up to mischief again. It’s time for Marvin to become MARV. But, even as a hero, overcoming his fear of the water is going to be a challenge. Can Marv defeat supervillain Shadow and her army of robot sharks to save the day?”
Marv is the coolest superhero I know, but even HE loses his cool when it comes to getting into the swimming pool. I’m sure plenty of readers will share Marvin’s reluctance to take a dip, but I can’t imagine any of them have an army of robot sharks to contend with! Again, this title has strong themes of kindness, imagination, and overcoming your fears 5+
“Reporter-in-training Kate is back for a new adventure! Be swept downriver on this exciting jungle cruise in search of the mysterious Silver Wibbler bird…
When Kate and her mouse Rupert sail through the jungle home of the legendary Silver Wibbler, they know there’s a story to be sniffed out. Why else would the Bird Brigade be on board?
Their fearsome leader General Hornbill is convinced the Wibbler is a myth but young Bird Brigader Bertie is determined to prove him wrong.
Can Kate help Bertie uncover the truth?
Full steam ahead for friendship, mystery and some ruffled feathers…”
There is lots for readers to explore in this gorgeously- produced jungle mystery. Alongside the sparkling text and elegant illustrations, young story detectives will spot letters, maps, text book pages, and even a guide to picking locks! A classic mystery with plenty of humour and charm – sure to appeal to readers aged 7+
“Nature-loving Timi is unsettled by the arrival of a new sibling and turns to tending a tree growing in his local library. But there is something magical about the tree and it is growing FAST… and the library is going to close. Can Timi save the library and his tree, and maybe bring his community closer together along the way?”
Now this title is the only one which isn’t part of a series. It sensitively explores the mixed feelings Timi encounters when he has to attend after school club and spend more time with his aunt when his baby sister is born prematurely. There is a realistic cast of diverse characters which accurately reflect the world we live in. 6+
“Aziza is excitedly packing her suitcase ready to go on holiday when she finds sand and seashells from the fairy door all over her room! Before long, she is stepping through the door and out onto Shimmerton’s beach, where naughty fairies, the Gigglers, are causing havoc by accidentally awakening an ancient shell-walker who has been asleep for many years under the sand. Everyone scatters as the shell-walker grows bigger and bigger. What can be done? Aziza’s new mermaid friend might just know someone who could help.”
This is the fourth title in this brilliant series which draws on tales of fairies and creatures from the world of mythology. I love that these stories feature inclusive characters and have a strong sense of adventure, fun, and working together. 6+
Hopefully you’ve found something there which you think might help a young bookworm on their journey towards becoming a confident reader. If you still need further inspiration, take a look HERE and HERE.
*Many thanks to all the publishers for sending me these titles to review*