Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Children's Books Debut authors 2017

4th October 2017

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Every August we run giveaways for debut authors and illustrators and we're delighted to support these names and help them get started on their publishing journey.  As always, our reviewers loved discovering these books and we were blown over by their enthusiasm for these unknown names. These hidden gems are easy to lose (and often difficult to find as they're not stocked by high-street stores or supermarkets) so thank you Toppsta reviewers for helping us shine a light on their talent. 

debut Picture Books

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Once Upon a Jungle by Laura Knows & James Boast

"This is a beautiful book, lots of bright colours and enjoyed by both of my children aged 1 and 6years. There is not a lot of text on each page so is great for those just learning to read and also for confident readers to read to others or confidently read alone." (Read to Alex0512 aged 6 & to Zaraloul aged 1)

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The Cranky Caterpillar by Richard Graham

"The story is simple, highly effective and the perfect length. The culmination of the book is nice as the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. There are not so many books that interest my daughter - but this one definitely got her attention." (I read it to Alexandra aged 5)

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SPLAT! by Jon Burgerman

"My 4 year old son thought this was funny and graet fun and he was excited to see what had been splat next lol. Was a lovely bright book throughout and gained his attention completely throughout. Would definitely look out for more from this author in the future." (I read it to beardy aged 4)

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You Can do Anything (Hip and Hop) by Akala & Sav Akyuz

"My son loved this book. He was engaged and was interested in seeing what would happen. The rapping parts add something to the story and makes it more fun. The message of not giving up is a fantastic one and it is really clear." (D's little reads read it aged 4)

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I Dare You by Reece Wykes

"What a beautiful book - the illustration is fantastic and the story is very funny. I would say this book is more for 5 years and under as the story is very short and easy to read." (Read to JoshuaJames aged 4)

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Fergal is Fuming by Robert Starling

"This is a lovely book for talking about anger and frustration. Both my two-year-old and my seven-year-old who is autistic could relate to Fergal's fiery moments!" (Read to TomatoBoy20 aged 7 and TomatoBaby20 aged 2)

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Quiet! by Kate Alizadeh

"I read it to my 18 month old daughter. She loved the different sounds and had great fun trying to copy the noises.  Lovely story to teach your child different sounds and get them talking ." (Read to lula aged 1) 

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Henry and Boo by Megan Brewis

"My daughter found this book hilarious. A little creature called boo turns up on henrys doorstep and says boo constantly. Henry tries to get ride of him but boo just keeps on following him around. Definitely a book I would recommend if you love a giggle." (Read it to Babyeva29 aged 2)

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Shady Bay Buddies: Archie Goes to the Doctor by Emma Brown

"My three year old son loves this book!!  The story is interesting and straight forward.  Perfect for getting an important message to my adventurous little boy, which is when you have an accident and hurt yourself, the doctor will help you get better." (Read to CopyMonkey aged 3)

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The Cave by Rob Hodgson

"My son really enjoyed this book, the colours are fab and the suspense as to who was hiding in the cave kept him interested in the story right to the end.  We were both surprised by the ending ." (Read to Agill aged 4)

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debuts LOVED BY AGES 6 TO 8

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Animal Surprises: How to Draw by Nicola Davies and Abbie Cameron

"This was a great book for my son and I to both enjoy together! We sat down with our pencils,crayons and blank paper and we started to draw. The book takes you step by step on how to draw animals! " (MalJam read it aged 7)

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Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink by Jennifer Killick

"This was a very exciting book. I felt like I was in the scene. My favourite character is Jess because she's a bit like me.When someone called ' The proffesor' gives Alex and Jess special powers so they can track down the evil mastermind which is making everybody the same even though everyone should be unique." (Hermione read it aged 8)

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You Can't Make Me Go To Witch School! by Em Lynas & Jamie Littler

"It was a very good book. One of the best books I have ever read! I would recommend this book to children age 9-10." (Rachy read it aged 8)

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Sky Thieves by Dan Walker

"Wow adventure packed is just what this book is. Zoya is a good character, she is a very strong girl. Took me lots of concentration to read it but it was worth it. It really made me think of the characters and what was going on like a movie in my head.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes pirate or adventure stories." (Booyu read it aged 8)

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Pirate McSnottbeard in the Zombie Terror Rampage by Paul Whitfield

"A really funny story. Addie was laughing out loud at this cheeky adventure. The pirates were her favourite characters as they were really silly. She enjoyed that the text of the story was broken up with illustrations throughout, making it an easy but enjoyable read." (I read it to Addie aged 7)

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Mold and the Poison Plot by Lorraine Gregory & Tom Mead

"My children loved this book they really enjoyed Mold's adventures and following him investigating the mystery.  We really liked the way that this book was written the style made it really different to anything we had read.  It also helped you to feel that you were really in the story.  Brilliant story that we could not put down." (Read to Hstar aged 9 & to Jemt aged 7) 

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debuts LOVED BY AGES 9 TO 11

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Llama United by Scott Allen & Sarah Horne

"my son is so sad now he has finished the book, he wanted it to keep going! He said it was funny & the author was very descriptive. He loved it was a bit different from other football stories and the place/team names made him laugh! Very impressed!!!." (little fox read it aged 9)

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The Starman and Me by Sharon Cohen

"This is a beautifully written adventure story with something a little extra that makes you really think. The story offers a lot, an adventure, villains, out of this world characters and a lot of thinking points espicially about heritage and where we come from." (I read it to Rory aged 10 & to Addie aged 7)

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My Magical Life by Zach King

"What a brilliant book. It kept me hooked. I didn't want to stop reading it. I love magical books, I liked the main characters except Tricia, she's mean and a bully. The book had alot of action, and was funny in sections. I loved the ending and can't wait for the next one. A definite must read." (Bobbyg read it aged 10)

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A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan & Karl James Mountford

"Wow! Wow! Wow! This book is so good! I was very pleased when I won a copy to review as I had seen it in many bookshops and wanted to know whether it would be good for my year 6 class, and having read it in 3 days, ( I just couldn't put it down), I can safely say it's perfect for any boys or girls aged 9+." (Read by a teacher of Year 6)

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Kick by Mitch Johnson

"This was a very engrossing book and I couldn't put it down. I would recommend  it to a 10 to 11 year old. My favorite part was when Budi found his uncle is the bins. My favorite character was Budi's  grandma because her stories were very creative and she was very supportive." (Sea Turtle Group read it aged 10 to 11)

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Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter

"What a great story for someone like me who has just started secondary school. Although I find making friends very easily I now have a better understanding that not everyone finds it as easily as I do. I think it's a lovely story for anyone my age to read." (swalker read it aged 11)

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debuts loved by ages 12+

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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

"I read this book really quickly as once I started reading I couldn't put it down.The main character is relatable and funny. The plot has humour, suspense and is gripping.  " (Libertybottle read it aged 13)

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Troublemakers by Catherine Barter

"This is a political coming of age story about memory and the stories that ground us and bind us to our past and our families. It's beautifully written and had a place in my heart within the first few pages." (Read to Peacehaven little Library Teens/YA aged 13 to 18)

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