Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Our Favourite Chapter Books

29th January 2020


As children get older and become more confident readers, they start wanting longer and more complex stories. It’s time for them to enter the world of chapter books!

Chapter books are simply, as their name suggests, stories that are long enough to be broken into short chapters. They are still illustrated but, unlike picture books, the words tell the story. There are chapter books available for every interest – adventure, fantasy, humour, mystery and more.

Chapter books are ideal for children starting to read independently, but it is also important for them to be read aloud to build young readers' vocabulary and confidence.

Many children start having the stamina for longer reads, alongside picture books, in Year 1 or Year 2 but it is important to remember that every child moves on at their own pace. Once they do start reading alone, a whole new world is suddenly at their fingertips, one that will hopefully ignite a lifelong love of reading.

We have chosen some of our favourites below with the chance for you to win and review copies this January. Exciting stories paired with brilliant illustrations will keep any child's interest, so give them a go!

Our Favourite Chapter Books
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Rabbit and Bear: A Bite in the Night

Gorgeously illustrated and with a classic feel, this is a brilliantly funny story of a rabbit and a bear who discover that things are always better when they're shared with a friend. Ideal for readers moving on from picture books.

'A perfect animal double-act.' ( The Times , Book of the Week)

Rabbit is surprised: some of the trees in the valley seem to be flying south for the winter.

His friend Bear is sure that trees can't fly.

Then there's a loud CRUNCH! from Very Near By. It sounds like the world's largest rabbit, eating the world's largest carrot.

There's a new creature in Rabbit and Bear's valley, and he's trying to Change Everything.

From novelist and playwright Julian Gough, and the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Jim Field, this is a tale of friendship, Progess, and all kinds of getting muddy.

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Toto the Ninja Cat and the Incredible Cheese Heist: Book 2

Toto is no ordinary cat, and she can't wait for you to join her on her SECOND ninja adventure! From one of the UK's best-loved broadcasters, purrfect f or fans of The Aristocats, The Secret Life of Pets and Atticus Claw Breaks the Law.

Toto, the amazing ninja cat, is back and cooler than ever! Toto is almost blind, but that doesn't stop her having brilliant adventures.

Something CAT-ASTROPHIC has happened: ALL the cheese in the world has been stolen. Join Toto, her brother Silver and their best-friend Catface on a secret mission to save the day. Toto is going to need all her ninja skills to defeat the fur-midable cheese thief ...

Ideal for reading aloud or for children to curl up with and read alone, the story features brilliant black and white illustrations throughout. With gentle themes of friendship, inclusivity and winning in the face of adversity, this is a hilarious must-read for all animal-loving kids! 

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Magnificent Mabel and the Rabbit Riot

Introducing a truly hilarious and one-of-a-kind new character: Magnificent Mabel!

Sometimes life isn't fair for Mabel Chase. Like for instance she doesn't have one SINGLE pet in her whole life. And ALL the people in her class are losing their baby teeth. And she doesn't EVEN have a sprinkler in her own garden. But none of that matters in the end... because Mabel is still MAGNIFICENT.

Three laugh-out-loud funny short stories, brilliantly illustrated throughout!

With perfectly-observed, child-friendly humour, highly-relatable themes in each story, an incredibly distinctive voice, and stylish illustrations, these books are perfect for early readers.

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Thimble Wonga Bonkers

When Mum goes away for the week, Jams, Dad and Thimble the monkey are left with just thirty quid for the groceries. Dad makes a shopping list, but when Thimble gets hold of the supermarket trolley, everything goes bananas. Soon the intrepid trio are so desperate they will do anything for money ... anything!
Will Dad end up selling his soul to make ends meet, or can Jams and his monkey pal save the day?
Third in the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards shortlisted Thimble Monkey Superstar series from Jon Blake.

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Billy and the Mini Monsters (1) - Monsters in the Dark

Billy is trying to stay awake so the SCARY creatures of the dark won't come. But then he hears a squeaky little voice and notices some tiny purple footprints. Not only that, SOMETHING has ATTACKED his cheese sandwich. What could it be? Does Billy dare find out? The Billy and the Mini Monsters series is an exciting addition to Series Two of Usborne Young Reading, introducing children to original, illustrated fiction with easy reading texts. Series Two is for readers who are growing in confidence.

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Guinea Pig Superstar!

Join Harry Stevenson - small guinea pig and unlikely hero - on two BIG new adventures.

Harry Stevenson is VERY excited. He's off to school with his best friend Billy ! Billy can't wait to show Harry off in Show and Tell but when another classmate brings in his pet snake, chaos ensues! Can this small guinea pig survive his first day at school?

And when a thief - dressed up as a chicken - steals Sparky FC's championship cup, Harry Stevenson finds himself caught up in a real-life robbery! Can Harry stop the thief and save the day?


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