Little Gems Series

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(335 reviews)

The Little Gems series from publisher Barrington Stoke is the perfect collection of first chapter books to grow children from ages 5 to 8 into readers!

Written and illustrated by some of the best talent in the UK, the Little Gems books are short chapter books specifically designed to not overwhelm beginner readers and to help them build vocabulary, reading speed and stamina to develop a love for reading that will last a lifetime. 

The books are illustrated in full colour for more vivid and engaging reading, carefully spaced for readers who might struggle with words on the page and are a small size to fit in little hands and to take everywhere. And... surprise! Each inside cover has an ACTIVITY to play!

Stories by Malorie Blackman, Julia Donaldson, Nick Sharrat and so many more much-loved authors will spark the joy we all know of reading books, moving children away from decoding phonics and up to enjoying longer texts independently. 

If you're interested in helping a young reader make their next step from picture books, you might also want to read our blog article From Picture Books to Chapter Books or check out the Bloomsbury Young Readers and Our Favourite Chapter Books.

Keep on reading!

All the Little Gem books in order:

Book 1: Mr Birdnest and the House Next Door (‘2012)
Book 2: The Snake Who Came to Stay (2012)
Book 3: Cheesemares (2013)
Book 4: Go! Go! Chicoco! (2013)
Book 5: Stars of Mine (2013)
Book 6: Snug (2013)
Book 7: My Friend’s a Gris-Kwok (2013)
Book 8: The First Third Wish (2013)
Book 9: The Castle in the Field (2013)
Book 10: The Moonshine Dragon (2014)
Book 11: Minikid (2014)
Book 12: Blamehounds (2014)
Book 13: Sea Urchins and Sand Pigs (2014)
Book 14: Good Dog Lion (2014)
Book 15: Skulduggery (2014)
Book 16: The Bad Trousers (2014)
Book 17: The Fish in the Bathtub (2014)
Book 18: The Big Fib (2015)
Book 19: The Rats of Meadowsweet Farm (2015)
Book 20: The Monster from the Blue Planet (2015)
Book 21: Monster Busters (2015)
Book 22: Joe and the Dragonsaurus (2015)
Book 23: Mary’s Hair (2015)
Book 24: The Smile (2015)
Book 25: Ted Rules the World (2015)
Book 26: The Gingerbread Star (2015)
Book 27: Grey Island Red Boat (2016)
Book 28: Out for the Count (2016)
Book 29: Anna Liza and the Happy Practice (2018)
Book 30: Billy Button,Telegram Boy (2016)
Book 31: Grandpa Was an Astronaut (2016)
Book 32: A Twist of Tales (2016)
Book 33: The Story of the Dancing Frog (2017)
Book 34: Blue John (2017)
Book 35: Henry Pond the Poet (2017)
Book 36: All About Ella (2017)
Book 37: Superdad’s Day Off (2017)
Book 38: Norman the Norman from Normandy (2017)
Book 39: Dread Cat (2017)
Book 40: The Ghost in Annie’s Room (2017)
Book 41: Nellie Choc-Ice, Penguin Explorer (2017)
Book 42: Mint Choc Chip at the Market Cafe (2017)
Book 43: I Killed Father Christmas (2017)
Book 44: We Are Not Frogs! (2018)
Book 45: Prambusters! (2018)
Book 46: The Great Telephone Mix-Up (Buster2018)
Book 47: Rose’s Dress of Dreams (2018)
Book 48: Mariella, Queen of the Skies (2018)
Book 49: Norman the Norman and the Very Small Duchess (2018)
Book 50: Grandpa Bet and the Ghost Snatchers (2018)
Book 51: Splash Day! (2018)
Book 52: Big Trouble for Nellie Choc-Ice (2018)
Book 53: The Unlucky Eleven (2019)
Book 54: Special Delivery (2019)
Book 55: Molly Rogers to the Rescue (2019)
Book 56: The Bakery of Happiness (2019)
Book 57:  Nellie Choc-Ice and the Plastic Island (2019)
Book 58: Sophie Takes to the Sky (2019)
Book 59: Clever Cakes (2020)
Book 60: Captain Whiskers (2020)
Book 61: Albert Johnson and the Buns of Steel (2021)
Book 62: Nappy the Pirate Baby (2021)
Book 63: Madam Speaker (2021)
Book 64: The Beach Puppy (2021)
Book 65: Tea Party Parade (20)21
Book 66: Elizabeth and the Box of Colours (20)22
Book 67: Supernan’s Day Out (2022)
Book 68: Dimple and the Boo (2022)
Book 69: Sidney Makes a Wish (2022)
Book 70: Carnival of the Clocks (2022)
Book 71: The Little Lost Kitten (2023)
Book 72: Sheep School (2023)
Book 73: Budgie (2023)
Book 74: Peggy Little-Legs (2023)
Book 75: The Ghost Cat Who Saved My Life (2023)
Book 76: Carrie and the Roller Boots (2023)
Book 77: Sidney and Carrie have a Party (2024)
Book 78: The Missing Bunny (2024)
Book 79: Lottie the Little Wonder (2024)
Book 80: Porkie Pies (2024)

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The Snake Who Came to Stay

Polly has set up a pets' holiday home for the summer and with a house full of greedy guinea pigs, pesky parrots and slit... MoreThe Snake Who Came to Stay

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 1
Book 1

Nellie Choc-Ice, Penguin Explorer

A hilarious Little Gem from Jeremy Strong, the master of comic writing for children, with character-packed illustration ... MoreNellie Choc-Ice, Penguin Explorer

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 2
Book 2

Big Trouble for Nellie Choc-Ice

Another hilarious Little Gem from Jeremy Strong, the master of comic writing for children, with character-packed illustr... MoreBig Trouble for Nellie Choc-Ice

(3 reviews)
Review
Book 3
Book 3

Nellie Choc-Ice and the Plastic Island

Nellie Choc-Ice (the greatest penguin explorer in the world!) and Jeremy Strong return to fight the scourge of plastic i... MoreNellie Choc-Ice and the Plastic Island

(4 reviews)
Review
Book 4
Book 4

Mr Birdsnest and the House Next Door

Beautifully packaged book from Children's Laureate, Julia Donaldson and illustrated by the wonderful Hannah Shaw. A ti... MoreMr Birdsnest and the House Next Door

(4 reviews)
Review
Book 5
Book 5

Go! Go! Chichico!

Without a pair of football boots, how will Chichico’s dreams ever come true? A brand new 4u2read edition of this uplifti... MoreGo! Go! Chichico!

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 6
Book 6

Cheesemares

Hal is determined to get to the bottom of his terrifying cheesemares in this hilarious comedy for younger readers from ... MoreCheesemares

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 7
Book 7

Stars of Mine

A King marries a poor girl after being told she can perform amazing feats with a spinning-wheel. But what will happen to... MoreStars of Mine

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 9
Book 9

My Friend's a Gris-Kwok

Mike had no idea that his best friend Alex was a Gris-Kwok - he can turn into any living creature he chooses. But so can... MoreMy Friend's a Gris-Kwok

(5 reviews)
Review
Book 10
Book 10

Snug

A great countryside story from a master of the animal tale. Lisa and her cat Snug are inseparable…until the day Snug dis... MoreSnug

(6 reviews)
Review
Book 11
Book 11

The Castle in the Field

A great countryside tale. Chris, Lisa and Tom love their hide-out – but it has to stay a secret from the farmer who owns... MoreThe Castle in the Field

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 12
Book 12

The First Third Wish

A whimsical and charming fairytale. Newly-qualified fairy Cobweb is on a mission – she has lost a wish and must get it b... MoreThe First Third Wish

(3 reviews)
Review
Book 13
Book 13

Minikid

A beautifully illustrated and delightful countryside story. At school they call him Bullet, but Chris and Lisa call him ... MoreMinikid

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 14
Book 14

Blamehounds

A hilariously wacky read from author/illustrator Ross Collins. Whenever there's a pong, poo or puddle that can't be expl... MoreBlamehounds

(1 review)
Review
Book 15
Book 15

Sea Urchins and Sand Pigs

A delightful story from a top author. With treasure trails, dune pigs and the occasional visiting mermaid, there's never... MoreSea Urchins and Sand Pigs

(5 reviews)
Review
Book 16
Book 16

Skulduggery

A swashbuckling adventure from TV star Tony Robinson. Ben arrives at pirate school ready and raring to go – but instead ... MoreSkulduggery

(1 review)
Review
Book 17
Book 17

Good Dog Lion

A beautiful, heartwarming story set in Africa about a young boy and his yearning for a pet dog. From internationally bes... MoreGood Dog Lion

(2 reviews)
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Book 18
Book 18

The Bad Trousers

A charming birthday story about one boy and his Granny's awful knitting, with artwork by Katie Morag creator Mairi Hedde... MoreThe Bad Trousers

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 19
Book 19

The Fish in the Bathtub

Heartwarming story set in post-war Poland. Little Lucja's Grandpa Feliks has seen off the German army, and the Communist... MoreThe Fish in the Bathtub

(1 review)
Review
Book 20
Book 20

The Big Fib

A charming story set on a Scottish island about one boy and a fib that gets out of control...Robbie's been spending lots... MoreThe Big Fib

(1 review)
Review
Book 21
Book 21

The Rats of Meadowsweet Farm

Animal Farm meets Shaun the Sheep in this darkly funny story from award-winning Dick King-Smith with full colour artwork... MoreThe Rats of Meadowsweet Farm

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 22
Book 22

The Monster from the Blue Planet

Hugely fun space adventure from international bestseller Cornelia Funke, with full colour illustrations by award-winning... MoreThe Monster from the Blue Planet

(7 reviews)
Review
Book 23
Book 23

Monster Busters

A mad-cap, thrilling monster adventure - with extra monsters! Fun and quirky tale from Inkheart author Cornelia Funke.... MoreMonster Busters

(4 reviews)
Review
Book 24
Book 24

Mary's Hair

Horrid Henry meets Mrs Doyle in this riotous comedy from Irish Laureate Eoin Colfer – now with full colour artwork. High... MoreMary's Hair

(5 reviews)
Review
Book 25
Book 25

Joe and the Dragonosaurus

Charming countryside tale about the bond between children and animals, perfect for younger fans of Michael Morpurgo. Hig... MoreJoe and the Dragonosaurus

(1 review)
Review
Book 26
Book 26

The Smile

Josh has a problem. There's a new little person in the house, his baby brother Charlie. It's supposed to be a happy thin... MoreThe Smile

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 27
Book 27

Ted Rules the World

Ted thinks there's something fishy going on. Ever since his birthday when he got a special loyalty card at the local sho... MoreTed Rules the World

(4 reviews)
Review
Book 28
Book 28

The Gingerbread Star

Little Hetty dreams of being a glow-worm instead of a boring old grey worm. She wants a light of her own so she can glow... MoreThe Gingerbread Star

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 29
Book 29

Grey Island, Red Boat

A jewel of a book illustrated throughout in silhouette and colour by award-winning Ian Beck (Tom Trueheart). Pictures an... MoreGrey Island, Red Boat

(1 review)
Review
Book 30
Book 30

Out for the Count

A funny and thought-provoking Little Gem from national treasure Anne Fine, with sensitive and charming artwork by up-and... MoreOut for the Count

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 31
Book 31

Anna Liza and the Happy Practice

Anna Liza likes to help cheer up her mother's psychiatric patients with her 17 top knock-knock jokes and cheerful songs,... MoreAnna Liza and the Happy Practice

(6 reviews)
Review
Book 32
Book 32

Billy Button, Telegram Boy

When Charlie the telegram boy breaks his leg and can't ride his bicycle, Billy Button sees his chance. He has always wan... MoreBilly Button, Telegram Boy

(3 reviews)
Review
Book 33
Book 33

Grandpa Was an Astronaut

Grandparents take centre stage in this charming tale as a young boy and his grandfather let their imaginations take flig... MoreGrandpa Was an Astronaut

(9 reviews)
Review
Book 34
Book 34

The Moonshine Dragon

Absolutely delightful Little Gem favourite, now with full-colour illustrations. A perfectly pitched story of moonshine m... MoreThe Moonshine Dragon

(3 reviews)
Review
Book 35
Book 35

A Twist of Tales

Children's books superstar Julia Donaldson retells a trio of charming tales from across the world in a stunning full-col... MoreA Twist of Tales

(5 reviews)
Review
Book 36
Book 36

Blue John

A spell-binding tale of magic and mysticism for young readers that explores the wonder of nature, from award-winning Ber... MoreBlue John

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 37
Book 37

The Story of the Dancing Frog

Wonderful, witty and wise, this classic Quentin Blake tale will warm hearts of the young and old alike in a gorgeous new... MoreThe Story of the Dancing Frog

(6 reviews)
Review
Book 38
Book 38

All About Ella

Sam is sick, and Ella is sick of Sam. Life seems to revolve around his hospital appointments, his medication and his n... MoreAll About Ella

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 39
Book 39

Henry Pond the Poet

Henry Pond is a toad who is also a poet. His gift is an uncommon one, his poems sweep the prize table at the Eistoadfod ... MoreHenry Pond the Poet

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 40
Book 40

Superdad's Day Off

A lovely celebration of father–son bonds and the importance of family, wrapped up in a wonderful extraordinary story tha... MoreSuperdad's Day Off

(9 reviews)
Review
Book 41
Book 41

Norman the Norman from Normandy

Little Norman the Norman from Normandy loves fighting. All Normans do. When he inherits the broad sword that belonged ... MoreNorman the Norman from Normandy

(3 reviews)
Review
Book 42
Book 42

Dread Cat

Witty, lively and full of fun, this cat-and-mouse tale from a former Children’s Laureate is sure to delight young reader... MoreDread Cat

(5 reviews)
Review
Book 43
Book 43

The Ghost in Annie's Room

At Great Aunt Win's house, Emma is happy to sleep in her cousin Annie's old attic bedroom. But when bedtime comes she ... MoreThe Ghost in Annie's Room

(1 review)
Review
Book 44
Book 44

Mint Choc Chip at the Market Cafe

A gorgeous new Little Gem from Jonathan Meres (World of Norm), inspired by his father’s 50 years as a market trader, and... MoreMint Choc Chip at the Market Cafe

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 45
Book 45

I Killed Father Christmas

A delightfully witty and tender-hearted Christmas story like none other, introducing a unique author and illustrator col... MoreI Killed Father Christmas

(4 reviews)
Review
Book 46
Book 46

We Are Not Frogs!

Children’s literature legend Michael Morpurgo teams up with illustration star Sam Usher for a rollicking countryside adv... MoreWe Are Not Frogs!

(3 reviews)
Review
Book 47
Book 47

PramBusters!

A funny and charming Little Gem from national treasure Anne Fine, with beautiful artwork by illustration star Vicki Gaus... MorePramBusters!

(3 reviews)
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Book 48
Book 48

Rose's Dress of Dreams

Inspired by the life of Rose Bertin, Katherine Woodfine’s stunning Little Gem is written with an evocative sense of peri... MoreRose's Dress of Dreams

(6 reviews)
Review
Book 49
Book 49

The Great Telephone Mix-Up

When the village wires get crossed after a storm, there's a lot of confusion and plenty of missed connections. Margaret ... MoreThe Great Telephone Mix-Up

(5 reviews)
Review
Book 50
Book 50

Mariella, Queen of the Skies

Super-smart inventor Mariella doesn’t have time for sleep in this funny and life-affirming gem from award-winning belove... MoreMariella, Queen of the Skies

(10 reviews)
Review
Book 51
Book 51

Norman the Norman and the Very Small Duchess

Norman the Norman is at it again! And this time the Duchess of Normandy is determined that her William should have littl... MoreNorman the Norman and the Very Small Duchess

(1 review)
Review
Book 52
Book 52

Grandpa Bert and the Ghost Snatchers

A pleasingly absurd caper where kids outwit crooks, ghost are let out of the bag, and grandparents refuse to behave! Fro... MoreGrandpa Bert and the Ghost Snatchers

(1 review)
Review
Book 53
Book 53

Splash Day!

A fun and colourful rhyming tale from one of the UKs most beloved author-illustrators, Nick Sharratt. Splish, ... MoreSplash Day!

(14 reviews)
Review
Book 54
Book 54

The Unlucky Eleven

A fun football tale for little readers packed with laughs, friendship and a spot of superstition … Ridiculous ... MoreThe Unlucky Eleven

(1 review)
Review
Book 55
Book 55

Special Delivery

A mix-up with memory leads to an unlikely friendship in this gorgeous Little Gem exploring dementia and the importance o... MoreSpecial Delivery

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 56
Book 56

Molly Rogers to the Rescue

Cornelia Funke and illustrator Kasia Matyjaszek return with another swashbuckling adventure for little readers, bursting... MoreMolly Rogers to the Rescue

(4 reviews)
Review
Book 57
Book 57

The Bakery of Happiness

Award-winning author–illustrator Ian Beck spreads joy in Paris with this charming tale of love and delicious baked goods... MoreThe Bakery of Happiness

(1 review)
Review
Book 58
Book 58

Sophie Takes to the Sky

Take flight with a truly inspirational tale of courage and self-belief, inspired by the incredible life of Sophie Blanch... MoreSophie Takes to the Sky

(17 reviews)
Review
Book 59
Book 59

Clever Cakes

Two super-smart kids triumph in these perfectly packaged tales with a twist from multi-award-winning and bestselling aut... MoreClever Cakes

(5 reviews)
Review
Book 60
Book 60

Captain Whiskers

A furry, funny and very cute Little Gem that’s full of heart from King of Comedy Jeremy Strong Cats in the bat... MoreCaptain Whiskers

(11 reviews)
Review
Book 61
Book 61

Albert Johnson and the Buns of Steel

A baking nightmare makes for slapstick comedy gold in this hilarious Little Gem from a bestselling author and illustrato... MoreAlbert Johnson and the Buns of Steel

(3 reviews)
Review
Book 62
Book 62

Nappy the Pirate Baby

A motley crew of pirates take to parenthood in this whimsical Little Gem from Alan MacDonald, author of the bestselling ... MoreNappy the Pirate Baby

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 63
Book 63

Madam Squeaker

A little mouse searches for the courage to save her home and make her squeak heard, in this touching Little Gem from the... MoreMadam Squeaker

(11 reviews)
Review
Book 64
Book 64

The Beach Puppy

Worldwide bestseller Holly Webb makes her Barrington Stoke debut with a truly adorable sausage dog tale! Ruby’... MoreThe Beach Puppy

(13 reviews)
Review
Book 65
Book 65

Tea Party Parade

Illustration superstar Nick Sharratt adds another bright and bold early reader to the bestselling Little Gems list. ... MoreTea Party Parade

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 66
Book 66

Elisabeth and the Box of Colours

Painting brings joy in a moment of grief in this moving and ultimately uplifting story inspired by the childhood of Fren... MoreElisabeth and the Box of Colours

(4 reviews)
Review
Book 67
Book 67

Supernan's Day Out

An unexpected family secret has hilarious consequences in this action-packed story from Phil Earle and illustrator Steve... MoreSupernan's Day Out

(16 reviews)
Review
Book 68
Book 68

Dimple and the Boo

Dimple the gnome is upset and he doesn’t know how to talk about it – but then along comes the Boo … A charm... MoreDimple and the Boo

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 69
Book 69

Sidney Makes a Wish

Friendship appears where it’s least expected in this heartwarming Little Gem from bestselling and award-winning author L... MoreSidney Makes a Wish

(10 reviews)
Review
Book 70
Book 70

Carnival of the Clocks

Superstar illustrator Nick Sharratt takes inspiration from a celebration of the winter solstice in this charming and col... MoreCarnival of the Clocks

(1 review)
Review
Book 71
Book 71

The Little Lost Kitten

An adorable stray kitten might be just what Lucy and her dad need in this gentle and heartwarming animal story from worl... MoreThe Little Lost Kitten

(14 reviews)
Review
Book 72
Book 72

Sheep School

A thwarted thespian must use his talents to save his flock from a woolly situation in this hilarious gem from bestsellin... MoreSheep School

(2 reviews)
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Book 73
Book 73

Budgie

A missing budgie inspires an unlikely friendship between a young boy and his elderly neighbour in this touc... MoreBudgie

(12 reviews)
Review
Book 74
Book 74

Superdad and Supernan to the Rescue

Two laugh-out-loud superhero stories by award-winning author Phil Earle, now available in one action-packed bundle. ... MoreSuperdad and Supernan to the Rescue

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 75
Book 75

Peggy Little-Legs

A sausage dog discovers that, despite being small, she has strengths of her very own in this adorable gem from bestselli... MorePeggy Little-Legs

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 76
Book 76

The Ghost Cat Who Saved My Life

Mysterious miaowing from the empty flat upstairs sets Liam and Sav on a quest to find the ghost cat in this charming gem... MoreThe Ghost Cat Who Saved My Life

(1 review)
Review
Book 77
Book 77

Carrie and the Roller Boots

Sidney and Carrie return in this uplifting Little Gem by award-winning author Lisa Thompson as Carrie embarks on a missi... MoreCarrie and the Roller Boots

(0 reviews)
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Book 78
Book 78

Sidney and Carrie Have a Party

Sidney and Carrie’s friendship is being put to the test. Can Lisa Thompson’s uplifting duo learn to comprom... MoreSidney and Carrie Have a Party

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 79
Book 79

The Missing Bunny

Can Annie find her missing bunny before it’s caught by the neighbourhood fox? A gentle and heartwarming ani... MoreThe Missing Bunny

(13 reviews)
Review
Book 80
Book 80

Lottie the Little Wonder

Lottie Dod leads the way to sporting victory in this inspiring Little Gem from bestselling author Katherine... MoreLottie the Little Wonder

(9 reviews)
Review
Book 81
Book 81

Porky Pies

The pig who cried wolf finally gets his comeuppance in this hilarious gem from bestselling author Ross Mont... MorePorky Pies

(2 reviews)
Review
Book 82
Book 82

Gruff Justice

(0 reviews)
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