Nevermoor is the first in an enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend. Morrigan Crow is cursed after she was born on the unluckiest day, Eventide, and she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks. Worst of all, it means she is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. As she awaits her fate, a mysterious man called Jupiter North appears and whisks her way to the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. There she finds out that she has been chosen to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate. With a fresh new take on magic, Nevermoor is perfect for fans of Harry Potter looking for a new series to take them into an extraordinary world.
A true classic, Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree has been entertaining children for generations, having celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. When Joe, Beth and Frannie climb up to the top of the Faraway Tree, they meet Silky, Moon-Face and the Saucepan Man. Their new friends show them an exciting secret, how to visit lots of strange and magical lands, where they have many thrilling adventures. Whether they’re exploring the Land of Do-As-You-Please or the Land of Tempers, readers will delight in the beautiful illustrations. With three other books in the series, there are plenty more adventures to discover and they are perfect for encouraging younger children to read independently.
If your little ones enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon then they’ll love Cressida Cowell’s exciting new high-adventure series. Set in an ancient, magical time full of Wizards, Warriors, Giants and Sprites, Cressida Cowell’s new book The Wizards of Once tells the story of Xar and Wish who belong to opposing tribes, the Warriors and the Wizards. However, they must forget their differences in order to make it to the dungeons at Warrior Fort where something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring. A captivating quest interspersed with Cressida’s magical illustrations; The Wizards of Once is filled with magic, mischief and mayhem!
If there’s anyone who can create an extraordinary fantasy world, it’s Terry Pratchett! A collection of fourteen children’s short stories written by a young Terry Pratchett, The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner introduces us to a cast of quirky characters. In one story Mr Swimble is having a bad day. Rabbits are bouncing out of his hat, pigeons are flying out of his jacket and every time he points his finger, something magically appears – cheese sandwiches, socks, even a small yellow elephant on wheels! It’s becoming a real nuisance and he’s allergic to rabbits. His friends at the Magic Rectangle can’t help, but the mysterious vacuum cleaner he saw that morning may have something to do with it. Brimming with Terry Pratchett’s zany sense of humour, wit and remarkable imagination, The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner is a fantastic book to read with little ones at bed time.
A timeless classic, J. R. R. Tolkien originally wrote The Hobbit for his own children in 1937 and it’s continued to delight children for generations since. The Hobbit tells the unforgettable story of Bilbo, a peace-loving hobbit, who embarks on a strange and magical adventure. Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home; then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services, as a burglar on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo’s life is never to be the same again. A charming fantasy featuring dragons, elves, dwarves and many more magical beings, The Hobbit is a must read for older children who enjoy adventure stories.
If your little ones were swept away by Mary Poppins the musical on screen or stage then they’ll love reading the series of short stories by P. L. Travers. When their new nanny, Mary Poppins, arrives on a gust of the East Wind, greets their mother, and slides up the banister, Jane and Michael’s lives are turned magically upside down. In each book Mary takes the children on extraordinary outings: to a fun fair inside a pavement picture; to visit Uncle Andrew who floats up to the ceiling when he laughs; on a spectacular trip to see the Man-in-the-Moon! With her strict but fair, no-nonsense attitude, combined with amazing magical powers, things are never straightforward with Mary Poppins! The Mary Poppins stories are brimming with bizarre and hilarious moments that will make you and you little ones laugh. They’re simply supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Fans of fantasy adventure stories involving dragons will love Cornelia Funke’s Dragon Rider. Firedrake, a brave young dragon, his loyal brownie friend Sorrel and a lonely boy called Ben embark on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace for ever. Along the way, they discover extraordinary new friends and a courage they never knew they had. Meanwhile the greatest enemy of all, a heartless monster from the past who’s been waiting a very long time to destroy the last dragons on earth, is never far behind them. A thoroughly enjoyable tale bursting with magical creatures and loveable characters, Dragon Rider is a fantastic book with a poignant message that good always overpowers evil.
It wouldn’t be a list of magical kids’ books without J.K Rowling’s hugely popular Harry Potter series. The story of the Boy Who Lived, Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news. When Harry Potter discovers he is a wizard and has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he embarks on an epic, magical adventure across seven books to defeat the Dark Lord. The Harry Potter books have captured the hearts and imaginations of all ages and we’re sure they will continue to do so for many more generations.
Generations have grown up with Roald Dahl’s weird and wonderful tales and each book could happily live in this list but the BFG is one of his most magical. On a dark, silvery moonlit night, Sophie is snatched from her bed in an orphange by a giant. Luckily it is the Big Friendly Giant, the BFG. He is no ordinary bone-crunching giant, he only eats snozzcumbers and glugs frobscottle. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, the Bonecruncher, or any of the other giants-rather than the BFG, she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that they are flush-bunking off in England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all with the help of the BFG. An incredible adventure from a master storyteller riddled with Roald Dahl’s signature quirky vocabulary, the BFG will keep little ones giggling for days.
A fabulous rhyming picture book from Amy Sparkes, Ellie’s Magic Wellies is ideal for reading aloud to children before bed. Ellie Pengelly is fed up and bored until she gets a pair of Magical new wellies! When Ellie goes out to explore in her new wellies, she jumps into a puddle but something jumps out! When the strange Flibberty-Gibberty starts juggling with jam, guzzling and gobbling food and squeezing toothpaste, he makes quite a mess and it’s a race against time to clean it all up before Ellie’s mum gets home. Action-packed storytelling perfectly paired with Nick East’s lively illustrations, Ellie’s Magic Wellies is a wonderful book and children will love the Flibberty-Gibberty!
Older children will be enchanted by Philip Pullman’s extraordinary world in the His Dark Materials trilogy. The astounding story moves between parallel universes. Beginning in Oxford, it takes Lyra and her animal-daemon Pantalaimon on a dangerous rescue mission to the ice kingdoms of the far North, where she begins to learn about the mysterious particles they call Dust – a substance for which terrible war between different worlds will be fought. An epic, all-absorbing fantasy adventure with a memorable cast of characters, Philip Pullman’s trilogy provides a thrilling escape to another, more magical world. Plus there’s the film of the first book, The Golden Compass to look forward to after reading it and there’s a prequel to Northern Lights, Book of Dust, coming out later this year!
The second book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S Lewis is another classic that has been drawing readers of all ages into a magical land for over sixty years. When four adventurous siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, they find a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change and a great adventure. A charming fantasy, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a great book to read aloud to little ones or for older children to enjoy independently – just don’t be surprised if they go looking for Narnia in their wardrobe after finishing it!
Passionate about children’s literacy, footballer Frank Lampard has written a series of children’s books, Frankie’s Magic Football, to inspire young girls and boys to read. Frankie and his team love playing football. There’s always time for a game , especially during the summer holidays! Frankie and his friends can’t believe it when the magic football sends them back in time to a boarding school whilst they’re supposed to be on holiday! There they meet George, the previous owner of their magic football. His brother got lost when they were on a desert island adventure and Frankie has been tasked to help him find some buried treasure. Frankie’s Magic Football combines sport and fantasy to tell an entertaining, fun and imaginative story alongside colourful illustrations.