It’s an Avocado Baby….

It’s a new year rich with potential. More popup school book fairs, writers and picture book makers await. Gift book subscriptions increase. Bookwagon is excited by new children’s books just waiting to be discovered.

Bookwagon gift book subscription selection

During the break, we’ve read devotedly. This includes Jolabokaflud, naturally, with only one slip into adult books- like so many others, Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming‘-  (“Now I think it is one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child- What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.” – Michelle Obama, ‘Becoming’)

Reading children’s books fulfils me. Titles such as the Costa winner The Skylarks’ War, amongst so many others confirm my place in the world. There is nuance, experience, and inspiration in so many children’s books we read, love and share with you. What about some new children’s books?

    The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay
Come Away from the Water Shirley

It’s exciting to discover new children’s books by new writers that we want to share. I begin with Amber Lee Dodd. This former bookseller, created Lightning Chase Me Home. Darkmuir, a remote Scottish island is the setting. Local legend has it that wishes made at Serpent’s Tooth Rock on an eleventh birthday have the power to come true. What if that wish might be the ‘wrong’ wish?

Serpent’s Tooth Rock? (Split Apple Rock, NZ)

I  look forward to the second book by Ewa Jozefkowicz. I love the assurance and richness of The Mystery of the Colour Thief. While Izzy’s mother fights to recover from an accident, Izzy’s recovery from this trauma plays on her sensibilities. Izzy aligns a cygnet’s survival to her own.

          The Mystery of the Colour Thief
Oi! Get Off Our Train

We offer new children’s books by familiar writers. Andersen Press has reissued Berlie Doherty’s superb Treason. King Henry selects William Montague as page to his infant heir, Prince Edward. It’s an esteemed and envied position, but it comes at a cost, especially for a boy from a Catholic family.

I counted down the days until the release of the third book by Bookwagon favourite Lisa Thompson. The Day I Was Erased is a clever, empathetic story. Maxwell is up to his neck in trouble. When he goes one step too far, his wish to disappear sparks a dilemma…

The Day I Was Erased by Lisa Thompson


Mr Bookwagon reached Lucy Strange’s  Our Castle By The Sea, sequel to her bestselling début, The Secret of Nightingale Wood ahead of me. With the arrival of war, Petra’s lighthouse home is a target for saboteurs and spies. Petra fights to unearth treachery and save her family.


The Way to the Zoo

One of our most popular titles is  Bigfoot, Tobin & Me.  The Truth About Martians, Melissa Savage’s follow up, is entirely different. In Roswell, after WWII, strange noises and discoveries set about a sinister investigation.

  The Truth About Martians by Melissa Savage

South Shields is the setting for Ross Welford’s stories. They feature loving family relationships. Yet, that is where the similarities end. Georgie and best friend Ramzy are up to their necks in poop chutes and peaches. A mysterious visitor selects them for her futuristic research, at the same time as an incurable canine plague devastates in The Dog Who Saved the World.

            The Dog Who Saved the World 


Mr Gumpy’s Outing

We are building a rich range of non-fiction.

         A Cat’s Guide to the Night Sky

News from the New Horizons expedition that past into the Kuiper Belt awes. We are fascinated by images from China’s exploration of the far side of the moon.  A Cat’s Guide to the Night Sky is a relevant, thorough and brilliantly set work ideal for children and their adults.

I spent ages reading and rereading  How Does A Lighthouse Work? How little I knew! Did you know that every lighthouse along the same coastline has different patterns and signals that each is identifiable from sea?

           How Does a Lighthouse Work?

The Colours of History is a captivating information book investigating the development, application and use of colour. It is engrossing!

Families and schools are recommended the outstanding Stories for Kids Who Dare to Be Different. I have shared so many wonderful histories included in this splendid book!

  Stories for Kids Who Dare to be Different
Borka: The Adventures of a Goose with No Feathers

So many of the books that we sell are rich with empathy. Books offer comfort, contemplation, recognition and time for reflection.

New children’s books that sound a trumpet of empathy, include The Hug. Even the most awkward, the seemingly  most ‘unloveable’, need a hug!   I’ll Love You is a glorious bedtime story, bonding, loving story to which I’m deeply attached.

             I’ll Love You

Last year’s breakthrough picture book, Julian is a Mermaid ruffled (boa) feathers and captivated in equal measure. Yet its subject and delivery is extended in the heartbreaking and wonderful Jerome By Heart. This book makes me ache!

          Jerome By Heart
Where’s Julius?

The late, incomparable picture book maker, John Burningham said, ‘I don’t worry about ideas running out. I worry about time running out.’ 

            Would You Rather?

Forming Bookwagon, was a risk. Yet, I burn with children’s books and children’s reading.

Queues and recommendations of overly familiar titles by overly familiar and often long-dead children’s writers defeat creativity and opportunity. Bargain and bulk packaged books, and Marie Kondo recommendations to ‘bin’ books are disheartening. Yet, there is a groundswell of understanding that it’s ‘Time to Get Out of the Bath, Shirley’ and act more responsibly.

Seeking and supporting new children’s books by the wealth of great writers is vital. Choosing ‘forever’ books, titles that are meaningful and build us as readers and citizens, is imperative.

      New year, new children’s books

Feedback from our customers is very welcome. We invite you to share your responses to Bookwagon titles books you and your family have read.

Several customers suggested we include a snapshot from new titles. Subsequently, each of our new titles now offers a taster page to help your selection.

Further, we have included a tag of ‘empathy’ within our tag cloud. It is a consideration for many in their reading choices.

The Hug by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar

We are extending and updating our offers more frequently. Current offers include discounts on Ross Welford’s first three wonderful titles. They will be updated next week to include new offers.

The Shopping Basket
   John Burningham (Guardian Newspapers)

John Burningham has been a constant picture book maker throughout my life. I have much loved copies of ‘Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car’, ‘John Patrick Norman McHennessy: The Boy Who Was Always Late‘. I taught money through ‘The Shopping Basket’, colour mixing through ‘Cloudland’. ‘Whadayamean’ supported environmental science. I bought my mother ‘England‘ and ‘France’ (adult titles) and have them now.

Once John Burningham was a new writer of new children’s books. He was admitted to Central School of Art’s graphic design and illustration course despite failing A-level art. People read his works, shared them and loved them. They have become family and school staples beloved by so many. John Burningham will be missed. He said:- ‘No-one will ever know what absorption is going on with a small child. So we need to give them wonderful things.’ New children’s books, opportunity, choice and quality….

Happy reading!