2020 Playground Buzz Books

With so many brilliant new books in 2020 we're giving you the lowdown on what will be causing a buzz in the playground this Autumn.  From  favourites like Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Book 15!) and Robin Steven's final novel in the Murder Most Unladylike series, to newcomers like the heroic Captain Sir Tom Moore's picture book One Hundred Steps and Adam Kay's first children's book Kay's Anatomy, to name a few.

Wild Symphony by Dan Brown, Susan Batori (Illustrator)

Travel through the trees and across the seas with Maestro Mouse and his musical friends! Young readers will meet a big blue whale and speedy cheetahs, tiny beetles and graceful swans. Each has a special secret to share. Children and adults can enjoy this timeless picture book as a traditional read-along, or can choose to listen to original musical compositions as they read-one for each animal-using a free interactive smartphone app which uses augmented reality to instantly play the appropriate song for each page when the camera of a mobile device is held over it.

Jonathan the Magic Pony by Stuart Heritage, Nicola Slater (Illustrator)

Jonathan the Magic Pony is a BRILLIANT magician. With one wave of his wand, he can make anything disappear. And then come back again. It's fool-proof. Failsafe. Always works. Except... when Jonathan magics away Sarah's bear, it doesn't come back! And every wave of his wand causes even more chaos, with:

Sharks chasing ducks
Baboons with giant wooden spoons
Chimpanzees covered in fleas

But Sarah's bear is nowhere to be seen!

Wild Cities by Ben Lerwill, Harriet Hobday (Illustrator)

Picture a city. What do you see? Traffic and towering buildings? Or maybe you imagine something a little . . . wilder?These are the astonishing stories of the animals who are adapting to live in our urban world - and how you can help them to thrive. From the pitter-patter of penguins in Cape Town, to the prowl of a leopard in Mumbai, the splash of a seal in Sydney, cities are home to all sorts of unexpected residents. Keep your eyes wide open as as we travel the globe discovering wild cities.

Captain Sir Tom Moore One Hundred Steps by Captain Sir Tom Moore, Adam Larkin (Illustrator)

This is an inspirational picture book, published in support of the creation of the Captain Tom Foundation, which tells the incredible story of the man who walked 100 laps of his garden and captured the heart of a nation. Fully illustrated for younger readers, and following the key moments from Captain Tom's incredible life, the book shows what is possible when we come together and never, ever give up.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End (Book 15) by Jeff Kinney

Greg Heffley and his family hit the road for a cross-country camping trip, ready for the adventure of a lifetime. But things take an unexpected turn, and they find themselves stranded at an RV park that's not exactly a summertime paradise. When the skies open up and the water starts to rise, the Heffleys wonder if they can save their vacation - or if they're already in too deep.

Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney

From the imagination of Wimpy Kid's Rowley Jefferson comes an adventure of epic proportions! Join Roland and his best friend, Garg the Barbarian, as they leave the safety of their village and embark on a quest to save Roland's mum from the White Warlock. Will our heroes survive? Find out in Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure!

And don't miss Rowley Jefferson's first book, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal.

The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch by Tom Fletcher, Shane Devries

Written by multi-talented author Tom Fletcher, the sequel to his instant classic The Christmasaurus is finally here. It doesn't get much cooler than the North Pole, dinosaurs and a Winter Witch playing around with time . . . and it's all brought to life with detailed illustrations throughout.

 

Kay's Anatomy: A Complete (and Completely Disgusting) Guide to the Human Body by Adam Kay

Do you ever think about your body and how it all works? Like really properly think about it? The human body is extraordinary and fascinating and, well . . . pretty weird. Yours is weird, mine is weird, your maths teacher's is even weirder. This book is going to tell you what's actually going on in there, and answer the really important questions. So sit back, relax, put on some rubber gloves, and let a doctor take you on a poo (and puke) filled tour of your insides. Welcome to Kay's Anatomy*.

*a fancy word for your body. See, you're learning already.

The Danger Gang by Tom Fletcher, Shane Devries (Illustrator)

Franky can't wait to move to his new town - although he wishes he didn't have to leave his best friend Dani behind. But everything changes after the storm, when strange green lightning and powerful thunder crash down on the town. From that night on, the kids who live on Franky's street start to change. One by one, they become a little odd. A little unusual. A little... magical. Franky's always wanted to be part of an amazing gang - just like his hero, super-spy Zack Danger! And soon, he realises that there's real danger in store for himself and his new friends. And so the Danger Gang is born...

The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke, Ayesha L. Rubio (Illustrator)

In the autumn of 1886, Elinora Gassbeek, matron of the Little Tulip Orphanage discovers five new babies in most extraordinary circumstances:

One in a tin toolbox.
One in a coal bucket.
One in a picnic hamper.
One in a wheat sack.
And finally, one in a coffin-shaped basket.

Those babies were Lotta, Egbert, Fenna, Sem and Milou. Growing up together, these five children know their individuality is what makes them so special - and so determined to stay together.  But is their real home - and their real family - already closer than they realise?

The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo, Benji Davies (Illustrator)

It was Benjamin Postlethwaite's job all his long life to make sure the light shone brightly high up in the lighthouse on Puffin Island. Not once in all his years as the lighthouse keeper had he ever let his light go out. But sometimes even the brightest light on a lighthouse cannot save a ship.

This is a story of a life-changing friendship, a lost puffin, and a lonely artist. It's the story of an entire lifetime, and how one event can change a life forever.

The Witches 2020 by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake

This new edition includes a never before seen chapter written by Roald Dahl! There are witches EVERYWHERE. Witches could be a cashier in a supermarket, a woman driving a fancy car, or even your own teacher. The only thing a witch cares about is squelching children. She hunts and squelches as many children as she possibly can. At least one a week.

The Grand High Witch hates children most of all and plans to make every single one of YOU disappear.Only one boy and his grandmother can stop her. But if their plan fails, the Grand High Witch will frizzle them like fritters, and then what will happen? Soon to be a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring ANNE HATHAWAY, OCTAVIA SPENCER, STANLEY TUCCI and CHRIS ROCK, coming in October 2021.

The Puffin Book of Big Dreams by Various

Stories to spark your imagination in this beautiful collection of stories, poems and illustrations to celebrate Puffin's 80th birthday! A brand new anthology featuring extracts from classic family favourites AND brand new stories about BIG dreams from Puffin's best-loved and exciting new authors and illustrators.

Love Frankie by Jacqueline Wilson, Nick Sharratt (Illustrator)

Frankie is nearly fourteen and teenage life certainly comes with its ups and downs. Her mum is seriously ill with MS and Frankie can feel herself growing up quickly, no thanks to Sally and her gang of bullies at school. When Sally turns out to be not-so-mean after all, they strike up a friendship and are suddenly spending all of their time together. But soon Frankie starts to wonder about the feelings she has for Sally. She doesn't want Sally to just be her friend. She wants her to be her girlfriend. But does Sally feel the same?

Murder Most Unladylike - Death Sets Sail by Robin Stevens

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are in Egypt, taking a cruise along the Nile. They are hoping to see some ancient temples and a mummy or two; what they get, instead, is murder. Also travelling on the SS Hatshepsut is a mysterious society called the Breath of Life: a group of genteel English ladies and gentlemen, who believe themselves to be reincarnations of the ancient pharaohs. Three days into the cruise their leader is found dead in her cabin, stabbed during the night. It soon becomes clear to Daisy and Hazel that the victim's timid daughter is being framed - and they begin to investigate their final and most difficult case yet.

Frostheart 2: Escape from Aurora by Jamie Littler

Ash and the rest of the Frostheart's brave crew have finally arrived at the majestic stronghold of Aurora - and Ash's mind is blown. It's an extraordinary place - unlike anything he's ever seen - and he can't wait to solve the next clue that will lead him to his parents. But it's quickly clear that even Aurora isn't safe for Song Weavers. A fanatical Pathfinder captain has turned the city against Ash and his kind - and it's not long before the Frostheart has to make another break for freedom. But when a vicious Wraith attack leaves Ash, Lunah, Rook and Tobu stranded on the ice, they will have to use all their strength and cunning to reach safety....

My Mood Journal by Fearne Cotton

Have you ever felt...Sad... Happy... Angry... Lonely... Worried... Scared... Excited? Or several of these moods all at once? Emotions might seem big and complex - but the more we understand them, the better we can become at managing them. Say hello to all of these moods in MY MOOD JOURNAL, a customisable activity book divided into seven colourful and fully illustrated chapters and packed full of interactive exercises, practical tips and notes from Fearne herself that give children the tools to understand and articulate their emotions. This is the perfect toolkit for children looking to explore their emotions and build confidence in communicating their feelings.

Little Badman and the Time-travelling Teacher of Doom by Humza Arshad, Henry White

'You've probably heard of me, right? Little Badman. No? Oh. Well . . . doesn't Matter. You will do one day. I'm gonna be big.' I'm Humza Khan, the greatest eleven-year-old rapper Eggington ever had. I've also faced deadly alien slugs, killer aunties and double maths. But now, I (and my best friend Umer I guess) face something even scarier - my dad! He's pretty fed up with us being naughty, so he's sending us away . . . to school. But this is not ordinary school. This is a special summer school in Pakistan, and man something weird is going on - someone has been messing with time! I may have to save the world again . . .

Into the Spotlight by Carrie Hope Fletcher

Great Aunt Maud visits seasides the world over and has become quite the pebble collector. Pebbles of all shapes, sizes and colours and even one that looked a bit like Elvis Presley if you held it up to the light and squinted a bit. Her favourite pebbles, however, are Marigold, Margot and MorrisOne by one, and by strange and unusual ways, each child arrives at the stage door of Great Aunt Maud's theatre in the heart of London. They spend their summer holidays backstage with an extraordinary cast of theatre acts - Dante the miraculous magician, Petunia the storyteller and seventy-year-old contortionists - the Fortune Sisters! One day, as they are exploring the many nooks and crannies of the theatre, they stumble upon something they were never meant to find . . .

The Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle

A stunning modern reimagining of Charles Dickens' beloved classic, A Christmas Carol.

George is about to spend his third Christmas without his mum. Since she died, George's life has felt dull and grey; his dad has thrown himself into his work and has no time for family, and definitely no time for Christmas. Then, George stumbles across Marley's Curiosity Shop. There he finds a mysterious snow globe, which - though George can't quite understand how - appears to show a scene from George's past. A Christmas in which he and his family were together, and happy...That night, George and his dad are swept on an adventure to three Christmases - past, present, and future. With help from new friends, and just a touch of magic, can they begin living life in full colour again?