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Early Readers 2023


Move Like A Lion by Radzi Chinyanganya, illustrated by Francesca Rosa

Get up off the sofa and start moving with former Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya, in his first children's book.​ 

Learn to walk like a crab, swing like a monkey, and slide like a penguin in this book from the Winter Olympics presenter that helps children have fun and get active, all the while learning about favourite animals. Simple exercises show children different activities they can easily do, any time and any place, with no extra equipment required!


Strong and Tough by Rico Hinson-King, illustrated by Nick Sharratt 

A story of hope and resilience, this gentle, inspiring picture book tells the tale of Charlie, a little boy who was taken into care when he was very small. Charlie dreams of finding his forever home to share with his sisters. Sometimes he feels scared. Sometimes he wants to scream and cry (and he does, just a little). But he is strong. ​

Strong and Tough is by the amazingly talented ten-year-old Rico Hinson-King. Rico, like Charlie, found strength and resilience along the journey to find his forever family (and played lots of football along the way!). Rico is a Junior Premier League footballer with a knack for words too, who wrote his story so that other children going through similar circumstances can feel less alone, and to encourage empathy in others.


My Encyclopedia of Very Important Sport by DK

For those who want to know everything! My Encyclopedia of Very Important Sport is a unique book that combines facts and figures with the inspiring stories of sporting legends and icons.​

This exciting book for children is packed with fun facts about a range of popular sports such as football, karate, badminton, and skiing, as well as ones you might never have heard of like biathlon or cheese rolling. Whether you're a fan of team sports, winter sports, water sports, extreme sports, or board games such as chess and go, this reference book has it all.


Call the Puffins by Cath Cowe, illustrated by Ella Okstad 

Welcome to the island of Egg where a group of young puffins are training to join a search and rescue team.​ Meet Muffin who is following in her dad's footsteps and anxious not to let him down. Meet Tiny whose eyesight is a challenge which won't stop him for long. And meet Forti who seems so over-confident but is really desperate to impress.​ Along with their fellow recruits, the puffins must work together to help all the birds on the island.


The Can Caravan by Richard O’Neill ill. by Cindy Kang

When Janie’s neighbour Mrs Tolen goes into hospital with a broken hip, it looks as though she will have to move out of her old caravan and into a house. Janie is desperate to help, but all seems lost until her school visits a local recycling plant. All it takes from there is imagination, a supportive community, and lots and lots of hard work to transform Mrs Tolen’s old caravan into a safe and secure new home! ​

The latest picture book by renowned Romani storyteller Richard O’Neill celebrates the traditional Traveller virtues of resilience, adaptability, loyalty and independence.


Play by Joanna Brundle

These colourful and vibrant titles take A Look At Life Around The World. Young readers can explore how other people work play learn and live in this diverse and fascinating series.​


Marv and the Blizzard Zone ​by Alex Falase-Koya, illustrated by Paula Bowles

When ordinary boy Marvin wears his supersuit he becomes MARV. A superhero with infinite powers... In this story, Marvin and his friends are ice skating at the Blizzard Zone when supervillain Master Blaster takes control of the rink, determined that everyone stops their fun to watch him skate. Soon, skaters are being frozen solid by the supervillain's powerful ice blasts.​

It's time for Marvin to swap his skates for his superhero suit and become MARV-unstoppable, invincible, and totally MARVellous! Only then can Marv put an end to Master Blaster's showing off.


Press Start! Game On, Super Rabbit Boy! ​by Thomas Flintham 

Graphic novel - Sunny's favourite game is Super Rabbit Boy and he loves to pit his skills against King Viking who hates fun and happiness and wants to steal Singing Dog and bring sadness to Animal Town for ever!

Can Sunny help Super Rabbit Boy get to Level 6 and rescue Singing Dog and restore joy to Animal Town? Only if he defeats the Robot Army, dodges the Robo-Crabs and Lakes of Lava before battling King Viking himself!


44 Tiny Acrobats ​by Sylvia Bishop, illustrated by Ashley King

Join brave and spirited heroine Betsy and her forty-four tiny mice in a thrilling new adventure. When Fry’s Circus of Wonders pitches its tent opposite Betsy’s house, Betsy feels a strange sense of longing. But Grandad can’t even bear to look at it – it stirs up too many painful memories of Grandma’s days as a circus performer.​

As her parents rally round Grandad, Betsy slips away to see the show. But Betsy isn’t the only one enjoying the spectacle – her forty-four mice have escaped and seem intent on joining in! As the mice gatecrash the magic act, disaster strikes and Betsy finds herself facing up to the odious ringmaster with a lot of explaining to do…​

Beautifully illustrated, this is the second adventure for Besty and her forty-four mice, from the acclaimed duo behind The Bookshop Girl.


Being You: Poems of Positivity ​by Daniel Thompson, illustrated by Julia Murray

Poetry - Powerful poems for positive thinking! This collection of 50 poems will inspire confidence and courage, help children to overcome worries and spread kindness.​
Beautifully illustrated, it is filled with poems for children to read alone or enjoy with the whole family. With themes of friendship, self-belief, embracing change and celebrating people’s differences, it’s the perfect gift book for children to treasure. 


Meg and Merlin: Making Friends by Tanya Landman, illustrated by Sònia Albert

Dyslexia-friendly - Award-winning author Tanya Landman brings a fresh perspective to horse-riding stories with a heart-warming new series about friendship and dreaming big. Meg treasures every moment that she gets to spend riding, and she has always longed for a pony of her own. She knows Mum and Dad can’t afford a pony – they can’t even afford her weekly riding lessons anymore. But on the morning of her tenth birthday, Meg looks out the window to an unbelievable sight... a pony standing in the front garden! Have all of her wishes come true?​

This joyous celebration of riding will delight young horse lovers and centres a young working-class girl as its heroine - providing a background rarely seen in horse-riding fiction, and challenging some of the genre's stereotypes.


Rudy and the Wolf Cub by Paul Westmoreland, ​illustrated by George Ermos

With boundless energy and an impulsive nature, Rudy is always ready to follow the scent of adventure! And with his loyal pack of friends by his side there's nothing he can't achieve. When Rudy finds a lost wolf cub at the skatepark, he knows he has to help him. Rudy tries everything he can think of to find the cub's pack, but they're nowhere to be seen, or smelled, and time is running out. Can a howl in the night change the fate of the little cub? How-how-harrooooow!​

Howlingly cool illustrations and an irresistible character finding his way in the world make Rudy and the Wolf Cub the ideal choice for those looking to bridge the gap between picture books and independent reading.


The Spartan Sportsday by Shalini Vallepur, illustrated by Amy Li 

Riya returns, but this time she's not alone. Another day, another battle with Riya's class rival, Emma. But when they both fall through another gateway in time - all the way back to the Spartan era - they must rely on each other if they're to ever escape.​
Keep your friends close, but keep your class rivals closer…

Information for adults

Schools

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Families

Visit our Home Zone, full of useful Challenge information for parents, grandparents and carers. For information about supporting reading in the early years visit our Pre-School Zone.

Libraries

Visit our Library Zone to find libraries near you running the challenge, and how to take part.