fbpx
Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Picture Books

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Picture Books

The Your Kid’s Next Read community is the size of a regional town these days – 31,000+ members. Each year, we ask the group to share their young readers’ favourite reads of the previous 12 months.

Some of these books were published in 2023, some were not. One of the joys of a community like Your Kid’s Next Read is the ability for members to curate and create book lists that stretch way back through reading experiences, meaning any request or query results in a deep and thoughtful TBR pile on just about any subject.

This year, I’ve broken the lists into categories: picture books, early chapter books (5-7), junior fiction (6-9), middle grade (10-13) and young adult (14+).

Stand by also for Team YKNR’s favourite reads in 2023, coming soon.

These lists are great starting points when you’re looking for the next great read for your kid/s. Click the title to find out more about each book*.

 

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Picture Books

As nominated by the members of the Your Kid’s Next Read community.

 

Most nominated

Best picture books 2023The Best Hiding Place by Jane Godwin and Sylvia Morris

 

 

 

Best picture books 2023Floof by Heidi McKinnon

 

 

 


 

Best picture books 2023Bev and Kev by Katrina Germein

(“Most borrowed picture book in the library.” – Kath)

Come Over To My House by Eliza Hull, Sally Rippin and Daniel Gray-Barnett

Dragon Post by Emma Yarlett

Baa Baa Black Belt by Gavin Aung Than

 

Best picture book 2023The Lucky Shack by Apsara Baldovino and Jennifer Falkner

(“Particularly loved by all of us here.” – Cristin)

The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak

How to Hatch a Dragon by Nick Bland

 

Best picture books 2023Snap by Anna Walker

(“…is a fantastic picture book. Deservedly award winning – different literacy focus every time I read it.”Georgina)

The Garden at the End of the World by Cassy Polimeni and Briony Stewart

Duck Goes Meow by Juliette MacIver and Carla Martell

 

best picture books 2023The Gargoyle by Zana Fraillon and Ross Morgan

(“My nine year old’s favourite this year.” – Caryn)

Bowerbird Blues by Aura Parker

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

 

Best picture books 2023Neil, The Amazing Sea Cucumber by Amelia McInerney and Lucinda Gifford

(“Hilarious!” – Nathan)

The Digger and The Duckling by Joseph Kuefler

Where the Lyrebird Lives by Vikki Conley and Max Hamilton

 

Best picture books 2023The Book of Bok by Neil Armstrong and Graham Baker Smith

(“… a couple of years old but my youngest loves it a lot.” – Tina)

Dirt by Sea by Michael Wagner and Tom Jellett

(“… was a hit!” – Emma)

The Great Book-Swapping Machine by Emma Allen and Lisa Coutts (“We can’t get enough of this at our house.” – Kate)

 

Hard to find

Where's the dragon by Jason HookWhere’s The Dragon? by Jason Hook

(“My six year old has borrowed it from the school library at least four times.” – Lauren)

The Best Birthday Present Ever! by Ben Mantle

(“My seven year old loves it!Madara)

 

You might also like

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Chapter Books

Your Kid’s Favourite Read 2023: Junior Fiction

*This post contains affiliate links. See contact page for details


 

Your Kid's Next Read t-shirts and book bagsAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast and sign up for the Your Kid’s Next Read newsletter

Order signed copies of A.L. Tait books

Order signed copies of A.L. Tait books

It’s that time of year when our minds turn to books as gifts!

If you’re looking for Christmas, end-of-year, graduation, festive season or holiday gifts I’m here to help, with signed copies of any or all A.L. Tait novels awaiting your order!

That’s right. Signed copies, personally dedicated if you so wish, of the following (click the title to read more about each book):

 

The First Summer of Callie McGee

The Fire Star (Maven & Reeve Mysteries #1)

The Wolf’s Howl (Maven & Reeve Mysteries #2)

Race To The End Of The World (The Mapmaker Chronicles #1)

Prisoner Of The Black Hawk (The Mapmaker Chronicles #2)

Breath Of The Dragon (The Mapmaker Chronicles #3)

Beyond The Edge Of The Map (The Mapmaker Chronicles #4)

The Book Of Secrets (Ateban Cipher #1)

The Book Of Answers (Ateban Cipher #2)

 

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS AND TO ORDER SECURELY

 

Some fine print

Books are available to order only in Australia (sorry) and only until 14 December, 2023.

Each book costs $25 (including postage within Australia), and I’m happy to sign them personally to the recipient.

I’ve also got options for you to order all four books in The Mapmaker Chronicles series, both Ateban Cipher novels, and both Maven & Reeve Mysteries in different bundles.

Posting from the south coast of NSW, so allow up to five working days for delivery. Last orders 14 December at 5pm.

Thank you!

 

ORDER YOUR SIGNED COPIES NOW

 


 

A. L. Tait The First Summer of Callie McGeeAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast and sign up for the Your Kid’s Next Read newsletter

The best children’s book series you’ve never read

The best children’s book series you’ve never read

My dear friend Allison Rushby, the third Musketeer on Team Your Kid’s Next Read, has a new book out this week – her eighth (or is it ninth?) in the past 12 months.

Best book series for kids and YA readersThe third book in her Miss Penny Dreadful trilogy for lower middle-grade readers, it’s called The Mermaid’s Locks and concludes this engaging historical mystery series.

Sitting, as it does, right in the sweet spot for young readers who have outgrown heavily illustrated junior fiction but still need some pictures, accessible language, fewer words than a traditional middle-grade book, and a clever mystery to solve, the biggest puzzle for my podcast co-host Megan Daley and I about this series is why it isn’t… bigger.

It got me to thinking about underrated book series for children and YA readers.

Those series that are well-written, exciting and absolutely beloved by those who read them, but which, for whatever reason, don’t make the big splash that’s required to stand out on shelves crowded with celebrity books, ‘look at me’ titles and publisher favourites.

And I’ve decided to shine a spotlight on a few of them, but asking the Your Kid’s Next Read community to share their favourite underrated series – these are the books, in no particular order, that our members recommend over and over and press into the hands of young readers whenever they can.*

Here’s hoping some of them might resonate with your young readers!

 

Our favourite underrated children’s book series

By the Your Kid’s Next Read community

Includes comments where available. Click the series title to find out more at Booktopia**

Junior fiction (6-9)

 

underrated book series for kidsAussie Kids series (by assorted authors and illustrators)

“Each is a great intro to chapter books. different towns and lifestyles of Australian kids.”– Suzanne

The Secret Explorers series by S. J. King

“Both an interesting and entertaining read. I’ve been surprised that it is not more popular with 7-9 year olds.” – Kath

The Travelling Bookshop series by Katrina Nannestad (illustrated by Cheryl Orsini)

“It is recommended every now and then but it is such a wonderful series full of whimsy, vocabulary and imagination.” – Caitie

 

underrated book series for kidsHow to Make a Pet Monster series by Lili Wilkinson (illustrated by Dustin Spence)

Fish Kid series by Kylie Howarth

“Each book is a great read.” – Kath

Charlie series by Sam Copeland (illustrated by Sarah Horne)

Kid Normal series by Greg James (illustrated by Chris Smith) 8+

Heroes In Training series by Joan Holub, Suzanne Williams (illustrated by Craig Phillips)

 

underrated children's book seriesTime Hunters series by Chris Blake

Ghoulia series by Barbara Cantini

Science Comics series (various authors and illustrators)

I will never shut up about them!” – Sally

Amelia Fang series by Laura Ellen Anderson

Ottoline series by Chris Riddell

 

underrated children's book seriesFurball series by Adrian Beck

“Full of jokes and action-packed adventure.” – Louise

Daisy and The Trouble With … series by Kes Gray (illustrated by Garry Parsons and Nick Sharratt)

“We found them in the UK and they are just wonderful!” – Yvette

The Kingdom of Silk series by Glenda Millard (illustrated by Caroline Magerl)

“One of my favourite series of all time. The only series I finished and felt compelled to write to the author to tell her how much I adored them.” – Anna

 

underrated children's book seriesWhimsy and Woe series by Rebecca McRitchie (illustrated by Sonia Kretschmar) (8+)

“This was my daughter’s favourite series and she dressed as Whimsy for Book Week. Gothic. Delightful. Mysterious. I wish more people had faith in their children not to “need” the same thing over and over!” – Laura

Wayside School series by Louis Sachar

Wandi and (sequel) Kimmi by Favel Parrett

“Fictional stories based on real life dingoes.” – Andy

 

Middle-grade fiction (10+)

 

underrated children's book seriesBeetle Boy trilogy by M. G. Leonard

“These are absolute page-turners.” – Margot

The House at the Edge of Magic series by Amy Sparkes

At The Sign Of The Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper

“This one is judged by its really bad cover!! But it’s a brilliant read and so is the sequel.” – Ruth

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

 

Stella Montgomery Intrigues series by Judith Rossell

This series was nominated multiple times by multiple members as not receiving the attention it should.

The Forbidden Library series by Django Wexler

“This series is AMAZING and I recommend it in both printed and audiobook form. It’s SUCH an amazing series but I don’t think anyone I’ve met has already read it so I keep recommending it to everyone so I have someone to talk/rave about it with.” – Bec  

Cogheart series by Peter Bunzl

“A fabulous steam punk series – I devoured every one of them.” – Margot

 

underrated children's book seriesThe Keepers trilogy by Lian Tanner

“My 10-year-old daughter massively rates this trilogy.” – Amy

Elementals series by Amie Kaufman

George’s Secret Key To The Universe series by Lucy and Stephen Hawking (9+)

“They’re interspersed with pages of space and physics facts, which can be skipped to continue with the story. Great fun!” – Danielle

 

underrated children's book seriesThe Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood (illustrated by Jon Klassen)

“It’s clever and witty and funny and a teeny bit creepy without being yuck. Perfect for ages 10 to adult.” – Kat

Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage

“I love it more than Harry Potter. It is better written, with similar themes and I think a more magical setting.” Rhonda

The Books Of Elsewhere series by Jacqueline West

The Children of Green Knowe by L. M. Boston (illustrated by Peter Boston)

 

underrated children's book seriesThe Sun Sword Trilogy by Belinda Murrell

“I have four children ranging from ages 12-26 and they all loved this series. It is plotty and adventurous. I had to buy new copies of the series recently, as the original books had fallen to pieces due to being read so much.”Amanda

Maven & Reeve Mysteries by A. L. Tait

The Figgy series by Tamsin Janu

“We absolutely adored this series with its unique protagonist and window into a different culture.” – Anna

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles series by Patricia C. Wrede

“My favourites as a kid. Funny, creative, great female characters who save themselves.” – Lauren

 

YA series

 

underrated children's book seriesAlanna series by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce’s books (this series and others) were nominated multiple times by multiple members.

The Abhorsen trilogy (and prequels) by Garth Nix

“For teens, and he is the BEST fantasy writer the country has produced. He’s huge overseas but not here, and I don’t understand why. His world building is outstanding.” – Erin

 

Which children’s or YA series would you add? Let me know in the comments!


 

A. L. Tait The First Summer of Callie McGeeAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, and tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast!

 

*edited to include only those titles still readily available

**Link to first book in series where possible. See contact page for affiliate link details

10 spooky (not scary!) reads for Halloween

10 spooky (not scary!) reads for Halloween

Looking for spooky books for kids for Halloween? You’ve come to the right place.

Not because I’m an expert in screechy, scary, scratchy reads – I’m notoriously wimpy when it comes to this stuff – but because I can call on author Allison Rushby, the third member of Team Your Kid’s Next Read, who absolutely LOVES a spooky story.

So much so that she’s written several – check out The Turnkey series, The Mulberry Tree, The Ghost Locket and the Miss Penny Dreadful series for starters!

Who better then to put together an updated list of Halloween reads – with an emphasis on the spooky, not the scary.

 

10 spooky books for Halloween 

A list by Allison Rushby

There’s just something so delicious about being a little bit scared.

Tucked up under the sheets in the dark of night, the wind is rattling the window, a tree branch scritch-scratching against the glass. Perhaps there’s even a little screech from some wild animal as you devour a book that has a ghost or two in it.

Your main character is a little bit worried (hey, you’re a little bit worried!).

But not so much so that when your eyes begin to close and you put your book down, you can’t fall straight to sleep and have pleasant dreams.

Bliss!

Yes, there’s nothing better than a spooky (not scary!) read for some safe bedtime thrills. So, with Halloween on the horizon, I thought it might be a great time to list ten spooky-not-scary favourites…

 

Spooky books for kidsGhost Book by Remy Lai

Remy Lai’s newest graphic novel centres on July, who can see ghosts – a problem during hungry ghost month. When she begrudgingly befriends a little boy ghost, the pair must join forces in order to sort their intertwined destinies.

 

 

The World of the Unknown: Ghosts by Christopher Maynard

This cult 1977 non-fiction classic has been reissued and will surely spark a new generation of ghost-hunters. With lots of info on our ghostly friends, as well as factual information on the techniques and equipment of ghost hunting and how lots of sightings have been exposed as natural occurrences or fakes, there’s something here for everyone.

 

Spooky books for kidsMiss Penny Dreadful and the Midnight Kittens by Allison Rushby

It’s 1872 and Penny has an enquiring mind and several mysteries to solve. Not only does she need to find out the truth behind authoress Aunt Harriet’s story idea involving some bewitched kittens, she also needs to work out where her parents have disappeared to…

 

 

A Ghost in my Suitcase by Gabrielle Wang

Celeste takes a trip to China to visit her grandmother, Por Por, and finds out she comes from a family of ghosthunters. Lots of exciting action distracts from the scary (but not too scary!) ghosts.

 

Spooky books for kidsThe Bookseller’s Apprentice by Amelia Mellor

With another wonderful serve of sinister magic, this prequel to The Grandest Bookshop in the World has just enough terrifying action-packed danger to provide nightmare-free thrills.

 

 

The Goodbye Year by Emily Gale

Things are not going well for Harper in what should be amazing final year of primary school. Now, to add to all the confusion, she thinks she’s seen a ghost…

 

spooky books for kidsThe Eerie Excavation by Ash Harrier

Alice England has yet another mystery to solve! Alice and her friends are off to archaeology camp and it’s not long before something unexpected turns up in the dirt, sparking many a question, such as: do curses really exist? Is a monster about? And who – or what – is creeping around after midnight?

 

 

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her friend Syd cast a spell that accidentally awakens some malicious sprits. They must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette and her tabby sidekick, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse.

 

Spooky books for kidsTashi and the Ghosts by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg, illustrated by Kim Gamble

Brave Tashi is off on another fabulous adventure, this time involving ghost monsters in the forest!

 

 

 

There’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers

For young and old, this story of a young girl and a haunted house is an absolute delight.

 

Allison Rushby from Your Kid's Next ReadAllison Rushby is the author of 20+ books, from junior fiction to novels for adults. She is a member of the Your Kid’s Next Read team and an admin of the Your Kid’s Next Read community. Find out more here.

 

 


Need more? Try these spooky book lists

10 spooky (or scary) middle-grade books for Halloween

More spooky stories for kids 8+


 

A. L. Tait The First Summer of Callie McGeeAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, and tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast!

WIN a $100 voucher to buy books

WIN a $100 voucher to buy books

Would you like $100AUD to spend on books?

The team from Your Kid’s Next Read is currently offering you the chance to win a $100AUD gift voucher to your local bookstore of choice or to your favourite online bookseller. (YKNR is an international community so we wanted to give everyone a chance to win!)

All you have to do for your chance to win the book voucher is to fill out this short survey.

There are just 12 questions, so it won’t take long, and it’s about finding out what our community loves about Your Kid’s Next Read, and what our members would like to see more of.

Your Kid’s Next Read is now a:

Facebook community

Podcast

Newsletter

You can read our origin story here.

And take the survey to help us bring you more of what you’d like to know here. Everyone who completes the survey has a chance to win the voucher. Full T&C below.

The survey closes at 5pm on Thursday 15 June, 2023, so get in quick!

Good luck – we look forward to hearing from you!

 

Allison Tait how to be a children's authorAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, and tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast!

 

 

*T&C: Entry is open to members of the Your Kid’s Next Read (YKNR) community worldwide who complete the Your Kid’s Next Read survey and is valid for one prize winner. Entries open at 6am (AEST) 1 June 2023 and close on Thursday 15 June 2023 at 5pm (AEST). Winner will be chosen by the YKNR admin team, based on creativity, and no correspondence will be entered into. This is a game of skill with entries judged on originality. Winner will be announced in the YKNR community on 19 June and invited to nominate their bookseller of choice. Voucher will be delivered via email as soon as possible after bookseller nomination received. Prize cannot be exchanged for cash. No contents of the prize pack may be exchanged for cash. If a winner is unable to be contacted or does not claim their prize within 14 days, the prize will be forfeited. In the event of forfeiture a further draw will be conducted within 14 days and a new winner will be selected.

Pin It on Pinterest