1. The Big Book series by Yuval Zommer, Thames & Hudson, £12.95

Type: Fact


Packed with intriguing facts designed to answer every child’s awkward questions such as ‘Is a jellyfish made of jelly’, or ‘Why does an octopus have 8 arms’, these books are designed to stimulate and educate while being fun and entertaining.

The series covers a vast range of topics including Bugs, Beasts and birds. Some of the books also include reusable stickers and are ideal for children aged 5+.

Our testers loved its superb presentation and content. MFM Deputy Editor Helen says: “Lovely, lovely, lovely fact books with nice illustrations and clever ‘can you spot’ questions on some pages (answers at the end of the book). The facts are interesting and simply explained – without being too babyish.”

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith

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2. Amelia Fang Series by Laura Ellen Anderson, Egmont, £6.99

Type: Fiction

Perfect for fans of The Worst Witch and Witch Wars, the Amelia Fang series is set in the world of Nocturnia where darkness rules and unicorns are nightmares. Amelia gets involved in lively adventures like rescuing her pet pumpkin Squishy from kidnappers with the aid of her friends, Florence the Yeti and Grimalid the reaper. Nothing is quite what it seems, with unexpected challenges always appearing.

Beautiful, captivating and entertaining Gothic illustrations help bring Nocturnia to life.

MFM tester Pundeet Bhandal says: “These are just gorgeous to look at – I love the covers and the colour coded pages. It’s not easy to make a scary character cute, but Amelia Fang is just that. The illustrations are just lovely and my 7 year old found it easy to read. She is a very reluctant reader but she reads these books at bedtime each night. The chapters are fairly short so they should appeal to many children.”

Available from: Wordery, World Of Books and Waterstones


3. Sam Wu by Katie & Kevin Tsang, Egmont, £5.99

Type: Fiction

This is a brilliantly funny series featuring the bravest scaredy cat in the world who is not afraid of anything, except perhaps sharks, ghosts, and of course the dark.

Encountering a shark or going camping deep in the woods at night is a very different matter especially when all kinds of scary things have to be faced. Ideal for newly confident readers, this is a lively series, which helps children understand common childhood fears.

MFM Deputy Editor Helen says: “These are funny books for primary-school aged kids, nicely paced and written with good (and amusing) use of typography, graphics and illustration.”

While MFM tester and mum of 2 Magda adds: “This genre is so fun and fab for young readers who love an exciting tale! Great to see the main character is from a more diverse community too.”

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith


4. Usborne Minis by Sam Smith, Usborne Children’s Books, £2.99

Type: Fact

From puzzles to stickers, colouring books to wordsearches, these are a wonderful practical series of books which offer lots of activities for children.

Perfect for when travelling and needing to keep kids occupied, or for using at home, or adding to party bags, these pocket sized paperbacks are a great way for banishing boredom.

Simple guidelines make the books easy to understand, while challenging kids to try something new and expand their skills. Ideal for kids from 3 upwards, depending on the book.

MFM Consumer & Reviews Editor Christy says: “As well as following the instructions, my craft-loving 5 year old enjoyed using the ink to make her own creatures and creations. These books are great for travel as they’re small so you can stash them easily in a backpack or buggy organizer for bus or car journeys.”

MFM Deputy Editor Helen Brown adds: “A lovely little series of books that would keep an older child entertained on a journey or on a rainy day in the school holidays. There are some they would tear through quite quickly (like the fingerprint ones) but others require a fairly long stretch of concentration.”

Available from: Wordery, Amazon and Hive


5. That’s not my….. by Fiona Watts, Usborne Publishing, £6.99

Type: Fact

With over 50 titles in the series, ‘That’s not my’ has become a phenomenal success providing a wonderful tactile introduction to books for millions of children.

This is a series which revolutionized baby and toddler books with its simple concept, allowing children to touch, feel and find all kinds of creatures including flamingo, lion, koala and zebra or our 2019 Gold winner - Llama.

It is one of the longest-running series of its kind, having been in production for over 20 years. Storylines are simple, easy to understand with the same little mouse to find on each of the sturdy pages, creating a real sensory experience.

MFM Deputy Editor Helen says: “A lovely version of long-running bestselling series – and llamas are SO in this year! Touch and feel books are THE best for younger toddlers – such a great way to stimulate acquisition of new vocabulary and parent-child conversation.”

MFM tester Steffi-Louise adds: “The book is a lovely small size which is great for my kids, especially my 12 month old. The variety of different textures along with the words to describe the textures is fantastic and educational. The book is colourful, fun and a great way to get kids learning. Ideal for someone who just started to touch and be introduced to books.:

Available from: Amazon, Wordery and Book Depository


6. World’s Worst Children by David Walliams, Harper Collins, £14.99

Type: Fiction

Becoming addicted to the TV or telling tales can have unfortunate consequences as this series of cautionary tales indicates.

Featuring a dreadful cast of five beastly boys and five gruesome girls such as Sofia Sofa who is beginning to turn into a sofa from watching too much TV, or Blubbering Bertha who tells terrible tales.

The gorgeous illustrations by Tony Ross bring the stories vividly to life.

Available from: Amazon, Asda and The Book People


7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Puffin, £6.99

Type: Fiction

With 11 books in Jeff Kinney’s hugely successful Diary of a Wimpy Kid collection, the series’ popularity shows no sign of slowing down.

In his latest adventure, Double Down, Greg Heffley is feeling the pressure as his mum encourages him to step back from video games and explore his ‘creative side’.

Will his plan to make a movie – and get rich in the process – end in success?

Available from: Amazon, The Book People and Blackwell’s


8. The Bolds Series by Julian Clary, Andersen Press, £6.99

Type: Fiction

The hilarious adventures of a family of hyenas living as humans in Teddington, with a heart-warming message to match the humour, teaching kids the importance of celebrating your differences. Brilliant illustrations from the award winning illustrator, David Roberts, help bring the stories alive.

Fun for all the family, it won our award for best children’s book series thanks to its witty words and relatable characters.

MFM tester Stacey says: “The Bolds’ series was very funny and original. The print was slightly larger and with good line spacing, so my 7-year-old could read it by herself too. The animations included were a big bonus! They kept interest high and were very funny to go with the witty dialogue.”

While MFM tester Vinnie adds: “My kids, aged 8 and 10, absolutely loved these hilarious books. They couldn’t get enough of them and kept sharing the excerpts from chapters with each other.”

Available from: Amazon, The Book People and Wordery


9. Little Peep Through books by Sam Taplin, Usborne, £5.99

Type: Fiction

These beautiful hide-and-seek board books delight babies and toddlers, with peep-through holes and textured pages to encourage little fingers to play with the book as they listen and look out for the animals.

Large die-cut holes create witty transformations, as what appears to be an elephant turns out to be all kinds of other things, with gorgeous illustrations to keep little ones engaged.

Emily Dove’s enchanting illustrations capture little ones attention.

MFM tester Vinie says: “The set of these books was really colourful and may appeal to a 0-2 year old. Young readers will like the mysteries it brings with each page, which may appeal to their inquisitiveness. The books are made of good, thick quality material and feel sturdy.”

MFM tester Magda adds: “These books are just adorable! Fabulous illustrations, creative cut outs and a sweet tale to boot.”

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones and WHSmith


10. What the Ladybird Heard series by Julia Donaldson, Macmillan Childrens Books, £6.99

Type: Fiction

This hilarious picture book series written in rhyming version is perfect for reading aloud to children been the ages of 3 to 5 years old.

Lively storylines such as Hefty Huge and Lanky Len plan to steal a prize cow, but the little ladybird overhears them and decides to stop them.

The collection includes What The Ladybird Heard, What The Ladybird Heard Next, and What The Ladybird Heard On Holiday.

Each book is visually enthralling, and available in a variety of formats including paperbacks, board books and audio books. The series is illustrated by Lydia Monks.

Available from: Amazon, Wordery and Blackwell’s