Thursday 3 March is World Book Day and a great time to stock up on brilliant new books for your family. So why not take the opportunity to support independent publishers, writers and illustrators who specialise in children's books?
To help you out, we've brought together our selection of the very best new releases. Covering a diverse mix of topics and suitable for a wide range of ages, they're all beautifully illustrated by artists who've poured their heart and soul into producing the most beautiful, inspiring and thought-provoking picture books to truly fire your kids' imaginations.
1. Rocket Rules! by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola
Rocket Rules! is the latest in the series of popular picture books featuring a brave young aspiring astronaut called Rocket. This time around, she explains her ten 'Rocket Rules' for living life, from always being curious to standing up for what you believe in. The work of the award-winning duo – writer and actor Nathan Bryon and illustrator Dapo Adeola – this inspirational mini picture book has been created especially for World Book Day 2022.
2. Change Sings by Amanda Gorman and Loren Long
Amanda Gorman is an American poet and activist who's best known for delivering her poem The Hill We Climb at the inauguration of President Biden. In this much-awaited picture book for children, a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey. Along the way, they learn that they have the power to make changes, big and small, in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves. With lyrical text and rhythmic artwork by renowned illustrator Loren Long, this book trumpets the message that anything is possible when our voices join together.
3. Hello Star by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic and Vashti Harrison
Stunningly illustrated by bestselling artist Vashti Harrison and written by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic, Hello Star is an inspiring story about a love of science and the importance of empathy. It follows a young girl who learns that a bright light in the sky is coming from a dying star and promises to keep it company until the light goes out. As the years pass, the girl learns everything she can about planets, space, and the universe, inspired by her dimming friend... until she realises she needs to do something more.
4. Mum's Jumper by Jayde Perkin
If Mum has gone, how do you carry on? Mum's Jumper is a simple and heartfelt picture book by Bristol-based illustrator Jayde Perkin aimed at any child coping with loss. It explores how missing a parent feels like a dark cloud that follows you around or like swimming to a shore that never comes any nearer. But it also explains that memories are like a jumper that you can cuddle and wear. This beautiful and empathetic book is the creation of Jayde Perkin, an author and illustrator known around the world for her comics and zines dealing with loss.
5. The Bird Within Me by Sara Lundberg
Based on the paintings, letters and diaries of the Swedish artist Berta Hansson (1910–1994), The Bird Within Me is a story of family and following your dreams that will appeal to all ages. It follows Berta, a 12-year-old girl growing up on a farm. She loves drawing and painting more than anything else. But her mother is sick, and Berta is needed on the farm. So how can she make her dream of becoming an artist a reality? A beautiful children's book, written and illustrated by the award-winning writer and artist, Sara Lundberg.
6. A Year in Fleurville by Felicita Sala
A Year in Fleurville is a cookbook, a mini-guide to gardening, and a picture book rolled into one. It lets you meet the many people of Fleurville, delight in their harvests, learn their recipes and find comfort in the cycle of the seasons. Written and illustrated by Felicita Sala, this glorious celebration of community is filled with recipes from all over the world and with simple instructions perfect for young chefs.
7. The Drama Llama by Rachel Morrisroe and Ella Okstad
Written by Rachel Morrisroe and illustrated by Ella Okstad, The Drama Llama tells the story of Alex Allen, who, like lots of children, sometimes suffers from anxiety. But unlike lots of children, every time he worries, a real-life llama appears! And the more Alex worries, the bigger the llama grows... which starts getting him into all sorts of trouble. A fun yet heartwarming rhyming tale that young ones will love.
8. Fly by Brittany J. Thurman and Anna Cunha
Fly is an enriching tale of joy and community focused on a young girl called Africa. Her brother scoffs when she follows in her grandmother's footsteps and signs up for a dancing competition. But Africa has all the tools she needs: memories of her grandmother, her bestie Bianca's dance moves, her friend Omar's rhythm, and her classmates' Mary Mack timing and cartwheels.
9. Beetles for Breakfast… and Other Weird and Wonderful Ways We Could Save the Planet by Madeleine Finlay and Jisu Choi
If your kids are stressed about environmental issues, here's the antidote. With a mixture of infographic-style artwork and topical, funny facts, it explains the strange and creative ways scientists are working to find answers to these big problems. Following a day in the life of a child, we see how new green inventions could fit into everyday life, from brushing your teeth with biodegradable algae to eating beetle burgers for lunch.
10. The Comet by Joe Todd-Stanton
When Nyla has to leave her home in the countryside to live in the city, all she can think about is everything she misses from before. But then a comet crashes to Earth and starts glowing and growing, and Nyla can't resist a chance to investigate. An exquisite and heartfelt picture book that brilliantly evokes the bewildering experience of moving house and both the struggles and opportunities it can offer.
11. Mina by Matthew Forsythe
From the creator of Pokko and the Drum comes an emotionally resonant picture book about trust, worry, and loyalty between a father and daughter. It follows Mina, who lives with her father in a hollowed-out tree stump on the edge of a forest pond. One day, her father brings home a suspicious surprise from the woods. Should Mina trust her father or listen to her own instincts?
12. Grimwood by Nadia Shireen
This memorable, distinctive and warm-hearted comedy book follows fox cub siblings Ted and Nancy, who are on the run from the scariest street cat in the Big City. They flee for Grimwood, expecting to find refuge in the peaceful countryside. Instead, they are met with thieving eagles, dramatic ducks, riotous rabbits and a whole host of unusual characters.