2016 A Phenomenal Year for Children’s Books

So 2016 will always be lamented as a terrible year, but for me in my bookish bubble it has been fantastic. Not only have I had the privilege to read and review so many brilliant books and meet so many amazing authors, I have been thrilled to have reviews in TES and The Guardian. It has been my first full year of blogging and it has opened so many exciting opportunities for me and for all of these I am truly grateful. Every book I feature on my blog I have genuinely enjoyed so to choose favourites has been incredibly difficult. Hands up I did cheat just a little, I created a longlist which I will also share with you! My blog has featured 160 book reviews and 20 guest posts and some of my absolute favourites I chose to savour just for myself and for that I can only apologise. Here are my final 16 for 2016 which have been agonisingly whittled down from a selection of absolutely brilliant books!


Picture Books

Ada Twist Scientist  – Andrea Beaty &  David Roberts

The Building Boy – Ross Montgomery & David Litchfield

The Detective Dog – Julia Donaldson & Sara Ogilvie

Hiding Heidi – Fiona Woodcock

Illustrated Fiction

Knitbone Pepper Ghost Dog and a Horse Called Moon – Claire Barker & Ross Collins

Shifty McGifty & Slippery Sam Spooky School – Tracey Corderoy & Steven Lenton

Jinks O’ Hare Funfair Repair – Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre


The Big Book of Bugs – Yuval Zoomer

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World – Kate Pankhurst

Wild Animals of the North – Dieter Braun

Middle Grade Books (8 – 12 year)

Cogheart – Peter Bunzl

Strange Star – Emma Carroll

A Library of Lemons – Jo Cotterill

Swan Boy – Nikki Sheehan

Sweet Pizza – G R Gemin

But let’s not forget the incredible line up of books that were longlisted for my books of the year, these are books that you would want to have in your school library or at home if you’re looking for inspiration on what to read next.

Picture Books


Illustrated Fiction




Middle Grade Books


None of this would be possible without the amazing support of all the authors, publishers and publicists who have kindly sent me books to review and the public library for fuelling my unquenchable thirst for reading. Having had a sneak peek at some of next year’s books 2017 is looking to be another fantastic year and I look forward to sharing them with you.

And lastly to everyone who has visited my blog and shared my reviews on social media, thanks for your support it really does mean the world to me . Ultimately this blog is for you the reader whether you are a child, parent, teacher or fellow librarian,  so I’m hoping this has been useful for you. Wishing you all a wonderful New Year, see you in 2017 for more brilliant books!

4 thoughts on “2016 A Phenomenal Year for Children’s Books

  1. Jo Cotterill

    You’re an incredible supporter to so many authors and readers, Jo – appreciative thanks for all that you do, and I look forward to your blogging in 2017! (And yes, I add your recommended reads to my wish list too because authors are always looking for books to dive into and savour!)



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