The Best Holiday Reads For Kids

Great new book releases for little bookworms.
Catherine Delahaye via Getty Images

The best school holidays are filled with adventure and excitement, and that can be found in the books your children read as well as the places they visit.

With that in mind, here’s our pick of the best new children’s books – just in time for the holidays.

Spring According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
Faber & Faber
The latest in a much-loved series, Humphrey (Mrs Brisbane's class hamster) senses the coming of spring and all that the new season brings. While the kids look at frogspawn and plan a family fun night, Humphrey starts to worry that maybe he doesn’t have a family at all - after all, he doesn't look much like Og the class frog. Spring According To Humphrey is a book about nature, family and belonging, for solo readers seven and up or to be read to younger children.
Zoo Boy by Sophie Thompson (Faber & Faber)
Faber & Faber
A story of magic, mayhem and moody mammals, Zoo Boy asks the question many young readers (six and up) will have asked themselves: what if I could talk to the animals!? But this isn't Dr Doolittle. Vince wakes up on his birthday with the gift of the animal gab, but everybody seems to have forgotten about his big day and chatting to penguins and owls turns out to be a less magical experience than Vince might have expected. Zoo Boy is great fun and beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Ashdown.
Nibbles the Book Monster by Emma Yarlett (Little Tiger Press)
Little Tiger Press
Younger children (from three to six) will love this highly interactive and hugely imaginative book, lifting flaps and peeking through holes as they chase Nibbles through a fantastical world of fairy tales. Naughty Nibbles is making a meal of lots of classic children’s stories, and it's up to your young bookworms to catch him before he can do too much damage.
Hello Nature by Nina Chakrabarti (Laurence King Publishing)
Laurence King Publishing
Perfect for spring and summer holidays, Hello Nature is packed with fascinating facts, brilliant activities and distinctive, informative illustrations. Nina Chakrabarti urges children of any age to explore the weird and wonderful things they can find all around them - whether strolling through the park, lounging in the back garden or even sitting in the living room at home. Children will find out how to make their own leaf prints, twig sculptures and minibeast hotels, along with much, much more.
Traya's Quest: The Journey Begins by Paulette Agnew (Clink Street Publishing)
Clink Street Publishing
You can'€™t say that author Paulette Agnew lacks ambition. In this book for nine year olds and over, she sets herself the task of producing a guide to life, recruiting the help of elemental spirits, celestial beings and wise Mother Nature along the way. The story starts when a boy, Traya, is asked a difficult question by a flock of pink flamingos, and his quest to find an answer takes readers on a life-affirming journey, told with childlike wonder and charming simplicity.
The Imagination Box: Beyond Infinity by Martyn Ford (Faber & Faber)
Faber & Faber
How cool is the Imagination Box? It means that anything you can imagine, you can also create. For Timothy Hart, that might mean '€˜imagining' his homework being done without him lifting a pen. Awesome! Unfortunately, other people also know about the power of the Imagination Box, and it€'s safe to say they don'€™t want to use it for homework. This hilarious comic caper will appeal to adventure hungry readers of eight years and above.
Harold’s Hungry Eyes by Kevin Waldron (Phaidon)
Harold is one hungry dog. In fact, Harold is so obsessed with food that when he gets lost and has to find his way home through an unfamiliar cityscape, Harold's hungry eyes start seeing food where no food would usually be. There's a waffle manhole cover, a turkey roasting in a mailbox and toast popping out of the top of a building, to take just three. Like we say, Harold is a very hungry dog, and this original, funny story will delight children from four to six years old.
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes by Sara Gillingham (Phaidon)
Alpha, Bravo, Charlie is the first volume of nautical codes for children, which might sound boring but really isn'€™t. The hardback book, by award-winning art director and author-illustrator Sara Gillingham, includes 26 bold and distinct nautical flags on specially treated paper that will encourage readers to code and decode messages of their own. Nautical flags, developed in the 19th century, are still used for communication between ships today, and could easily be used for secret communications between young friends (six to eight years old) determined to keep adults in the dark.

Your child’s eyes are special. In the early years, vision helps them to read, learn and find out about the world around them. Most very young children have their eyesight assessed as part of their routine developmental checks. While these are very important, they aren’t as thorough as a complete eye test by a qualified optician. Specsavers recommends that your child has their first eye test by the age of three. Find out more about kids’ eye health at Specsavers.