Our picks of the best children’s books coming out in spring 2021

Here’s our selection of top new titles coming out in spring – January, February, March, April, and May 2021. These reading recommendations include picture books, early and middle-grade fiction; young adult novels and non-fiction for children aged 5-12. These books have been chosen with classroom teaching, school libraries, home learning and lockdown reading in mind.

For book prices and ordering, click on the cover image.

Spring 2021 new children’s books – our recommendations

New picture books for spring 2021

Lost in the Clouds by Tom Tinn-DisburyLost in the Clouds by Tom Tinn-Disbury
The Last Bear by Hannah Gold and Levi PinfoldThe Last Bear by Hannah Gold and Levi Pinfold
The Whale Who Wanted More by Rachel Bright and Jim FieldThe Whale Who Wanted More by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

My Mama by Annemarie van Haeringen

A unique picture book story that explores the different perceptions of adults and small children. The young elephant can’t always understand why his mama doesn’t see things the way he does. An excellent book to read with children in reception and lower KS1, and use to help discuss the values of patience, explanation and understanding.

Mr Mama by Annemarie van Haeringen

The Rock from the Sky by Jon KlassenThe Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen
Where's Brian's Bottom? by Rob JonesWhere’s Brian’s Bottom? by Rob Jones
Love: A Pop-up Celebration by Robert SabudaLove: A Pop-up Celebration by Robert Sabuda

The Invisible by Tom Percival
Rabunzel by Gareth P Jones and Loretta SchauerRabunzel by Gareth P Jones and Loretta Scauer
Barbara Throws a Wobbler by Nadia ShireenBarbara Throws a Wobbler by Nadia Shireen


New fiction 5-7 for spring 2021

Mammoth by Anna Kemp and Adam BeerMammoth by Anna Kemp and Adam Beer
Isadora Moon Meets the Tooth Fairy by Harriet MuncasterIsadora Moon Meets the Tooth Fairy by Harriet Muncaster
Wigglesbottom Primary: Dino Chick by Pamela ButchartWigglesbottom Primary: Dino Chick by Pamela Butchart

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee

A beautiful hardback rerelease of this classic from the 1980s, which many teachers will remember from their childhood or early teaching career. The fantastic illustrations, funny narrative and sheer imagination make this a perfect book to read to a class – in person or remotely – and inspire KS1 children during lockdown and periods of home learning. Highly recommended for using as an impetus for creative writing in years 1&2. For teachers of P4C there’s useful set free of resources for this book from the Prindle Institute website.

The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau by Jon Agee

Madam Squeaker by Pip JonesMadam Squeaker by Pip Jones
Dirty Bertie: Bees! By Alan MacDonald and David RobertsDirty Bertie: Bees! By Alan MacDonald and David Roberts
Donut Touch by Seb Davey and Alex WilmoreDonut Touch by Seb Davey and Alex Wilmore


New fiction 7-9 for spring 2021

Two Terrible Vikings by Francesca SimonTwo Terrible Vikings by Francesca Simon
Can You Whistle Johanna by Ulf Stark and Anna HöglundCan You Whistle Johanna by Ulf Stark and Anna Höglund
My Sneezes are Perfect by Rakhshan Rizwan, Yusuf Samee and Benjamin PhillipsMy Sneezes are Perfect by Rakhshan Rizwan, Yusuf Samee and Benjamin Phillips

Picklewitch & Jack and the Sea Wizard's Secret by Claire BarkerPicklewitch & Jack and the Sea Wizard’s Secret by Claire Barker
Velda the Awesomest Viking and the Voyage of Deadly Doo, by David MacPhailVelda the Awesomest Viking and the Voyage of Deadly Doom, by David MacPhail
An Escape in Time by Sally NichollsAn Escape in Time by Sally Nicholls

Flyntlock Bones and the Eye of Mogdrod by Derek KeiltyFlyntlock Bones and the Eye of Mogdrod by Derek Keilty
The Accidental Diary of B.U.G. by Jen CarneyThe Accidental Diary of B.U.G. by Jen Carney
Saving Hanno by Miriam HalahmySaving Hanno by Miriam Halahmy

New fiction 9-12 for spring 2021

Maggie Blue and the Dark World by Anna GoodallMaggie Blue and the Dark World by Anna Goodall
Shipwreck Island by Struan MurrayShipwreck Island by Struan Murray
Starboard by Nicola SkinnerStarboard by Nicola Skinner

The Queen’s Fool by Ally Sherrick

This atmospheric historical novel will give KS2 children a unique insight into how Cat experienced life at court. This book is ideal to read as a class text and perfect for hot seating and discussing empathy in upper KS2. It’s will also make a great addition to classroom collections of Tudor topic books.

The Queen's Fool by Ally Sherrick

The City of Rust by Gemma FowlerThe City of Rust by Gemma Fowler
The Lightning Catcher by Clare WezeThe Lightning Catcher by Clare Weze
VI Spy: Licence to Chill by Maz EvansVI Spy: Licence to Chill by Maz Evans

By Ash, Oak and Thorn by Melissa HarrisonBy Ash, Oak and Thorn by Melissa Harrison
Monster Doughnuts by Gianna PolleroMonster Doughnuts by Gianna Pollero
The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen RutterThe Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter

New 12-16 young adult novels for spring 2021

The Supreme Lie by Geraldine McCaughreanThe Supreme Lie by Geraldine McCaughrean
Love is a Revolution by Renee WatsonLove is a Revolution by Renee Watson
Boy in a White Room by Karl OlsbergBoy in a White Room by Karl Olsberg

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

In this thought-provoking ensemble of Carver-esque vignettes about teens in modern rural America, intertwined themes are juxtaposed to create a poignant sense of 2020s truth, hurt and insidious isolation. Never extreme or explicit, there’s a darkness and an emotional intensity in the characters that lingers beyond a first reading. An ideal book for KS4 and KS5 book clubs, this series of modern short stories is certainly a text worth considering for Y11 classes.

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

The Outrage by William HusseyThe Outrage by William Hussey
Theft of Sunlight by Intisar KhananiTheft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani
As Far As You'll Take Me by Phil StamperAs Far As You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper

Bone Music by David AlmondBone Music by David Almond
Destination Anywhere by Sara BarnardDestination Anywhere by Sara Barnard
The Bright and the Pale by Jessica RubinkowskiThe Bright and the Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski

New nonfiction children’s books for spring 2021

The Deep Blue by Charlotte Guillain and Lou Baker SmithThe Deep Blue by Charlotte Guillain and Lou Baker Smith
The Green Rebel Activity Book by Frances Evans and Berta MaluendaThe Green Rebel Activity Book by Frances Evans and Berta Maluenda
Life Savers by Eryl Nash and Ana AlberoLife Savers by Eryl Nash and Ana Albero

Fourteen Wolves by Jenni Desmond and Catherine BarrFourteen Wolves by Jenni Desmond and Catherine Barr
Why Can't Horses Burp? By Lily Snowden-Fine and Nick CrumptonWhy Can’t Horses Burp? By Lily Snowden-Fine and Nick Crumpton
In My Mosque by MO Yuksel and Hatem AlyIn My Mosque by MO Yuksel and Hatem Aly

The Brain Book by Liam DrewThe Brain Book by Liam Drew
The Knots Handbook by Barry Mault and Gillian BleaseThe Knots Handbook by Barry Mault and Gillian Blease
Planes by Jan Van Der VekenPlanes by Jan Van Der Veken


This page was first published on Feb 11 2021 and last updated on Feb 12, 2021 @ 9:42 pm.

For more top picks and new books why not read our Book of the month page?

For even more suggestions, see our daily new book recommendations on our Facebook page and our Twitter Feed.



About Tom Tolkien

Photo of author
Tom Tolkien is an experienced teacher and educational consultant who taught for 20 years in primary and secondary schools, including Woodleigh School in North Yorkshire, where he was Head of English and ran a 4000 book prep school library for pupils aged 3-13. He now reviews books for children and teens. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin