Children’s Book Blog – books for June: Have You Seen My Dragon?, Jesper Jinx and We Were Liars
Once a month, I pick out three of the best children’s books I’ve been reading over the past few weeks, from picture books to Young Adult novels, old classics to new favourites. My recommendations for June are Have You Seen My Dragon by Steve Light, Jesper Jinx by Marko Kitti and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
PICTURE BOOK OF THE MONTH: Have You Seen My Dragon?
This is one of the most beautiful counting books I’ve seen in a long time. Teeming with intricate pen-and-ink illustrations, it invites the reader to help a young boy look for his wayward pet dragon among the hustle-bustle of a big American city.
You’ll find the cheeky dragon lurking somewhere on every page, along with a selection of colourful objects to count, from hotdogs to Chinese lanterns. And because the counting goes all the way up to 20, older brothers and sisters can join in too.
YOUNG READER BOOK OF THE MONTH: Jesper Jinx
It’s been a little while since I reviewed a self-published book on the blog, so I’ll rectify that right now by recommending this likeable little book by Finnish-born author Marko Kitti. It follows the exploits of 11-year-old Jesper Jinx, a rather spirited boy who keeps boredom at bay by putting spiders in his sister’s bed and (accidentally) dying the family cat pink.
It’s a charmingly old-fashioned sort of set-up which will appeal to young readers who have outgrown Horrid Henry. They’ll also enjoy the author’s witty narratorial asides and Quentin Blake-esque illustrations.
TEEN BOOK OF THE MONTH: We Were Liars
Given the title of the book, I don’t think it’s too much a spoiler to say that all may not be as it initially seems in this smart psychological thriller by E. Lockhart. Our narrator is 17-year-old Cadence Sinclair Eastman, the first grandchild of a wealthy American business tycoon. Cadence spends every summer hanging out with her favourite cousins on the family’s idyllic private island. That is until a mysterious accident befalls her, wiping her memory and leaving her with crippling migraines.
As Cadence pieces together the fragments of her shattered mind, we begin to see the portrait of an outwardly perfect family in crisis as well as glimpses of a much darker secret, which will knock the breath out of you when the final twist is revealed.
Rebecca Davies is a journalist and author and is currently working on a YA fantasy novel set in Hackney.
Follow Rebecca on Twitter @RebeccaDavies__Tagged in: Have You Seen My Dragon?, Jesper Jinx, We Were Liars
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter