Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts (Abrams and Chronicle Books)
Determined Ada Twist has a boundless curiosity for science and love of the question Why? Like her classmates Iggy and Rosie, Ada has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? She embarks on fact-finding missions and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery.
Andrea Beaty and David Roberts were shortlisted for the Little Rebels Award in 2014, with Rosie Revere, Engineer. Ada Twist is another stereotype-smashing tale which celebrates the power of curiosity and scientific enquiry.
Sweet Pizza by G. R. Gemin (Nosy Crow)
Joe loves his Italian heritage: the language, the opera, the lasagne! But it’s hard to celebrate his Italian roots in Bryn Mawr, South Wales, where his mam is sick of running the family’s tatty café. Just like his great-grandfather who opened the café in 1929, Joe is an entrepreneur. He vows to save the family business, and to spice up the tired High Street with a little Italian flavour!
G. R. Gemin’s Sweet Pizza is a timely story about diverse communities, migration, history and hope–a warm and funny novel with big ideas at its heart.
Tidy by Emily Gravett (Macmillan/Two Hoots)
Pete the badger likes everything to be neat and tidy at all times, but what starts as the collecting of one fallen leaf escalates and ends with the complete destruction of the forest! Will Pete realise the error of his ways and set things right?
Emily Gravett’s beautiful picture book delivers a subtle, important message about environmental preservation and the importance of natural wildness.
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Milwood Hargrave (Chicken House)
Forbidden to leave her island, Isabella dreams of the faraway lands her father once mapped.
When her closest friend disappears into the island’s Forgotten Territories, she volunteers to guide the search. But the world beyond the walls is a monster-filled wasteland – and beneath the dry rivers and smoking mountains, a legendary fire demon is stirring from its sleep. Soon, following her map, her heart and an ancient myth, Isabella discovers the true end of her journey: to save the island itself.
Kiran Milwood Hargrave’s novel features a courageous heroine who dares to defy a dictatorial Governor, a compelling adventure exploring themes of power, rebellion and hope.
Ossiri and the Bala Mengro by Richard O’Neill and Katharine Quarmby, illustrated by Hannah Tolson (Child’s Play)
A Traveller girl creates her own musical instrument from a willow branch and lots of recycled objects. She plays it enthusiastically, but it sounds terrible! Ignoring warnings not to awaken the ogre in the hills, Ossiri goes there to practise playing her instrument. Will she wake the ogre, and will it appreciate her playing?
Romani storyteller Richard O’Neill teams up with author Katharine Quarmby and illustrator Hannah Tolson in a playfully subersive celebration of creativity for its own sake.
Little Red by Bethan Woollvin (Macmillan/Two Hoots)
Little Red Riding Hood meets a wolf on her way through the woods to visit her sick grandmother. The wolf is hungry, and Red Riding Hood looks tasty, so he hatches a dastardly plan, gobbles up Grandma and lies in wait. So far, so familiar. But this Little Red Riding Hood is not easily fooled, and this big bad wolf better watch his back.
Bethan Woollvin’s Little Red is witty, visually arresting and unashamedly defiant retelling of traditional tale.