Top Ten Quirky Kids' Books

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Bookbag thinks quirky is a very good word. We love a little bit of subversion. Life wouldn't be the same without it. Children love subversion too, and here we have some glorious indiscipline, some sweetness without saccharine, and some illustrations that you'll look at over and over again. Why not tell us about your favourites?


Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King

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Insane, naughty and charming, this little book is easy to read, fun to share and is full of the most appalling one liners. It's a must. Full review...

Don't Read This Book! by Jill Lewis and Deborah Allwright

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A brilliant twist on traditional story books, with the King wanting a story, but his story writer not having completed it yet. All the time, there's someone (you!) reading the incomplete book. Great fun. As highly recommended as they come. Jill Lewis was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag. Full review...

Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog by Mini Grey

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A witty and surreal picture book that's suitable for both reading aloud and first attempts at reading alone. It's slightly subversive in a Toy Story way, but is absolutely and utterly British. Don't miss it. Full review...

Flanimals: The Day of the Bletchling by Ricky Gervais

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The fourth volume in this handy guide to Flanimals life introduces new critters of the insect-like kind, then horrifyingly turns into a depiction of a mass extinction. Can Flanimal life, and the series, ever return? Full review...

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech

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A gorgeous novel in free verse and a perfect introduction to poetry for any primary school child. Highly recommended. You may remember how much Jack loved his dog in Sharon Creech's Carnegie medal winning Love That Dog. Over its succinct pages, he had come to terms with Sky's death, learned appreciate poetry and how to write some of his own. In Hate That Cat his literary journey continues as he begins to move on from his loss, aided by the wonderfully-named Miss Stretchberry. So we continue for another slim volume of free verse in which Jack's first question about every poet is, endearingly, is he alive? Full review...

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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Utterly, utterly gorgeous fantasy novel about life, death, family and growing up. It combines the charming and macabre and has something for everyone aged eight to eighty-eight. Highly recommended. Full review...

Eggs by Jerry Spinelli

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A story of grief, love, loss and recovery. The dialogue sparkles and Spinelli catches the angry child perfectly. Dry wit and plenty of conflict keep the story touching and charming but never sentimental. Lovely. Full review...

Holes by Louis Sachar

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Holes is a quirky, individual little book that can be read by children and adults alike. Part mystery, part coming-of-age, part situation comedy and with top-drawer writing, it has something to appeal to everyone. Highly recommended. Full review...

Someday Angeline by Louis Sachar

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This is a wonderful book for newly confident readers. Full of one-liners, absurd situations and some very real emotions, it has the surreal feel of Roald Dahl, but with an extra dollop of kindness. Recommended. Full review...

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell

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A mystery story for young readers with wonderful illustrations & a strong dose of the absurd, this book has a gentle adventure used as a pretext to explore the life & environment of the main character. Full review...

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