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Storytime feeling repetitive? These are the books kids will swap their favourites for

Is the child in your life hooked on one particular story? Expand their library and save your sanity as we take some of the most-loved children's books for all ages and share new titles your little ones will want to try.

It's wonderful when children fall in love with a book, and hearing or reading it again and again is great for their development. Repetition is good for learning, and creating a routine around repeat reads can really help children's sense of control and understanding of what's going to happen next, particularly at bedtime. But it's also nice to have a bit of variety – for both children and their grown-ups!

If you've read your toddler the same book ten times today, or know an older reader who'd like to find something new, here are our suggestions for what to try next based around some firm favourites.

Babies and toddlers

If they like. . .

Dear Zoo

by Rod Campbell

Book cover for Dear Zoo

Too big? Too fierce? Too grumpy? Millions of children have loved discovering the range of unsuitable animals sent by the zoo as possible pets since this lift-the-flap classic was first published in 1982.

They'll love. . .

Who's Hiding in the Jungle?

by Axel Scheffler

Book cover for Who's Hiding in the Jungle?

Give Dear Zoo enthusiasts' love of animals another focus with this new book from the bestselling illustrator of The Gruffalo. Toddlers will delight in helping the monkeys find their friends in the jungle. Flaps to lift? Tick. Appealing illustrations? Tick. Opportunities to perform a range of animal noises? Double tick. 

If they like. . .

Fox's Socks

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for Fox's Socks

2020 marked an incredible twenty years of Acorn Wood, so it's more than possible that young book-lovers will become attached to at least one of the tales. This, the first of the series, takes readers on a hunt around Fox's house as he tries to find his missing footwear, and is perfect for reading aloud. 

They'll love. . .

Badger's Band

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for Badger's Band

Bass-playing Badger is on the lookout for friends to join his band in the latest addition to the series. Lift the flaps to see who can play the trumpet and the piano, and find out what happens at their concert. Children (and their carers) who love Acorn Wood will relish the chance to discover a brand new story. 

If they like. . .

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle

Book cover for The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Great for early counting and days of the week, Eric Carle's classic is understandably most loved for its beautiful collage artwork, 'eaten' holes and transformational finale. 

They'll love. . .

WOW! Said the Owl

by Tim Hopgood

Book cover for WOW! Said the Owl

After deciding to stay awake all day to see what happens when she is usually asleep, a curious owl is amazed by a world bursting with colour. If your toddler loves the bright illustrations and sense of discovery in The Very Hungry Caterpillar then they're sure to enjoy finding out what makes the owl say WOW. 

Ages 3 – 5

If they like. . .

The Gruffalo

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for The Gruffalo

Not just a book, more a phenomenon, there certainly is such a thing as the Gruffalo and you've probably met him. A quick-witted mouse out for a stroll avoids the machinations of various hungry animals in this entertaining, ingenious rhyming story featuring the famous monster.

They'll love. . .

Tidy

by Emily Gravett

Book cover for Tidy

Fans of the Gruffalo will enjoy exploring a different woodland setting alongside rhythmic, rhyming text. Pete the badger likes to be neat, but is in danger of taking things too far. Comic details and beautiful illustrations deliver this book's environmental message with subtlety and humour. 

If they like. . .

I Really Want the Cake

by Simon Philip and Lucia Gaggiotti

Book cover for I Really Want the Cake

How on earth do you resist the most amazing cake ever? Especially when your mum has left a note saying that you MUST NOT eat the cake? One little girl finds out just how hard it can be to resist temptation in this fun family favourite.

They'll love. . .

Where Has All the Cake Gone?

by Andrew Sanders

Book cover for Where Has All the Cake Gone?

What's the one thing better than a book about cake? A book about cake and penguins. Albert is insistent that he did not eat his dad's cake. His dad is less than convinced by his penguin, marmalade and skiing-based alibi. Could his story really be true? An irresistibly funny tale for small children with big imaginations.

Ages 6 – 8

If they like. . .

The 13-Storey Treehouse

by Andy Griffiths

Book cover for The 13-Storey Treehouse

This hugely popular series (of which this book is the first) about best friends Andy and Terry and their ever-expanding treehouse can be read in sequence or as standalone stories. Laugh-out-loud funny with an engaging combination of text and cartoon-style illustrations, these books have proven a massive hit with even reluctant readers. But what next once you've reached the 156th floor?

They'll love. . .

InvestiGators

by John Patrick Green

Book cover for InvestiGators

Emerging readers keen on the Treehouse fusion of hilarious text and comic strip-esque design will love the InvestiGators. They're Alligators – and undercover Investigators! With entertaining gadgets and lots of twists and turns, everyone will enjoy trying to solve the case with Mango and Brash. 

Ages 9 – 12

If they like. . .

The Highland Falcon Thief

by M. G. Leonard

Book cover for The Highland Falcon Thief

Hear whispers in the dining car, find notes in the library and uncover passengers amongst the luggage, as you help Harrison Beck and his Uncle Nat solve a mystery aboard one of the world's grandest trains. This award-winner is the first in the Adventures on Trains series – loved by middle grade readers and, thanks to its Golden Age crime fiction setting, a hit with adults too.

They'll love. . .

Epic Adventures

by Sam Sedgman

Book cover for Epic Adventures

If Adventures on Trains has spurred an interest in life in on the rails, this new book from the series' co-author is a perfect next read. Climb on board and travel across six continents, thirty-four countries and numerous cities via twelve of the world's most awe-inspiring railways.