12 New Picture Books for 2017

With every new year comes the promise of new picture books to amaze, delight, and spark the imaginations of our children. So, forget the January blues and share in our excitement at some of the books we can look forward to in 2017.


January is a bumper month for new releases, with the latest books from Scotland-based authors Emily Mackenzie (There's Broccoli in My Ice Cream!) and Morag Hood (When Grandad Was a Penguin) both hitting the shelves. For children with active imaginations, we recommend the fantastic Also an Octopus from Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Benji Davies (main image, above). The book opens with a ukulele-playing octopus who sets out to build his own spaceship, and the fun carries on right until the end! For those who love a good story, this is a brilliant one about the way stories are created. 

The Everywhere Bear
If your little ones loved The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb, then they have good reason to be excited. Their latest collaboration, The Everywhere Bear (published in February), promises to be another heart-warming read, this time about the adventures of a classroom bear who finds himself washed out to sea and loaded onto a lorry (amongst other things). We look forward to more beautiful illustrations from Cobb and, of course, more lovely rhymes from Bookbug's patron, Julia Donaldson. 

Continuing the theme of bears, we look foward in March to the publication of The Island and the Bear, inspired by a true story from the Scottish Hebrides. Written by Scottish poet and author Louise Greig, the tale of a bear who appears one windy morning on a wild Hebridean island is sure to enchant young children.

Cover of Never Take a Bear to School
From bears in Scotland to a very famous one from darkest Peru, Paddington's Finest Hour is the latest book from author Michael Bond. Our marmalade sandwich-eating hero has a run-in with the police in this new story, and even finds himself starring in a TV cookery programme - we can't wait to find out what else he gets up to in April! And if you have a little one starting nursery or school in the summer, then look out for Never Take A Bear to School by Mark Sperring and Britta Teckentrup. This funny story about the adventures of a boy on his first day of school or nursery is bound to settle any anxieties your little one may have.

Daddy Long Legs
If you're looking for a great book to celebrate a super father-figure around Father's Day in June, look out for the smart and funny Daddy Long Legs (Nadine Brun-Cosme and Aurelie Guillerey). Matty's dad allays any fears that Matty may have about being picked up from nursery by suggesting alternative modes of transport he could take if the car were to break down  - from a tractor to a dragon, a polar bear to a rowing boat. This looks like the perfect book to reassure children that their dad, or father-figure, will always be there for them.

Later in the year comes an exciting picture book from the author of Watership Down, Richard Adams, who sadly passed away on Christmas Eve. Adventures of Egg Box Dragon is an enchanting story about a mischievous dragon made out of old egg cartons. Whatever it is you've lost, this smart dragon detective will help you find it! Look out for wonderful illustrations too from Alex T. Smith. 

Monkey on cover of Funny Faces
If it's a book for a new baby you need, there are some great new titles out this year. In March, you can check out Funny Faces: A Look and Laugh Mirror Board Book, with fabulous high-contrast images perfect for helping babies develop their vision. Baby's First Peekaboo: Hello You! is also one of two new baby books by Stephen Barker to be published in the Spring. Like Funny Faces, they are perfect board books for babies, with high-contrast illustrations and peep-through holes. 

Finally, as we're all about hugs and cuddles at Bookbug, we are particularly excited about Chris Riddell's 100 Hugs, out later this week. This gorgeous collection of hugs from the Children's Laureate is the perfect antidote to a wintery January, and the ideal gift for someone in need of cheering up this month. 

These are just a handful of the wonderful books that will be hitting bookshelves in libraries and bookshops across the UK this year. Keep an eye on the Bookbug blog for more recommendations throughout 2017, as well as your chance to win books in our Book of the Month competition.

Happy reading!