Pirates, Aliens and volcano gods . . . All illustrated for Younger Readers
This year has seen the resurgence of illustrated books such as my favourite for younger readers of six plus, Fortunately, the Milk . . . by the amazing Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury, £10.99). Mum's away, Dad's in charge and there's no milk – so off he goes to find some, stumbling into all kinds of trouble along the way. There are pirates, aliens, volcano gods and all manner of crazy escapades in this hilarious book. The pen and ink illustrations by Chris Riddell are genius, and watch out for Gaiman himself in a cameo role as 'Dad'.
Chris Riddell's own book Goth Girl (Macmillan, £9.99) is also brilliant for sharing. Ada Goth lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall with her father, Lord Goth. With lots of clever literary references for parents, this makes a perfect read-aloud; and Oliver and the Seawigs (Oxford, £8.99), by the magnificent Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, is an eccentric adventure story with equally whacky illustrations. (Both age 6+)
In Milo and One Dead Angry Druid by Mary Arrigan (O'Brien, €7.99), can best buddies Milo and Shane outwit the dead druid before midnight strikes? Arrigan is an experienced writer for this age group and it shows in her pitch-perfect text and her short, snappy chapters. Kevin Stevens's The Powers (Little Island, €7.99) are not-so-super superheroes who go on holiday to Baltimore. Great cartoon-style illustrations by Sheena Dempsey. (Both age 7+)