This is Summer: Kids' books

From classics to new titles, we present an array of wonderfully imaginative children's books to keep them amused for hours
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The Independent Culture

Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer, by Jane Brocket (£16.99, Hodder & Stoughton)

A fantastic idea: take mouth-watering food from the best classics (including The Famous Five, What Katy Did Next, Pippi Longstocking), and create a cookery book packed with nostalgia. Divided into chapters such as "Midnight Feasts" and "Seaside Picnics", learn how to make St Clare's eclairs and Milly Molly Mandy's treacle tart.

The Tiger who Came to Tea, by Judith Kerr (£5.99, Harper Collins)

Although it's nearly 40 years since this book was published, the surreal tale, beautifully illustrated, gives enduring delight. Little Sophie has an unexpected visit from a tiger who, while polite, manages to polish off all the food that was meant for tea. What will Daddy say when he gets home?

Horrid Henry Robs the Bank by Francesca Simon (£4.99, Orion)

Horrid Henry certainly lives up to his name, and his antics are everything you hope your own child will avoid – which is precisely why younger children so enjoy these tales. This time Henry excels himself, as he grabs all the money he can while playing a board game, and sets up a gossipy school newspaper.

Beautiful Doodles by Nellie Ryan (£9.99, Buster Books)

No pressure to draw perfectly with this lovely book – just use natural creativity and doodle. Nicely set up in the form of templates, so children can decorate paper dolls' clothes, imagine what animals are missing in the pet shop, and then veer off on their own doodling journey.

Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr Seuss (£4.99, HarperCollins)

With his trademark whacky style, Dr Seuss takes children through the trials and tribulations of life, with plenty of made-up words and invented destinations along the way. His message through the crazy characters and bright colours is clear: Don't panic – the world is yours for the taking, no matter what.

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton (£5.99, Egmont)

Imagine a tree that's the home of characters like Moonface and Saucepan Man, and every week, a magic land appears at the top. Some are great fun (like Land of Take-What-You-Want), others not so nice (don't get stuck in the Land of Dame Slap), but all hold great adventures and still enchant children today.

Point Blanc: The Graphic Novel by Anthony Horowitz, Antony Johnston (£7.99, Walker Books)

Stories about young spy Alex Rider are bestsellers thanks to Horowitz's excellent writing, but if your child needs encouragement to read, there's no better way than this, which brings Alex to life in startling Manga-style illustrations by sisters Kanako and Yuzuru. In this adventure, our hero is undercover in the French Alps, aided by amazing gadgets.

Clarice Bean: The Utterly Complete Collection by Lauren Child (£17.97, Orchard Press)

This collection contains three novels (Utterly Me, Clarice Bean, Clarice Bean Spells Trouble and Clarice Bean, Don't Look Now) about the vivacious Clarice Bean, brought to life by Child's lively drawings. Follow her adventures, and try not to be squeamish when you read that her Worry No. 9 is "largish spiders"!

Kids' Kitchen: Good Food Made Easy by Amanda Grant (£16.99, Mitchell Beazley)

An inventive way to teach children the basics of cooking – whisking eggs, making pastry, baking – through fun and tasty recipes. The chapter divisions ("From Afar", "From the Farm", "From the Wilds") are a lovely way to allow young cooks to connect the ingredients they're using with where they come from too.

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (£5.99, Red Fox)

Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are is a firm favourite among young children, but this illustrated book is equally wonderful. Mickey finds his night-time world transformed into a kitchen – he flies in a dough plane around buildings made from milk cartons, and almost gets baked into a cake!

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