Book recommendations covers for June 2024
Book Reviews

Monthly Book Recommendations: June 2024

Welcome to our monthly book recommendations post for June! Last month was a busy one with visiting bookshops (you can see where we want and what we bought on our social media), but we still found time to knock out a few fantastic non-fiction books, graphic novels, and picture books. Here’s what we read in June 2024!


Bang: The Wild Wonders of Earth’s PhenomenaJennifer N.R. Smith (pub. Thames & Hudson Ltd.)
This book is phenomenal, full of stunning illustrations and packed with amazing facts from around, above, and under our planet. It follows on from Glow: The Wild Wonders of Bioluminescence, which captured our imaginations back in 2023.
From the power of ice, to geysers and hot springs, there are all manner of phenomena listed including why auroras come in different colours (no, we didn’t know either!). It also contains a section on geoscientists and some of the fascinating work they do.
Using a special form of High Ultra-Violet printing, each page is a glorious and striking display of the power of nature that we can’t look away from!

Bird, Bee & Bug Houses: Homes and Habitats for Garden WildlifeSusie Behar and Esther Coombs (pub. Button Books)
A great do-it-yourself book for budding nature enthusiasts, schools, or anyone who wants to welcome and improve the habitats of tiny and not-so-tiny creatures.
In each section you are given useful information about the wildlife before a double page spread that contains clear instructions for a project that will help them; from butterfly feeders and bee homes, to a bug hotel or mini-meadow. Or maybe you would like to become a wildlife detective? They have tips for that too!

Beasts from the DeepMatt Ralphs and Kaley McKean (pub. Nosy Crow)
Dive into the deep with this fascinating book containing just some of the ‘beasts’ that live in the darkest depths of the oceans.
Starting with a wonderful illustration of the five different zones under the water’s surface, it then takes us on a journey into each zone and gives us a glimpse of what lives there. From the fearsome Black Dragonfish of the Twilight Zone and the Goblin Shark of the Midnight Zone, to the Giant Sea Spider (yikes!) of the Abyssal Zone and the Cusk Eel in the final Hadal Zone.
Each double-page spread gives us facts about the life and diet of each creature, together with an up-close illustration that makes us pleased we live on land!

Colossal Words for Kids: 75 Tremendous Words: Neatly Defined To Stick In the MindColette Hiller and Tor Freeman (pub. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
This engaging book straddles non-fiction and poetry, with rhymes to define the 75 wide-ranging words in alphabetical order. With humorous illustrations, this is great fun to read and, as suggested, to read-aloud! With the word itself highlighted in each rhyme, together with its usage, it’s a wonderful way to not just learn words but also enjoy poetry.
Starting with ‘acquiesce’ and finishing with ‘zest’, our personal favourite is ‘scintillating’ – and that’s just what this glorious book is!

Graphic Novels

Bad United: Just for KicksLouise Forshaw (pub. Little Tiger
When it comes to football, there is no team like BAD UNITED! Just for Kicks is the first in this new graphic series; illustrated in black and white, we follow the eclectic group of players in their training and first match against The Blazing Dragons. But this is no ordinary team – Bad United is full of the players no other team wants, and their newest player is Hoof, a unicorn who certainly thinks he’s special…
Expect the unexpected in the hilarious first outing of this truly terrible team!

Cowgirls & Dinosaurs: Big Trouble in Little SpittleLucie Ebrey (pub. Piccadilly Press)
Join the rip-roaring, Wild West-set, crime-fighting adventures of rough and ready Abigail aka the Sarsaparilla Kid (who’s always dreamed of being the Deputy Sheriff), her pet dinosaur called Rootbeer, and prim and proper Clementine aka the actual Deputy Sheriff of Little Spittle (who only got the job because her dad is the Sheriff).
When the Bandit Queen comes to town to capture a “dinomagik” artefact, the girls have to put their differences aside and join forces to save the town and its inhabitants, and maybe much more. But will they ever become friends?
A cracking start to a brilliant new full-colour graphic series.

Picture Books

This is the Ship that Jack BuiltPeter Millett and Sam Caldwell (pub. Buster Books)
A nautical take on ‘This Is the House That Jack Built’, this story is full of gold and all the creatures that are trying to nab it – from a rat to a whale and a crab, and a whole lot more! With bright, bold illustrations that capture the action, this is a book young children will love joining in with.

Bun On the RunSmriti Halls and Chris Jevons (pub. Scholastic)
Another book that looks back to an old favourite, this time ‘The Gingerbread Man’.
Still based on edible treats but this time in a baker’s shop window, that’s where we find Bernard the bun who has places to go. But can he escape being pursued by hungry animals? With wonderful illustrations that at first just give us a glimpse of his pursuers as each one appears, this is another book that children will have fun taking part in!

My Mate Mark is a Hammerhead Shark!Jeanne Willis and Adrian Reynolds (pub. Andersen Press)
We have long been fans of Jeanne Willis, and once again she doesn’t disappoint with this rhyming story about a boy and Mark, the hammerhead shark who he meets on an ocean cruise. Unfortunately the other passengers are not keen on Mark – that is until disaster strikes and Mark becomes the hero of the day. A light-hearted and funny book about not judging people (or sharks!) by their appearance.

That’s it for June’s recommendations; a wonderful selection of thoughtful non-fiction, side-splittingly fun graphic novels, and whimsical picture books. Let us know on Threads or Twitter/X which ones you like the look of!

If any of the books have grabbed your attention, then you can pick up a copy of them via our recommendations list below.

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If you’re looking for more book round-ups, check out our previous reviews here.