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Kicking a Ball, by Allan Ahlberg, Puffin, RRP£6.99

A poem about perpetuating the enthusiasms of youth by passing them on to the next generation is exquisitely illustrated by French artist Sébastien Braun. In catchily bouncy rhyming cadences, Ahlberg shows how a football-mad boy grows up to be proud dad to a football-mad girl.

The Story Machine, by Tom McLaughlin, Bloomsbury, RRP£10.99

Discovering a typewriter in the attic, Elliott starts composing stories on it, only to find that he is more adept at creating pictures out of the letters. McLaughlin’s book is based on his own experiences of being a child with dyslexia, and is rewarding and informative, not to mention inspiring.

Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey, by Alex Milway, Walker Books, RRP£6.99/ Candlewick, RRP$12.99

Would-be famous explorer Pigsticks and his taciturn hamster assistant Harold embark on a journey to the Ends of the Earth, fuelled by cake and delusions of greatness. Pure, joyous silliness abounds in a story about ambition, trust, self-belief, and the dangers of goats. Oh, and the importance of cake.

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