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3 of the best... Summer reads for kids

Looking for suggestions for new books to keep them occupied for an hour or two on holidays? Here are our top three picks

Knighthood For Beginners by Elys Dolan

Knighthood For Beginners by Elys Dolan (Oxford University Press)

DAVE is a dragon who's really pretty rubbish at being a dragon. Cast away from his disappointed parents, he stumbles on a book called Knighthood For Beginners and decides he'd rather be a knight. As the book instructs, he finds a trusty steed in the form of adventurous goat Albrecht, who manages to win a suit of armour to make Dave look the part. The odd-looking pair are soon imprisoned by towering Sir Gnasty, who is plotting to overthrow the King. Dolan's comic-strip illustrations make it a fun and speedy read. It's a story of friendship, finding your strengths and the love of books.

What The Ladybird Heard On Holiday by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (MacMillan Children's Books)

LITTLE fans of Julia Donaldson have loved finding the glittery ladybirds and joining in with the animal noises in her previous two collaborations with Lydia Monks: What The Ladybird Heard and What The Ladybird Heard Next – and this one is the perfect sharing holiday read for parents and small children. Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh are back, this time with the plan to steal a monkey from the zoo and use it to nick the Queen's crown. But our favourite crime-fighting ladybird just happens to be on holiday in the same city...

Kid Normal by Greg James and Chris Smith (Bloomsbury Children's)

MURPH, a boy with no powers whatsoever, moves to a new home and gets mistakenly accepted to an X-Men-style school for children with special capabilities (known as Capes). When it's discovered that he can't actually fly, the headteacher decides to let him stay on at the school, despite the fact all the children now call him Kid Normal. No superhero book would be complete without a dastardly villain - and in half-man, half-wasp Nektar, we have one of the best-drawn, who relies on his henchman to come up with more devious plans than just spoiling people's picnics. Packed with very amusing asides, it's a fun and fast-paced read.

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