Staff Favourites 2020

By The Alligator's Mouth

By The Alligator's Mouth

It's been a difficult year, but along the way there have been some wonderful and important publications we wouldn't want you to miss. Here's a selection of staff and customer favourites encompassing non-fiction, picturebooks, early readers, junior fiction and young adult. Happy (and hope-filled) New Year!


Please note: The term 'Backorder' rather than 'Available' may mean the title is unavailable temporarily or long term. If in doubt, you are welcome to contact The Alligator's Mouth on 02089486775 or [email protected] and we can retrieve more exact information about how quickly a title is likely to arrive.

The Germ Lab: The Gruesome Story of Deadly Diseases


£12.99 £12.08

A timely title with a lightness of touch and sense of humour that are very welcome. Learn about how disease spreads, the histories of deadly plagues and the amazing tales of medical breakthroughs against all odds. Accessibly written by Richard Platt and colourfully illustrated by John Kelly. Mark

Stories Of The Saints: Bold and Inspiring Tales of Adventure, Grace, and Courage

Carey Wallace and Nick Thornborrow

£18.98 £17.65

A Journey Through Greek Myths

Marchella Ward and Sander Berg

£16.98 £15.79

Flying Eye apply their high quality production values to a stunning illustrated Greek myths collection. There are some brilliant moments that you won't see illustrated in other Greek myth collections. Mark

My First Cook Book: Bake, Make and Learn to Cook

David Atherton and Rachel Stubbs

£14.99 £13.94

Jam-packed with fantastic recipes and useful tips, this cookbook written by Bake Off winner David Atherton and illustrated by Rachel Stubbs is my new favourite cookbook and deserves to be in every toddlers kitchen. Mark

Music: A Fold-Out Graphic History

Nicholas O'Neill, Susan Hayes, et al.

£14.99 £13.94

Slow Down: Bring Calm to a Busy World with 50 Nature Stories

Rachel Williams and Freya Hartas

£16.98 £15.79

Poems Aloud: An anthology of poems to read out loud

Joseph Coelho and Daniel Gray-Barnett

£11.99 £11.15

The Undefeated

Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

£7.99 £7.43

Once Upon a Raindrop: The Story of Water

James Carter and Nomoco

£7.99 £7.43

Little Fish and Friends: Touch and Feel

Lucy Cousins

£8.99 £8.36

The size of this book and its big touchy feely elements are really satisfying and easy for baby to find. Lucy Cousins' books are always sure to put a smile on your face. Mark

Interstellar Cinderella

Deborah Underwood and Meg Hunt

£6.99 £6.50


Fred Blunt

£12.99 £12.08

For this little gnome, the answer to everything is 'NO!' Yet he will rue the day he is rude to a witch... Say 'YES!' to this mercilessly funny cautionary tale. And hear 'Angry Gnome', a song Tony and I sang in its honour, on our Youtube channel. Mark

Two for Me, One for You

Jorg Muhle

£7.99 £7.43

Octopus Shocktopus!

Peter Bently and Steven Lenton

£6.99 £6.50

This bright and bold tale of the time when an octopus landed on top of house is super fun and never fails to make me smile. -Helen

Don't Worry, Little Crab

Chris Haughton

£7.99 £7.43

Herbert's Garden

Lara Hawthorne

£12.99 £12.08

A picturebook that stands out for its thoughtful message and unique illustration. Herbert the slug is busy moving around the garden, in awe of all the amazing things that the other bugs can do and the beautiful things they're creating. But perhaps if he takes the time to look behind him, he'll realise he's creating something rather beautiful too. Mark

Rocket Boy

Katie Jennings and Joe Lillington

£7.99 £7.43

A Mummy Ate My Homework

Thiago de Moraes

£8.99 £8.36

Hilarious time travel fun, written and illustrated by Thiago de Moraes. His non-fiction titles Myth Atlas and History Atlas have already proved he is a huge talent. Mark


Sophy Henn

£6.99 £6.50

44 Tiny Secrets

Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King

£6.99 £6.50

Kiki's Delivery Service

Eiko Kadono and Joe Todd-Stanton

£10.99 £10.22

Finally, the Japanese children's favourite, long ago adapted into a Studio Ghibli film, is available in translation as a smart little hardback. Just as charming and timeless as the film. Mark

Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes

Sophie Deen

£6.99 £6.50

The Wizards of Once: Never and Forever: Book 4

Cressida Cowell

£12.99 £12.08

More wizards vs warriors in this atmospheric illustrated fantasy by the author of the How to Train Your Dragon series. Customers have been clamouring for these sequels! Mark

Crystal of Storms

Rhianna Pratchett

£6.99 £6.50

Rhianna Pratchett is the latest guest author in the newly resurrected Fighting Fantasy series. Fighting Fantasy is a series where the reader is the hero, making decisions about where in the book to turn next and rolling dice to combat enemies along the way. Mark

Orion Lost

Alastair Chisholm

£7.99 £7.43


Jennifer Bell

£7.99 £7.43

Whilst getting trapped inside of a VR game may not be ideal, it sure makes for an excellent plot! From exploding gnomes to historical figures, I really enjoyed this gripping read. -Helen

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency: Book 1

L.D. Lapinski

£6.99 £6.50

When Flick stumbles upon The Strangeworlds Travel Agency in her sleepy new town, she has no idea of the adventures that await her – adventures that are just a suitcase away...! I raced through this, desperate to know more. -Helen

The Light Hunters

Jr. Walker Dan

£7.99 £7.43

Uki and the Outcasts

Kieran Larwood and David Wyatt

£7.99 £7.43

Following on from the Podkin One-Ear books, firm staff and customer favourites, this is the first story of rabbit hero Uki.

Return to Roar

Jenny McLachlan and Ben Mantle

£6.99 £6.50

A brother and sister re-enter the imaginary world they built together as children in this wonderful sequel to The Land of Roar. Mark

A Kind of Spark

Elle McNicoll

£6.99 £6.50

Addie is horrified to learn of her town's involvement in the witch trials, and starts a campaign for a memorial. Being unfairly treated by some because of her autism, Addie is passionate about commemorating those who were wrongly treated in the past just for being different. A tale of friendship, bravery, and making your voice heard. -Helen

Orphans of the Tide

Struan Murray and Manuel Sumberac

£7.99 £7.43

When Life Gives You Mangoes

Kereen Getten

£7.99 £7.43

As Clara tries to remember what happened last summer, her friendship with Gaynah starts to fracture. And as new girl Rudy begins to take her place, they uncover a family secret that will cause Clara to regain her memories and face what really happened. An atmospheric and gripping tale that gently simmers to a plot twist that I definitely did not see coming. -Helen

The Castle of Tangled Magic

Sophie Anderson and Saara Soderlund

£7.99 £7.43

The Midnight Guardians

Ross Montgomery

£7.99 £7.43

Kidnap on the California Comet

M. G. Leonard, Sam Sedgman, et al.

£6.99 £6.50

The Girl Who Stole an Elephant

Nizrana Farook

£7.99 £7.43

The Soup Movement

Ben Davis

£6.99 £6.50

Darwin's Dragons

Lindsay Galvin

£6.99 £6.50

The Good Thieves

Katherine Rundell

£7.99 £7.43

After Vita's grandfather is swindled out of their family home, she vows to get it back with the help of an unlikely group. I love Katherine Rundell's writing, and I love heists, so this was the perfect combo for me. -Helen


K. O'Neill

£14.99 £13.94


John Patrick Green

£9.99 £9.29

The Inkberg Enigma

Jonathan King

£12.99 £12.08

An intriguing graphic novel from Gecko Press, who pick up on a lot of interesting titles from Aussie and New Zealand. Mark

Mason Mooney: Paranormal Investigator

Seaerra Miller

£12.99 £12.08

Heavy Vinyl: Y2K-O!

Carly Usdin and Nina Vakueva

£10.99 £10.22

Chris is loving working at Vinyl Destination, being a part of the secret vigilante fight club with her colleagues, keeping the justice in the music world, and dating her crush/coworker, Maggie. This time, the gang have to infiltrate the Battle of the Bands, but will they be able to stop the shadowy corporate masters of the music industry in time? Super fun and kickass, I was overjoyed to see this sequel come out this year. More please! -Helen

Heartstopper Volume Three

Alice Oseman

£10.99 £10.22

The next installment of Nick and Charlie's story, featuring a school trip to Paris and Nick finding the courage to come out to his mum. Oh so sweet whilst never being saccharine, this graphic novel series is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. Vol 4 comes out soon, and I can't wait! -Helen

The Good Hawk (Shadow Skye, Book One)

Joseph Elliott

£7.99 £7.43

The Black Kids

Christina Hammonds Reed

£7.99 £7.43

You Should See Me in a Crown

Leah Johnson

£7.99 £7.43

When Liz's college scholarship plan falls through, she decides to enter the competition to win Prom Queen – and a $10,000 scholarship. But as new girl (and fellow prom queen tryout) Mack start to fall for each other, will Liz be able to win both the crown and the girl? Hands down, my favourite book of the year. -Helen

Raybearer: The epic and phenomenal New York Times bestselling YA fantasy

Jordan Ifueko

£7.99 £7.43

Tarisai is trying to find her place in the world whilst attempting to break a curse placed on her by her mother – one that would result in her murdering her best friend, the Crown Prince. An epic West African inspired fantasy packed with adventure, danger, lies and wishes. A stunning debut! -Helen

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3)

Holly Black

£7.99 £7.43

The concluding part in the Folk of the Air trilogy sees Jude deal with the twists and turns of the Fae world she calls home — whilst being in exile. With so much intrigue and plot twists and drama like the first two books, I couldn't wait to see how it would all pan out. I heart my stabby queen, Jude. -Helen

The Black Flamingo

Dean Atta and Anshika Khullar

£7.99 £7.43

A captivating and heartfelt verse novel, chronicling Michael's journey from a small child to becoming The Black Flamingo. A tale of friendship, love, and finding who you are. -Helen