Three toddlers on a couch, reading one big picture book
(Photo: Rawpixel / iStock via Getty Images Plus)

The Unity Books children’s bestseller chart for the month of June

What’s the best way to get adults reading? Get them reading when they’re children – and there’s no better place to start than the Unity Children’s Bestseller Chart.


1 How Do I Feel? A Dictionary of Emotions for Children by Rebekah Lipp & Craig Phillips (Wildling Books, $40, 5+)

New from the very savvy creators of Aroha’s Way, Aroha Knows and Let it Go: Emotions are Energy in Motion. This is a hardback, their biggest project yet, and sales are going bananas. Early days, but I think it’s fair to call it a juggernaut.

It is a big, bright and beautiful picture dictionary. The design is clean and the illustrations look like home. I like the range of emotions it covers – for example dread, ecstasy, melancholy, awe, overwhelmedness – and the clear descriptions of what each one might feel like for kids. Each emotion is given an entire spread so it would work well held up in front of a class.

2  Sapiens: A Graphic History, Volume 1, The Birth of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and David Vandermeulen, and illustrator Daniel Casanave (Jonathon Cape, $48, 11+)

Evolution of a bestseller.

3  Big Ideas for Curious Minds: An Introduction to Philosophy by Alain de Botton and Anna Doherty (Affirm Press, $40, 8+)

A great book, but I mean, over to you whether you want to teach your kid to debate better.

4  The Rock From the Sky by Jon Klassen (Walker Books, $30, 3+)

Recommended, to the highest degree and without reservation.

5  Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, the Minalima edition by J.K. Rowling (Minalima, $55, 10+)

Via Little Unity: “Paper engineering and colour prints, beautiful gift hardback, was eagerly awaited.”

6  Pirate Stew by Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell (Bloomsbury, $25, 5+)

Signed copies!

7  Maui and Other Legends: 8 Classic Tales of Aoteoroa by Peter Gossage (Puffin, $40, 4+)

A classic.

8  Aesop’s Fables retold by Elli Woollard, illustrated by Marta Altes (Macmillan, $38, 3+)

Huge eye twitch at this via the publisher: “charmingly retold in rhyming verse” but the rhymes are apparently actually pretty great. For once.

9  Tu Meke Tuatara by Malcolm Clarke, illustrated by Flox (Mary Egan, $30, 4+)

The illustrations – Flox! – are amazing.

10 Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey (Graphix, $18, 7+)

The latest in Pilkey’s widely-adored Dog Man series.


1  The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charles Mackesy (Ebury Press, $40, all ages)

Mackesy has 1.2m followers on insta and has probably sold a similar number of these books by now. They’re sweet pen sketches set to small wisdoms. Think Winnie the Pooh.

2  How Do I Feel? A Dictionary of Emotions for Children by Rebekah Lipp & Craig Phillips (Wildling Books, $40, 5+)

3  The Great Kiwi Bedtime Book by Donovan Bixley (Upstart Press, $20, 3+)

The reliably bright and breezy Bixley delivers again.

4  Six of Crows #1: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Hodder, $20, 13+)

We’re going to have to come up with a niftier way of formatting all these series titles, eh.

5  Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (St Martin’s, $33, 16+)

Hey grownups, are you in the mood for fiction that’s extremely clever and swoony, reads like a cross between The Crown and The West Wing, involves lots of beautifully-written sex between a prince of England and a first son of America, and will in no way ratchet up your anxiety levels? Please picture me nodding and tapping this book aggressively.

 Kuwi & Friends Māori Picture Dictionary by Kat Merewether & Pania Papa (Illustrated Publishing, $35, 4+)

Big bold gorgeous hardback, lots of cute kiwi, Red Bands, toothbrushes, baby seals, etcetera.

7  They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (Simon & Schuster, $21, 14+)

Kirkus Reviews: “another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.  Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.”

8  One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (Griffin, $30)

“From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy … ”

Give it to me, give it to me now.

9  Let It Go: Emotions Are Energy in Motion by Rebekah Lipp & Craig Phillips (Tikitibu, $20, 5+)

My six-year-old was very impressed, and as you might imagine his bar is set pretty high these days.

10 Heartstopper Volume 4 by Alice Oseman (Hodder, $25, 13+)

An LGBTQ+ graphic novel, also soon to be a live-action Netflix show.

The Spinoff is made possible by the generous support of the following organisations.
Please help us by supporting them.