Children’s books

The Cloudspotter by Tom McLaughlin (Bloomsbury €13.85)

Lacking in friends, Franklin focuses on the clouds and their movements — from big and squeaky to loud and angry. 

His wonderful imagination conjures up many amazing things —cloud castles, cloud racing cars, even cloud jellyfish. One day he finds someone else his on his patch. Was this interloper after Franklin¹s precious clouds? 

His initial reaction is to reject this outsider but he soon realises perhaps the interloper may have been seeking something more important than clouds. 

Illustrated with subtle colouring and soft, minimal background, this is a beautiful book for keeps.

Street Children — Real Stories From Across The World by Anthony Robinson (Frances Lincoln €10.05). 

What links all these stories is the desire of the street children to rise above their lifestyles and live in normal homes. 

For some this is impossible, as their parents have split up and formed new relationships where the new partners don’t welcome the children. Most are resourceful and work at anything that is available and there is very little evidence of self-pity. 

This well illustrated volume gives us thought-provoking glimpses of a way of life which is all too common. Age 10+

Deep Water by Lu Hersey (Usborne €8.80) 

Danni is a normal teenager living with her separated mum. This changes when her mother disappears without leaving a note or message. 

When she is found, their relationship is utterly changed and Danni sets out to discover what has altered her mother so much.

Now staying in a Cornish village with her father, Danni realises her mother’s family, including her estranged grandmother, is regarded with deep suspicion by the locals. 

Danni makes friends in her new school but discovers secrets may link her past to these friends. 

Danni realises the only way to save her mother is to embrace her past and accept there is more to her family than meets the eye. The story, inspired by Cornish sea-lore, is vibrant and filled with eccentric characters. Age 12+

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