Children’s Books

DEXTER BEXLEY and the Big Blue Beastie on the Road (Doubleday; €13.90 HB), by Joel Stewart, is a sparkling story, best read aloud.

Dancing and hooting on the roof at bedtime, Dexter and his big blue pal scoot to a dark forest where they pick up a flute-playing princess. The trio set off on a busking tour.

With delightfully frisky illustrations and quirky blend of typefaces, this is a treasure for bedtime routine. Age four and upwards.

For readers who are into trucks, heavy machinery and hard hats, Well Done, Dougal by Benedict Blathwayt (Red Fox; €7.55) will definitely score. Dougal the Digger is working at the harbour when some youngsters are stranded in their boat in the mudflats. When all else fails, it’s Dougal to the rescue. With brilliant, detailed spreads, a satisfying read for age four and up.

Dog Loves Books by Louise Bates (Jonathan Cape; €13.90 HB) is a charming story of the fulfilling victory of optimism in the face of disappointment. Dog loves everything about books so much that he opens a bookshop. He carefully stacks the books for the grand opening, washes his hair, blows his nose and opens the door to greet his customers. Will there be customers? Hmm. But book lovers, like Dog, will always find an engaging way of overcoming life’s hurdles. Perfect book-to-keep for the novice reader aged five and up.

The Adventures of Mrs Pepperpot by Alf Proysen and Hilda Offen (Red Fox; €7.55) is an old-fashioned book comprising two tales featuring Mrs Pepperpot, with her sensible shoes, stripy apron and her hair in a bun, who longs to swim. As she jumps into the water, she magically shrinks. She is rescued by a frog that ho teaches her to swim, with salutary advice that is relevant to the young reader. The second story has Mrs Pepperpot babysitting. The large, colourful illustrations are friendly for the reader aged six and up.

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