Sylvia and Bird by Catherine Rayner (Little Tiger Press; €7.55) tells the tale of a ‘shimmer-shiny dragon named Sylvia’ who is sad and lonely. All changes when she meets and befriends a tiny bird and they have much fun together. But when Bird meets other birds, Sylvia thinks she has lost her friend. But the strength of friendship is unshakeable. Beautiful story and illustrations for age four and up.
The Quest of the Warrior Sheep by Christine and Christopher Russell (Egmont; €7.55) features Farmer Ida White’s five Rare Breed Sheep which are interrupted from their munching by a shiny object that falls from the sky. Is this the Baaton of the Ancient Prophecy? If so they must get it to Lord Aries, supreme Sheep God. Thus they set off to find him. However, the shiny object is a mobile phone, which has fallen from the hot air balloon of two crooks. It has details of bank accounts, security codes and PIN numbers hacked into its system. So the chase is on to get it back. Add in a cast of other characters and you have an hilarious read for age nine-plus.
Final Victory by Herbie Brennan (A&C Black; €6.30) is from the Flashback series, set in key moments in history. 12-year-old Jurgen is a proud member of the Hitler Youth. Even as he sees the consequences of his reporting his mother to the Gestapo for disapproving of a Nazi book, Jurgen figures he has done right. When his small unit of six youngsters are given rifles and bandoliers and led through Berlin by elderly Commander Heinrich Heinz, Jurgen senses the old man is not up to the challenge. With friend Karl, he breaks away from the unit to report Heinz’s inadequacy to Hitler Youth headquarters. Their journey through the rubble and chaos of 1945 Berlin and the advancing Russians doesn’t quench Jurgen’s purpose. With true skill, Brennan manages to write an exciting story.