Books for Children

When Betsy came to Babysit by Elizabeth Dale, illustrated by Zoe Waring.

The new babysitter makes the fatal mistake of telling her two charges she knows nothing about babysitting. The mischievous youngsters tell her all the activities — swinging on the clothesline, making a cake, washing the cat — that are part of babysitting. Is Betsy as foolish as they think? A fun read-aloud for age four and upwards.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (Random House; €13.03). This sequel to If I Stay charts the next three years in the lives of Mia and Adam, who have gone their separate ways to stardom in their vastly different musical careers. It was Adam who had sat by the comatose Mia’s bed as she hovered between life and death, and whose whispered urgings had seemed to make her “choose” to live. When their paths cross years later in the sequel, it is time for them to unravel how their relationship had disintegrated, much to the dismay and puzzlement of well-meaning Adam. An interesting study of relationships where celebrity careers and romance can be a troublesome mix and, in this case, exacerbated by an overdose of pity.

The Silver Stag of Bunratty by Eithne Massey (O’Brien; €7.99) intertwines a significant time in Irish history with a vibrant storyline. Tuan is sent to live in Bunratty Castle in a ‘hostage’ arrangement between his Irish father and the English Sir Richard de Clare. Badly treated en route, Tuan must remind himself he is of the Mac Conmara clan, brave sea warriors. At Bunratty he befriends the Norman, Matthieu and his feisty sister, Maude, who having been pushed around Europe have now been left with de Clare by their Crusader father. The fourth member of the group is gentle Cliar, protégé of the Lady Anna, wise woman and healer who lives in the tower. This is a totally absorbing read that will enthral young readers. Suitable for age 10 and upwards.

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