Books for Children

GOOD Little Wolf by Nadia Shireen (Random House; €7.10) tells of good overcoming bad — maybe! Little grey Rolf loves Mrs Biggins.

He helps her with her knitting and he bakes cakes. But when he meets a big bad wolf Rolf is confused — especially when it tries to teach him the real purpose of wolfhood. The ending is particularly funny!

Sally Go Round The Stars (O’Brien; €14.80 HB) is a big book of children’s rhymes, selected by Claire Ranson and Sarah Webb. In this book, well-known rhymes blend jauntily with old Irish street-chants. The bold, colourful outline and very child-friendly illustrations by Steve McCarthy top this delightful book for children of all ages.

Help! My Brother’s A Zombie by Annie Graves (Little Island; €5.99) is one of a series called The Nightmare Club. The story is narrated by a youngster whose Zombie brother is locked in the attic. The beginning promises a jaunt of scariness, but fails to maintain. There is no rise and fall of excitement throughout, no nail-biting thrill or frisson of fear. The narrator and his father round up cats and dogs at night to feed the zombie. The covers and illustrations of the series (even if it’s supposed to be by a child) are uninspiring.

Partly based on a true story, The Pirate Prisoner by Terry Deary (A&C Black; €5.92) features a young slave girl who tries to save her decent master from the gallows. For her trouble she is pushed into his cell to stay with him until his hanging next morning. As she listens to his life-story she wishes for a miracle. A miracle of sorts does occur, but it brings different hazards. Can she and her master gain their freedom?

An exciting page-turner, with excellent pen and wash illustrations for age eight and upwards.

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