Books for Children

Despite the creepy bug-eyed cover, Love Monster by Rachel Bright (HarperCollins; €8.35) is the story of an ugly monster, unloved and the butt of children’s jibes.

Is there nobody who will love him? But sometimes, “when you least expect it, love finds you.” A charming tale of friendship for three- to four-year-olds.

Super-Duper Dudley by Sue Mongredien, illustrated by Caroline Pedler (Little Tiger; €13.03 HB) is a big book to read aloud. Dudley the puppy is a brave adventurer for whom danger exists for him to conquer. But when his best friend Bonzo finds a skill of his own, Dudley must learn talent is not confined to him alone. A warm-hearted lesson in acknowledging the skills of one’s peers. Age four and upwards.

Petrify by Beth Chambers (A&C Black; €7.10). When Ella’s new neighbour, Josh, hears about the creepy Ma Jessop’s woods he convinces a group of classmates to come and investigate, despite Ella’s protests. This short, well-paced horror story is suitable for brave 10-year-olds and for older reluctant readers.

Cheetah and Gorilla, two books by Suzi Eszterhas (Frances Lincolnl €8.35). This series is a successful mixture of lavish photography and mini fact-files. The lives of cheetahs and gorillas are brilliantly documented from birth to adulthood. Suitable for age eight and upwards.

Run Jimmy, Run by Malachy Doyle (A&C Black; €7.10) is a moral tale of young bullying. Jimmy seems to have spent most of his young life trying to avoid the unwelcome attentions of Dax. Not alone is Dax a bully but he is a consummate liar and Jimmy fails miserably in trying to evade him. The pace is headlong and a resolution is not possible until Jimmy finds he is caught in a no-win situation. Suitable for reluctant readers age nine to 14.

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