Books for children

A Little Fairy Magic by Julia Hubery, illustrated by Alison Edgson (Little Tiger; €8.35).

More than anything little Phoebe wants to be a real fairy, so when she receives a floaty fairy dress and a wand for her birthday she is ecstatic. Now all she wants is to make magic. But when her pirate brother asks her to magic up a parrot, Phoebe finds that transforming a ladybird into a parrot isn’t easy. But Phoebe’s wand comes to the rescue in quite another way. The gentle story is charmingly illustrated with soft colours and tactile glittery parts. A delightful ‘girlie’ book for age three and upwards.

The Dinner of Smells by Humaira Rashid (A&C Black; €5.92) Mr Saeed’s restaurant sends out tantalising smells around the town. Old Ali and his wife Hawa don’t have money to buy food. When Ali searches the streets to find the source of the aroma he is threatened by the owner who demands money for smelling the food. But wise man, Nasruddin, has the perfect solution. A beautifully illustrated, engaging story for newly independent readers.

For long journeys or wet days, two absorbing books will guarantee fun and peace. Lots of Things to Find and Colour (Usborne; €11.50) is a big, fat book, each themed page filled with items to find: where is the bespectacled turtle who’s hiding among his many peers? The line illustrations are blank, giving the young reader hours of colouring-in. Perfect peace! Suitable for age three to eight.

The second book is a take on the Where’s Wally books — but much funnier and with better graphics. Where’s Larry? by Philip Barrett (O’Brien; €9.99) takes the reader around Ireland — from the Giants Causeway to Puck Fair in Kerry to find Larry the Leprechaun and many listed incidentals. Apart from seeking Larry, look out for other well-known characters. Definitely the holiday book to entertain all ages.

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