Books for children

What’s The Time, Mr Wolf (Bloomsbury; €13.03 HB).

Books for children

Award-winning illustrator Debi Gliori takes the well-known children’s game and transforms it into a laugh-aloud romp. At eight o’clock in the morning Mr Wolf’s slumbers are rudely dashed by the village noises, plus three giggling pigs asking him what time it is. The day gets worse as, on the hour, every well-known fairytale character he encounters asks him the time. But there’s a big surprise when he finally gets home. As usual Debi Gliori’s wonderful artwork hits all the right notes for age three and upwards.

A Is Amazing! (Frances Lincoln; €15.40 HB). Edited by the renowned Wendy Cooling this delightful collection of poems houses an eclectic mixture of lively verse from A to Z. John Keats, Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Dickinson, are side by side with modern poets like Benjamin Zephaniah, Michael Rosen and Roger McGough. Stylishly and humorously illustrated by Piet Grobler, this is definitely a family book for keeps.

Big Shot by Sean Callery (A&C Black; €7.10). Danny is unhappy at school. With a portly physique and love of food, he is much jeered at by his classmates who snort and call him Piggy. But his best friend Ash is always there for him. However, when word leaks out that Danny takes lessons in Ballroom Dancing, his life at school becomes unbearable. Short and simply written this is a book that will please and encourage boys who are reluctant readers. Suitable for age eight to 11.

Secrets and Shadows by Brian Gallagher (O’Brien; €7.99) The novel details the developing friendship between Grace Ryan, whose house was destroyed during the bombing on the North Strand in 1941, and Barry Malone, a second generation Irish lad sent to Dublin from Liverpool to escape the bombing. The meticulously researched story sees them deal with food shortages, rationing, and initially, bullying. Suitable for age 10 and upwards.

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