Books for children: The Colour Thief

The Colour Thief

Books for children: The Colour Thief

Zot lives on a dreary planet that has no colour whatsoever, not even a flower. When he looks at the sky and sees the colours of planet Earth he hops into his grey spaceship and flies down to see this sunny place. The first human he meets is a happy little boy with an orange balloon. Zot so wants to take that balloon — and all of the colours in the world. With minimal text, simple drawings and an explosion of colours, this is an absolutely delightful book to share with age 4+

The Silly Book of Slide-splitting Stuff by Andy Seed, illustrated by Scott Garret (Bloomsbury €7.55) is a kaleidoscope of laugh-aloud fun — from Attila the Hun, to weird creatures, loopy lists, doggerel verse, funny one-liners and limericks. The perfect book to dip into on long journeys with the added bonus of being subtly educational.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (Egmont €10.10)

The narrative is set mainly in Ravensbruch, a concentration camp for women, during WW2. Rose Justice, an American pilot, whose job is delivering planes for the RAF in the United Kingdom during 1944, crash lands on enemy territory and spends the rest of the war as a prisoner of war. Seen through the medium of Rose’s journal this is a horrific existence and it takes Rose ages to acclimatise to the dehumanising regime where on one occasion ‘five crawling creatures who had once been women’ scrabbled to accept an offer of her uneaten dinner.

What shines through is the unbroken spirit of some of the women, the friendships and fierce loyalty forged under desperate conditions where the punishment for misdemeanours could be instant execution. Rose is a complex character, who, in imitation of her favourite writer, composes poems which echo her mental and physical deprivation, as well as glorifying her former piloting, in particular her attempt to nudge one of the ubiquitous flying bombs to crash. As this is a first person narrative we know her ultimate fate but wonder has she the courage to seek justice for the many unfortunate inmates who suffered so much. An outstanding war story.

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