Children’s books

Girls, Goddesses and Giants by Lari Donn (Bloomsbury €8.80) is a collection of legends from all over the world.

Children’s books

From China, the story of CHI AND THE SEVEN-HEADED DRAGON tells of The Emperor of China’s fears when he sees a massive dragon settle down on the nearby mountain, too close to the palace. His wise men and women come up with the idea of feeding the creature to keep him happy. What does a seven-headed dragon eat? Little girls! But the small daughter of a poor rice farmer has a plan. Could it work? TELESILLA AND THE GATES OF ARGOS is a Greek legend which tells of the Spartan army which attacked the city of Argos.It didn’t look good – the Spartans were the stronger army, plus they had a powerful weapon in King Kleomenese, whose mean tricks degraded the men of Argos. THE GIANT’S HEART tells of a boy who rescues wild creatures from trouble. But when it comes to trying to rescue a girl from a giant, who will win? From nail-biting fear to laugh-aloud comeuppance this is a most entertaining holiday book to dip into. Age 8+

World War I Unclassified — Secrets Revealed by Nick Hunter (Bloomsbury €13.80) As is often the case, the First World War is already so well documented, the titbits of information offered are the most revealing. The soccer game during the Christmas truce has been immortalised, but lesser known is the story of the East Surrey regiment who played soccer as they advanced towards the German trenches. For the troops, food mainly consisted of bully beef (nothing to do with bulls — it was a phonetic pronunciation of the French boeuf bouilli, or boiled beef). The Germans were less fortunate as their “war bread” could contain potatoes or even straw as ingredients. The American troops brought their nickname “doughboys” with them when they joined the war — this originated from the Mexican war when their uniforms were habitually dust-covered from the desert sand. War hero Siegried Sasoon soon lost his lustre when he rightly pointed out that the war could have ended a year earlier had it not become a war of conquest. This very reader-friendly volume is sprinkled with relevant photographs, posters, and other war memorabilia. Age 10+

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