Books for children...

The latest book reviews for kids.

The Prehistoric Times by Stella Gurney (Frances Lincoln, €6.70)

The big selling points here are the format and the imagined target audience — the dinosaurs. This tabloid activity book is loaded with information bites , clever puzzles and games.

In an interview modelled on the homes and property section of a newspaper a pterodactyl insists on being referred to as a flying reptile rather than be lumped in with the dinosaur family. His other half, having proudly shown off their family cave, vomits up food into the mouths of the two little ones.

On the problem page it soon becomes obvious why the T-Rex has such a bad reputation. Unlike other dinosaurs they are left to fend for themselves from the day they hatch out. No parental influence or guidance , so stay well clear. In the Crack–up Challenge, Pangea the land surface, and Panthalassa the sea are in constant motion.

The challenge is to put the period illustrations in the right order. And, as the target audience is the dinosaur world our present-day continent positions are referred to as ‘the future’. There is even a doomsday merchant who, hearing that today’s weather is Cloudy with Meteors, continues to rant about impending destruction from the skies. This learning through fun is augmented by excellent art-work from Neave Parker and Matthew Hodson. Suitable for age seven and up.

The Possible by Tara Alebrando (Bloomsbury, 9.00)

Kaylee is happy with her adoptive family and doesn’t remember much about her birth mother who is still in jail for the killing of Kaylee’s brother. Kaylee is a popular, driven teenager, overconfident in her own abilities, so when journalist Liana asks her to co-operate in a podcast about her mother’s claim to have the power of telekinesis, she accepts the challenge. Her devoted friend Adrien is against the idea as are her adoptive parents.

Things don’t go according to plan and Kaylee finds herself in the freak category very quickly and manipulated by both Liana and birth mother Crystal. The mystery of telekinesis is central to the story. Suitable for age 12 and up.



More From The Irish Examiner