The Very Greedy Bee by Steve Smallman and Jack Tickle (Little Tiger; €9.50 HB) is a salutary lesson about the alienation caused by greed.
The eponymous greedy bee hoovers up all the honey without sharing. But when he grows fatter his wings can’t take the strain and he’s marooned in a dark place. Of course there’s a happy ending to delight ages three to five.
Emu On The Loose by Lisa Regan and Kelly Byrne (Bloomsbury; €10.66 HB) is one of the Wild Things series of zoo animals. The interesting information about emus is nicely couched in quirky, laugh-aloud illustrations as googly-eyed Emu visits a house and samples the furnishings. Just the book for creature lovers age seven and upwards.
Frank’N’Stan by MP Robertson (Frances Lincoln; €14.22 HB) When only child Frank asks his mother for a brother or sister, she shows no enthusiasm, so he decides to build his own sibling with bits and bobs of scrap metal. The resulting ‘brother’ Stan settles in well with the family and proves to be quite helpful. But when a real baby arrives, Stan feels ousted and, sadly, he leaves home for a cold wasteland. With realistic, detailed illustrations and nicely measured storyline, this is a beautifully crafted, big book to delight children of any age.
What Rhymes With Sneeze? by Roger Stevens (A & C Black; €5.92) is a highly entertaining anthology of poems, but, more importantly is a child-friendly introduction to the mechanics of poetry-writing, specifically the art of rhyming. In part one Stevens has chosen classic examples of each type of rhyme to illustrate his points. The strength of the book follows in part two, as readers are encouraged to imitate the techniques for themselves. One of the many practical pieces of advice is to write the last line of a stanza first, so that the earlier lines don’t call for an awkward concluding rhyme.
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