Books For Children

I Love Puppies by Ana Martin Larranga (Caterpillar; €5.92) is just the thing to introduce babies to the pleasure of books.

The strong outline and uncluttered, flat backgrounds on each spread are perfectly tuned for babies’ eyes. Each page has a tactile inset — puppies’ velvet ears, tartan coat, silky ribbon etc — for little fingers to feel. With comfortable size and tough board format, this will give enjoyment for a long time.

Busy Garden by Jack Tickle (Caterpillar; €10.66 HB) is also a sturdy board book with butterflies that fly: bees that sneeze pollen; and an in-your-face, munching caterpillar. Ephemeral fun for age two and upwards.

First published in 1996, The O’Brien Book of Fairytales and Legends retold by Una Leavy, illustrated by Susan Field (O’Brien; €14.99) is fresh on the shelves to delight a new generation. When brave young leprechaun Eisirt announces to his boastful King Iubdán that the human King Crooked-Neck is more powerful and wealthier than Iubdán, he is banished to bring back proof. Thus begins a lively crossover of humans and faery folk. These wonderful bedtime read-aloud stories will captivate all ages.

Paw Prints In The Snow by Sally Grindley (Bloomsbury; €7.10). Joe’s Mum is a vet whose speciality is wild animals. When she is called upon to train young vets in how to anaesthetise tigers in a remote part of Russia, photographer Dad, sister Aesha and young Joe go too. Joe’s ambition is to catch a glimpse of the rare Amur tiger. But the people who work in the reserve dash his hopes when they tell him they have never seen any of these elusive animals. Could Joe come face-to-face with one, worse still, could he get lost on the frozen waste where these tigers roam? An exciting book for dedicated wild animal lovers for age eight and upwards.


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