Books for children...

The Littlest Dreamer A Bedtime Journey by Suzanne Smith (Egmont €8.20)
As Little One is tucked into bed, her mum wonders what she is going to dream about. 

It could be a ride on a sky pony to see fairies dancing or to observe dragonflies chase fireflies. 

Maybe there will be an animal feast or a visit to Sugarplum land. 

Mermaids, flying carpets, a princesses’s golden crown all await the Little Sleeper. But the most important journey will be finding her way back to her own little bed.

And by the same team A Bedtime Adventure (Egmont €8.20) sees a young boy in a racing car claiming first prize. 

Scoring the winning goal, diving with sharks, sailing with pirates all await in dreamland. 

Stereotype aside, the stories bounce along with rhyming couplets and glittering illustrations by Charlotte Cooke. 

And as a bonus there is a page of colourful bedtime reward stickers — with even an optimistic I stayed in bed till morning set. Good luck with that!

The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr (Chicken House, €8.20)

 Books for children...

This is an exciting and charming tale of villainy and human kindness. 

Based on real events it dramatises the arduous journey that Maharajah the elephant has to make from Edinburgh to Manchester.

Due to Maharajahs perceived wildness the journey has to be on foot.

He is accompanied by a mute pickpocket initially referred to as Boy, then Danny, and finally for show business reasons Prince Dandip. 

From the outset Danny and Maharajah have become inseparable and it is just as well that Danny makes it his mission to get the animal safely to Manchester.

There are many attempts to sabotage what had become a foolish wager to get Maharajah to Manchester by a certain day.

The story features a host of Victorian villains and confidence tricksters but throughout shines the affection and mutual loyalty of young Danny and the elephant. 

The story is based on an actual journey by Maharajah in 1872 and notes that Maharajah’s skeleton is still on show in Manchester Museum. 

Suitable for age 10 and upwards.


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