Books for children: A Guide to Sisters

A GUIDE TO SISTERS by Paula Metcalf, illustrated by Suzanne Barton (Frances Lincoln €15.10 HB).

It’s really only when baby sister becomes mobile that the narrator, big sister, delights in playing with her. When Mum says a sister is the greatest gift, you don’t give her away as a birthday present. And when she delights in switching the TV button on and off, big sister sometimes wishes that little sister had an on and off button too.

The interaction between the twosome is delightful, funny and full of warm friendship. A perfect book to share with small girls.

STUFFED by Miriam Halahmy (Albury Fiction €8.80) The third book in the Hayling Island series deals with the trials and traumas of two teenagers and their respective families. Fifteen-year-old Jess has never wanted for anything as her father more than provided for his family, from expensive phones to surprise continental holidays. A darker side emerges as he becomes a victim of the recession and his funds dry up. Ryan, Jess’s latest admirer, is a free-spirited independent young man whose ambition is to drive his newly acquired camper through Africa. A complication in his life makes Jess very insecure about his feelings for her. Only facing up to two truths could save their relationship. Things come to a head on a disastrous mountain climbing expedition. The novel, with its dual narrative, suggests that coming of age is fraught with complication when teens, and indeed adults, shy away from accepting the realities of life and the consequences of their actions. Both protagonists are credible, likeable youngsters but some readers may question the surprise ending. Age 15+

MY LIFE AS A GOLDFISH, by Rachel Rooney (Frances Lincoln €8.80). This is a book of fun poems for the discerning young poet to dip into. Humour is to the forefront in this collection of short, friendly verse and humorous illustrations which will certainly draw even the most reluctant reader into the joy of books. Age 8+



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