Books for kids...

* Coloures — First Wheels by Susan Steggall (Frances Lincoln, €15.10)
* The Fire Children retold by Eric Maddern (Frances Lincoln, €10.10)
* Fletcher And Zenobia by Victoria Chess and Edward Gorey (The New York Review, €12.60 HB)

 This bright and breezy hardback picture book succeeds on many levels. 

Each two-page spread has boldly coloured vehicles beginning, with red tipper and red digger.

The digger will appear in the next spread but differently coloured, and so on going through various vehicles until arriving back at the tipper and digger. 

Identifying colours is the main objective but naming the vehicles will give endless fun also. Suitable for age two and upwards.

The Fire Children retold by Eric Maddern (Frances Lincoln, €10.10)

This is an African creation myth in which two spirit people Kwaku and Aso visit the earth, unknown to the great sky-god Nyame.

In this strange place they soon become quite lonely, and so attempt to mould tiny human figures, bake them in their fire and then breathe life into them. 

Nyame, who had noticed their absence, kept interrupting their baking and consequently children of different hues and colours were created. 

When Nyame returned to his usual spot in the sky he left behind a planet that would be peopled by many different coloured humans. 

The earthy background colours and charming illustrations complement this fine fable. Suitable for age six plus.

Fletcher And Zenobia by Victoria Chess and Edward Gorey (The New York Review, €12.60 HB)

Fletcher the cat had a major problem — he had run up a tree and couldn’t get back down. 

Happily he discovers a suitcase which contains a huge papier-mache egg, which, lo and behold, houses an elegant well-dressed doll, Zenobia.

After introductions have been made they jointly decide to have a party. 

When a gate crashing moth scoffs most of their food they hardly notice as they are so engrossed in learning to dance properly.

The moth, who not surprisingly expands during the night, offers to fly them to find someplace more suitable than the branches of a tall tree.

Brilliantly illustrated by Victoria Chess, with a backward glance to Lewis Carrol — the cat’s expressions are worth the cover-price alone. Suitable for age seven and upwards.


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