Books for kids...

Terry Perkins Upside Down Frown by Felix Massy (Frances Lincoln, €7.10) 
Terry is an ordinary little chap — that is until he opens his mouth and speaks upside down. 

When his puzzled Mum takes him to the doctor he tells her she must turn the lad upside down and place him on his head. 

Thus begins an extraordinary life for the boy who now has to see things in a totally different way. 

It takes a fun loving little girl to demonstrate that it’s okay to be different. Suitable for age four and up.

Watch Out For Muddy Puddles by Ben Faulks and Ben Cort (Bloomsbury, €8.20) 

Books for kids...

In a celebrations of all things outdoors, four children are having a wonderful time stomping in muddy puddles in their wellies and exercising their fertile imaginations. Who knows what strange creatures might lurk in the depths below. 

They imagine fearful creatures, pirates, whirlpools, and worse still, something enormous with a yellow beak. 

Lively illustrations and simple rhyming narrative will guarantee plenty of laughs for five-year-old readers.

Born Scared by Kevin Brooks (Electric Monkey, €9.40) 

Elliot is haunted by constant and inexplicable fear of practically everything, a fear which can only be just kept at bay by taking his medication.

His home is the only comfort zone and when one Christmas his mother goes to pick up his pills from the pharmacy, he suffers agonies when she doesn’t return. 

He is forced out into a world which terrifies him and his only crutch is the imagined conversations with his twin sister who died at birth. 

The trip becomes complicated when Elliot is caught up in a crime scene where his mother and aunt are held captive. 

Elliot encounters animals and people that to us are harmless but for him were ultra-terrifying. 

Little wonder that when presented with an opportunity to save his mother he does not see the armed raiders as anything more frightful. 

This they find unnerving. This is a tense and traumatic look inside the mind of a mentally ill youngster and while it does not suggest solutions it certainly edges us towards an understanding of people like Elliot. 

Suitable for age 14 and up.


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