* Pairs Underwater by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Lorna Scobie (Frances Lincoln, €8.20 HB)
* The Liar’s Handbook by Keren David (Barrington Stoke Teen, €8.20)
* The Fearless Travellers’ Guide To Wicked Places by Pete Begler (Curious Fox, €9.30)
Pairs Underwater by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Lorna Scobie (Frances Lincoln, €8.20 HB)
Another beautiful board-book in the Pairs series where toddlers can search for matching sea-creatures and respond to counting challenges. Starfish, seahorses, pufferfish, turtles and crabs have to be found and identified. More hours of fun for age three and upwards.
The Liar’s Handbook by Keren David (Barrington Stoke Teen, €8.20)
Likeable main character River has three issues, he can’t stand his mother’s partner; he struggles to be a success on his football team, and worst of all, he is an inveterate liar.
The more he hates his step-father, the more he longs to search for his real father whom he had never met.
When he uncovers what he considers to be incriminating information from stepfather Jason’s room he sets out with friend Kai to track down his birth father.
This leads to all sorts of complications, and when Jason is appointed assistant coach of River’s soccer team his misery is complete.
However, when he learns the truth about his father, he has to reassess both his relationship with Jason and examine why he has such a propensity for lying. Suitable for age 12 and up.
The Fearless Travellers’ Guide To Wicked Places by Pete Begler (Curious Fox, €9.30)
This is an extraordinarily imaginative and creative fantasy, if at times convoluted in plot with such a host of characters. Protagonist Nell, an inspired creation, had a reputation as a seer of people’s alter egos.
When her mother Rose is kidnapped, Nell and her brothers set out to find her.
To do this they must enter The Dreamworld with an eccentric mentor named Badger, who says when we dream, we are all part of the same dream, or the same nightmare.
The world they encounter is peopled by fantastic human-animal creations, though Nell’s new friend Max is unperturbed as he regards it as a chance to see ‘the real stuff inside people’.
Seemingly insurmountable obstacles have to be overcome, but with The Fearless Travellers’ Guide to inspire her, heroine Nell does not flinch.
Suitable for age 14 and up.
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