Children’s books

Loo In The Zoo by Paul Cherrill (Scholastic, €8.80) 
This is a very clever, sturdy mix and match board book which succeeds on two levels. 

It is challenging for the very young reader, who with the aid of a moveable assortment of loos, has to decide which loo suits which animal. 

Imagination comes into play when the wrong loos are assigned, leading to many what-ifs. 

The subtext is the subtle message that everybody needs loos which are not places to be feared. Age 2+.

Honk Honk Hold Tight by Jessica Souhami (Frances Lincoln, €15.10) 

This is yet another folktale brought magically and colourfully to life by Souhamis’ narrative and eye-catching illustrations. Princess Alice, who neither laughs nor smiles, is a constant worry to her doting father. 

His attempts to amuse her, either by juggling or trickcycling, are gloomily declared failures. When the king announces a reward for anybody who could make Alice laugh, a young man called Peter takes up the challenge. 

Kind-hearted as he is, he hands over his lunch to a mysterious old woman who rewards him by presenting him with a golden goose. She urges him to bring the goose to the castle, and issues instructions how to control the unusual bird. 

Anybody who touched the goose would stick fast, and whoever tried to interfere in any way with the captive would also stick fast. 

Needless to say the sight of such an eclectic chain of people scurrying towards the palace has the desired effect on the gloomy Alice. More than sad princesses will laugh along with the story.

LET’S PLAY Poems About Sports and Games edited by Debjani Chatterjee and Brian Darcy (Frances Lincoln €11.30) 

An amusing anthology of sports related poems, from a junior tennis player lamenting that she has to partner her dad in doubles,to a cyclist who realises that his exploits would be far more credible and noteworthy if stabilisers were removed from his bike.

Clapping games, circle games, and even a snakes and ladders poem will be endlessly entertaining for age 7+


This week, my wife and I need to get a room, writes Pat FitzpatrickLearner Dad: We have this irrational fear of games consoles, as if buying one automatically makes you a bad parent

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