Children’s Books

FOR emergencies such as rain-induced cabin fever or plain old holiday boredom, Party Stencils by Maria Maddocks (Caterpillar Books; €7.55) is just the trick. With jaunty rhymes, colourful pictures and sturdy press-out stencils, this read-cum-creative book will restore sanity. Don’t forget the colouring pencils and paper! Age four to seven.

Angelo by Quentin Blake (Red Fox; €7.55) is a story of love, kindness and tight-rope acrobatics, set in a time when the world and its people moved at a gentler pace. Angelo is a small boy who travels around Italy with his parents and two older brothers, stopping at villages and towns to sing, play music and perform acrobatics on a tightrope. One day, as Angelo is high up on the tightrope, he comes face to face with an unhappy girl at a window. Her tearful account of being locked up by a cruel uncle touches the hearts of Angelo’s family. Can they help her? Blake’s unique sketchy style of drawing and watercolours, along with the happy-ever-after story make this a delightful tale for age five and upwards.

Spook School: Revenge of the Stink-Monster by Pete Johnson (Stripes; €6.30). When an invisible ghost strikes Oaktree Hotel, Spook School pupils Charlie and Lewis are assigned to send it packing. But this is not just any ghost — this fellow emits a dreadful stink. Can the two ghostlings overcome the smell and get things back to normal for the gentle owners whose guests are fleeing? A lively read for age seven and upwards.

Henry VIII by Harriet Castor (A&C Black; €7.55) tells the king’s story in a straightforward narrative that makes history accessible and interesting for readers aged 11-plus. From brave, educated and talented young man, Henry’s metamorphosis into a cruel despot drags his reign into one of greed, battles, fear and intrigue. With imagined, though authentic- sounding dialogue, this is a well-constructed account.


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A Polish prisoner carefully checks there are no guards around before he enters one of the SS cloakrooms in Auschwitz. He takes out a hidden vial and quickly sprinkles its contents on the collars of those hated uniforms, before slipping out again. Within two weeks some of the Germans had come down with the typhoid that was wiping out so many of the prisoners.Gripping account of the hero who volunteered to go to Auschwitz

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