Children’s books

Blown Away by Rob Biddulph (Harper Collins €8.80) tells of Penguin and his brand new kite. 

Naturally, he can’t wait to try it out in the wind. But the wind is very strong and Penguin and his two good friends are very light.

Together they are whisked up by the kite as it soars into the sky, over the land and across the sea beyond the Antarctic. Where will they end up and what sort of creatures will they encounter?

Most importantly, how will they get home? This delightful book has all the ingredients of excitement. Age 3+

Death’s New Lease On Life by Brendan O’Connell.

(Many Furrowed Brows €10) Highly unusual graphic novel in both content and style. Death is demystified and personified as being rather bored and lonely with his lot.

Attempts to make friends are naturally rebuffed until he stumbles on the world of penguins and begins to see life as perhaps a preferable existence to death.

The illustrations by Fiona Boniwell are outstanding ,stark and atmospheric. Certainly a witty take on a much discussed subject. Suitable for many ages.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas (Bloomsbury €8.80)

If Ollie and Moritz should ever meet it would be fatal for both of them. Ollie is allergic to electricity so Moritz’s pacemaker would fail, having first caused Ollie to have a deadly seizure.

Surprisingly they build up an intimate friendship when Ollie’s mum suggests that he write to this other boy who has massive social problems like himself.

Through the alternating narratives we learn the heartache and loneliness they both suffer, but also catch hints that they may have a shared past in a German laboratory. Ollie fixates on a friendly girl called liz, while Moritz goes out of his way to avoid school bully, Lenz Monk, who torments him mercilessly.

Ollie’s life is complicated by his mother’s episodes of panic where she retreats to their garage to sit out her periodic depressions. When both protagonists begin to delve deeper into the mystery of their shared past, horrific secrets are uncovered. A riveting story with two likeable young men who develop as characters — but not for the fainthearted. Age 15+

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