Reviewing some of the best books for children available this week.
Acorn Farm by Maggie Bateson and Nicola Slater (Simon and Schuster, €17.70 HB)
Little Jasper loves the farm, even though it’s a lot of work feeding the various animals, especially his beloved little lamb who follows him everywhere.
But one morning the lamb is not to be seen. Jasper searches everywhere and even Dad helps. Where can that little creature be! Naturally all ends well. At the end of this delightful book is a complete farm pop-up into which the reader can place the multitude of farm animals and garden produce provided.
Suitable for age four and upwards.
Where The Wild Things Are (Red Fox, €12.25)
Maurice Sendak’s wonderful story is out there again to amaze and delight children who enjoy the vibrant frisson of scariness. When Max puts on his wolf suit and creates mischief his Mum calls him a wild thing and sends him to bed.
But his imagination morphs his room into a night- time forest filled with extraordinary, hairy creatures, who believe Max is magic. Thus begins a laugh-aloud romp as he joins with them, dancing and swinging on trees. Unfortunately there are only so many games to play — especially when his weary hosts fall asleep.
This fun, iconic story is decidedly one to keep for yet another generation, with its menagerie of outlandish but happy looking creatures.
Matisse, King of Colour, by Laurence Anholt (Frances Lincoln €9.50)
Now available in soft back, this tells the story of the relationship between an ailing old gentleman and a kind, dedicated nurse, Monique. As Matisse is very weak following a major operation he asks Monique to read to him. She is amazed by the kaleidescope of colour in his house and learns that the old man has been advised that he may never paint again.
Under the care of Monique, Matisse gradually improves and when they meet much later in life he finds a way to repay her kindness and dedication. Suitable for age eight and upwards.
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