Books for children

Lulu and The Treasure Hunt
written and illustrated by Emma Chicester Clark
(Harper Collins; €8.46).

In the glorious town of Wagtail there’s excitement in school when Miss Ellie announces to Lulu and the other puppies that they’re going on a reassure hunt in pairs. In the scrabble for partners Lulu chooses her best friend, Alfie, but Miss Ellie asks her to partner tiny, slow-moving Bonnie. Frustrated by being way behind and too late to find the hidden clues, will Lulu abandon her charge? An engaging romp in beautiful settings. A delight for dog lovers. Suitable for age four and upwards.

The Buccaneering Book of Pirates by Savior Pirotta and MP Robertson (Frances Lincoln; €15.50 HB) is the ultimate book for swashbuckling youngsters. As well as having a booklet of well known stories, including Treasure Island, the collection of trivia offers a giant pop-up poster and a fold-out, life-size three dimensional pirate to hang on the bedroom wall. This fearsome individual, in a mixture of glory and filth, shows off and describes the artefacts associated with being a pirate, from the black spot, which no seafarer wants to receive as it presages his imminent death, to the miniature deadly dagger hidden in the pirates pegleg. The book should recapture unwilling readers from the lure of computer games. Suitable for age six and upwards.

Broken by Marianne Curley (Bloomsbury; €9.67). This is book two of an imaginative trilogy which features an eternal triangle, and it really is eternal as one very definite angel and another being, not fully convinced that she is an angel, seek the certainty of existence that they crave. Ebony’s proposed lover Nathaneal has broken an angelic code and has been banished indefinitely, while Jordan, the third member of the triangle, does his best to persuade Ebony that she is human and capable of loving somebody like him.

Ebony is haunted by past memories and a fire tragedy which claimed her beloved adoptive parents, so when a man claiming to be her uncle appears as supply teacher in her school her world descends into chaos. The earthly scenes are more interesting than the imagined heaven-ly settings, and the human characteristics of the angelic beings, especially Gabriel, maintain our interest. Enough evil and menace is released to ensure a surprising conclusion. Suitable for age 13 and upwards.


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