Books for children

Zeki Loves Baby Club by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Ruth Hearson (Alanna Books; 9.90), Baby Zeki knows it’s Wednesday, his favourite day, when mum puts on his orange jacket and wheels him to Baby Club.

All his multi-cultural little friends are there with their mums or dads. The clever use of just enough friendly characters for toddlers to recognise on each page gives continuity throughout. Delightful starter book.

Dark Hunter; The Red Thirst by Benjamin Hulme-Cross, illustrated by Nelson Evergreen (A&C Black; 7.40).Teenage brother and sister, Edgar and Mary, are the proteges of the enigmatic Mister Blood, who, among other creepy talents, is a vampire hunter. When he is called upon to rid a small village of one, the two youngsters are locked into a dark church for safety.

When they find a coffined body there, safety no longer exists — especially when Mary is targeted by a sinister being, This short, scary read is the perfect book to lure reluctant young teens into the world of books.

Chasing Stars by Helen Douglas (Bloomsbury; 8.30) This sequel to After Eden continues the romantic story of Eden and Orion who has come back from the future to ‘undo’ her death at the hands of a ‘cleaner’ who had been sent back to eliminate any trace of Orion’s mission. Circumstances now dictate both of them have to go forward to 2113 to escape yet another ‘cleaner’.

Life in the future is not as different as Eden expected, but her quest now is to help Orion escape from what is virtually a life-sentence of hard labour.

The tension is dissipated somewhat, as Eden is separated from Orion. The young people she meets in 2113 are mirror images of her own time — party-loving, angst-ridden and relationship-obsessed, so her interaction with them is unsurprisingly smooth.

Important decisions have to be made at the end.

Strange though that in such an ordered world, their destiny should be decided by chance. Suitable for age 14 and upwards. <


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