Don’t Poke A Worm Till It Wriggles by Celia Warren (Bloomsbury; €6.30) is a ‘book of poems to make you squirm’.
Various smiley worms with googly eyes slither and burrow throughout the poetic pages of this slim volume. What is a Worm? A string with a wiggle| A rope with no knot| A ribbon with nothing to tie| A finger-sized soil-bag| A root with no pot| The gleam in [ a blackbird’s eye. This is a laugh-aloud book for the newly independent reader.
Super Cat Vs The Chip Thief by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Jim Field (HarperCollins; €7.50).
For his seventh birthday, James Jones wanted a decent pet like a polar bear or a panther or python. Instead he was given a lazy cat from the rescue centre. No fun there. But when fat Tiger swallows something strange as he scavenges for mouldy morsels under James’s bed, something amazing happens! Thus begins a whole new series of amazing and dangerous adventures for the boy and the now extraordinary cat. The stories are greatly enhanced by Field’s funny cartoons. Suitable for age eight and upwards
Pirate Queen Of Ireland. The True Story of Grace O’Malley by Anne Chambers. (Collins Press; €5.99)
This well researched book brings to life in eminently attainable language the story of one of Ireland’s most heroic females — Granuaile. Having dealt with her background it shows how she built up a fearsome reputation as both pirate and warrior to emerge as a woman not to be trifled with. When she sought help from the Lord of Howth and was rejected, she kidnapped his grandson and as ransom demanded that the door of Howth Castle would always be open and that at all mealtimes an extra place would be set for anyone seeking hospitality — a tradition that continues to the present day. Most of her life was spent fomenting rebellion against the injustices of the British rule in the west of Ireland, in particular by Richard Bingham who so infuriated her that she journeyed to the court of Elizabeth the First to plead her cause. The story will appeal to teens as it separates myth from reality in chapters full of byte-size information.
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