Books for kids...

by Sam Lloyd [Bloomsbury €8.20]
Bug school will serve two purposes- for toddlers it will demystify the trauma of first day at school, and generate interest in the lives of bugs. 


Gentle compartmentalising after rollcall sees everybody off to their appropriate classes. 

The excitement of play-time and making friends is stressed, as well as lively PE classes. By the end of the day nobody wants to go home. A bit optimistic perhaps, but very child-friendly. Age 4+


by Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith [Frances Lincoln €15.20 H B ]. 

If ever a book dealt with the essential aspects of our existence this is it. From birth to death, the way we change, and how we perceive ourselves is handled with humour and imaginative illustrations.

A cat provides a running commentary on our sometimes imagined achievements, like sneering that a kitten can walk in a mere five days compared to the laboured attempts of a toddler. 

We are reminded that even our teacher was a baby once, and went through the same processes as the rest of us. Exercise, accidents, food, brain fitness, family life, even being uncomfortable in our sexuality, are humorously dealt with.

Our similarities are stressed more than our differences, all in friendly multicultural settings. 

The cat has the last word as he surveys the authors’ shapes — one tall and thin, the other short and round. This excellent book is the product of their sameness. Age 5+


by Kate Pankhurst [Bloomsbury €8.20] 

Books for kids...

Apart from the well documented greats, including the author’s ancestor, there are fascinating and informative biographies of lesser known women. 

Paleontologist Mary Anning was for long ignored by scholars but discovered many new species of dinosaurs. Native American, Sacagawea, saved the lives of explorers Lewis and Clark as they mapped the Wild West.

Gertrude Ederle swam the English Channel in 1926, while Jamaican-born Mary Seacole saved countless lives during the Crimean War. Age 6+


Can you imagine Spanish churros, Moroccan tagines or even Christmas cakes without its fragrant taste?MIchelle Darmody: Warm smells of cinnamon

Rachel Howard visits the South Moravia region to sample this eastern European country’s finest tipples.They’re big on beer but could the Czech Republic be raising a glass to wine tourism too?

Lisa Salmon catches up with a cardiologist, who explains how a patient’s own stem cells can repair damage from heart disease and heart failure.How stem cells are mending broken hearts

Hannah Stephenson discovers America’s dark past and Martin Luther King’s vision for its future by following the civil rights trail.Charting America’s path to freedom on a road trip through the Deep South

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