Books for kids...

* Four Silly Skeletons by Mark Sperring (Bloomsbury, €8.10) 
* Why Are People Different Colours? by Emma Waddington and Christopher McCurry (Frances Lincoln, €11.60 HB) 
* Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown (David Fickling, €15.10 HB) 

Four silly skeletons, Fred, Sid, Belle and Bill live at the top of a very steep hill, and at the bottom where the ground is good and flat, lives their dear, sweet, Auntie June and her Skellybones cat. 

But when the four tumble over a cliff, Auntie June has to call on most of her skill to piece them back together — with surprising results. Good fun. Suitable for age four and upwards.

Why Are People Different Colours? by Emma Waddington and Christopher McCurry (Frances Lincoln, €11.60 HB) 

A vital book in this multicultural age, aimed at parents and children. Initially, the book offers advice on how to deal with sensitive issues using the illustrations and speech bubbles. 

The parents are the children’s first source of truth, so the delicacy and subtlety of responses to their questions should point them towards a set of values which will benefit themselves and the diverse world they inhabit. 

Why people dress differently, have certain food taboos, have poor eye-sight or mobility, all lead to the big question. 

‘What makes me, me?’ And, ‘What will I be when I grow up?’ 

Attractive illustrations together with speech prompts from three happy birds will encourage the child to participate in non-confrontational dialogue. Suitable for age four and upwards.

Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown (David Fickling, €15.10 HB) 

This is a collection of wildlife very few people will have heard of. We may know animals that are like these, but the author, using hilarious illustrations, points out their uniqueness. 

Dagger-toothed bats belie their fearsome name as their role is similar to that of the honey bee. 

You are unlikely to ever see a desert Sand Cat as it uses camouflage, lives mostly underground, and if you shine a light on it, the sand cat closes its eyes and fades into the background. The Ili Pika rabbit was only discovered in 1983 living in China. 

Its habitat is so forbidding that it spends all summer burying plants as a winter source of food. 

The book’s strength is the chatty narrative and Horrible History style illustrations. Suitable for age six and upwards.


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