Who Is King? By Beverley Naidoo and Piet GrobIer (Frances Lincoln €18.90).
This big book of African stories is filled with a colourful kaleidoscope of animals, from the very large to the miniscule. What happens when two good friends, Ox and Donkey, fall out over their different chores because one has to bear a heavier burden than the other?
And, in the story of the Miller’s Daughter, whose father has been ordered by the Sultan to do an impossible chore or else lose his head, can the clever daughter save him? With its vibrant artwork and 10 scintillating stories, this book is a joy for age seven and upwards. Now out in paperback.
I Am A Poetato by John Hegley (Frances Lincoln; €11.30) is an A to Z collection of quirky fun verse to dip into.
The eccentric rhyming in lines such as “I am a guillemot/ I use my bill a lot/ I get the fish out of the wet/ I eat my fill a lot” will tickle the young reader’s fancy. So too the funny poem about Nitty Nora the perfect Bug Explorer, which will charm discerning young wannabe poets. Suitable for age eight and upwards.
Tangled Secrets by Anne-Marie Conway (Usborne €8.80)
Maddie is distraught with grief following the sudden death of her beloved Nan, and consequently has become uncommunicative and introverted.
Her family situation becomes complicated when a stranger contacts her father and seems to have a hold on his attention, to the detriment of Maddie and her mother. At school the authorities, worried by her lack of attention and alarming loss of confidence, offer her counselling.
This proves to be a double-edged sword as she is now thrust into the company of Kieran Black who, up to this point, has wasted no opportunity to humiliate her in public. Maddie continues to grow apart from her friends and family until on one of her almost daily visits to her Nan’s grave she finds that she is not the only one grieving for lost family members.
The character development in the story is gradual and entirely credible as the young people struggle to find a voice for their seemingly insurmountable troubles. Age 12 and upwards.
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