Children’s books

Molly Maybe’s Monsters by Kristina Stephenson (Simon and Schuster, €9.50) 

Molly and her dog, Waggy Burns, are boringly watching Mister Bottomly Brown next door digging a pond in his garden. 

But when he digs up something extraordinary Molly and her pooch realise that this is far more interesting. It is time for the twosome to enter the amazing Mundervator and go deep under the ground to find out what’s happening. 

And that’s where they meet a most extraordinary bunch of colourful characters. This superbly illustrated funny book has everything to delight young readers from five upwards.

World War 2 Unclassified. Secrets Revealed by Nick Hunter (Bloomsbury, €14.95) 

A very readable account of World War II and augmented by fascinating snippets of information, photos, and war militaria. 

The importance of spies and double agents features in the accounts of Agent Zigzag and The Garbo Network . 

Subterfuge and disguise were the order of the day, whether in creating mockups of artillery to fool advancing forces or producing bars of chocolate which exploded on opening. 

Dummy parachutists which would self-combust on landing were dropped on the eve of D-Day and when the actual paratroopers were flown in, so many of them were blown off course that both sides were totally confused. Suitable for Age 10 and up.

Crow Mountain by Lucy Inglis (Chicken House, €10.85) 

The story is set in two different time-frames. 

Prissy, mother-dominated Emily is on her way from England to San Francisco in the 1860s to marry a man chosen by her mother. 

An accident while journeying through the plains of Montana throws her at the mercy of horse-trader Nate, who, for all his rough upbringing and his desertion from the army, is a likeable and honourable man. 

In the alternate chapters set in the present day, Hope is lodging with ranch boy Cal, who takes her on an adventure trail that makes a vital connection with Emily from so long ago. Both stories, gripping and at times heartrending, coalesce in a dramatic conclusion. Suitable for Age 14 and up.


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