This week's best books for children

Reviewing some of the best books for children available this week.

A Beginners Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson and David Roberts (Bloomsbury, €19.10)

If you like bears this is the book to enjoy with the small boy who sets out to learn about the various types of bears and what they do. 

Brown bears cannot climb trees which must be a nuisance when chasing squirrels, or even small boys. A scary black bear spells trouble and your best bet is to tiptoe away. 

As for hungry bears — don’t even go there. A beautiful, informative and humorous look at wild bears. Suitable for age five and up.

Coco Chanel by Ana Vegara. Illustrated by Ana Martinez (Frances Lincoln, €13.20)

When Coco Chanel’s mother died, she was sent to an orphanage. There she did not mix with the other girls, preferring to spend her time sewing and knitting. 

As a young adult her industry and imagination soon caught the attention of society women, and, in spite of her humble background she became a 20th century fashion icon. 

Outstanding illustrations by Martinez capture the atmosphere of art deco Paris. Suitable for age 10 and up.

The Monster of Shiversands Cove by Emma Fischel (Bloomsbury, €6.60)

Young Stan is definitely not looking forward to this year’s holiday to Shiversand Cove as his great friend Rory will not be there. 

To make matters worse, his annoying young brother Magnus has become more incorrigible than ever, constantly preaching about the existence of fairies and other mysterious beings.

Stan soon comes to question his own disbelief when he catches glimpses of a mysterious sea-creature, and most puzzlingly when he points it out to others, he finds that he is the only one who can see it.

Things take a turn for the worse when he meets Magnus’s fairy friend Harry the Horrible who takes an instant dislike to him.

His woes are complete when his arch-enemy Pearl arrives, all attitude and stomping. Stan soon concludes that nobody will be safe unless he rids Shiversand Cove of the sea-monster. Help comes from an unlikely source.

Well-paced adventure story that eight year olds will enjoy.


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