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All reviews tagged with 8-10

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A Day With Dogs

A Day with Dogs is a fantastic book that offers an exclusive insight into every little bit of what nine dogs (and a lot of humans) do during their day; be it visiting the doctor, playing in school, shopping at the supermarket or playing musical instruments. Part non-fiction, part fiction, A Day with Dogs is…

Anywhere Farm

‘Where does it all start? What do you need?/ Just one farmer – you – and one little seed.’ Growing vegetables can take place anywhere and at any time. An old shoe, an empty tin or anything that offers a small bit of space can be a good container for a seed to grow. Root…

Atlas of Oddities

The Atlas of Oddities is a unique compendium of some of the most unusual events, objects and people that make our world such a fascinating place. From the prolific pen of Clive Gifford, author of over 150 books, and inspired by both his own travels and those of his parents who worked for an airline,…

Australia Illustrated

In Australia Illustrated Tania McCartney has created her own eclectic schema for detailing quirky and eccentric icons of Australian life with multicultural perspectives. The popular culture tenor of the work is obvious in both text and image in this, the first of her many books which McCartney has illustrated as well as written. Organised with…

Bicycling To The Moon

Timo Parvela is a teacher and a best-selling author in Finland where many of his books have been adapted for both the big and the small screen. The main characters in Bicycling To The Moon have their own TV show and the author does regular school tours where their adventures are read and discussed. The…

Blue John

‘There he was, lit up in the darkness, with his amethyst eyes purple and blue like the deepest glacier, and his amber hair as golden as the sun.’ Deep in a dark, dark shadow of Mam Tor mountain, the Queen of Darkness creates a child out of darkness and light, and fire and ice. Her…

Circle

Many readers will know Jeannie Baker’s work through her outstanding picturebooks such as the wordless Window, where page by page the reader follows the changes from a rural to an urban landscape, and Mirror, where links are made between two seemingly disparate world cultures. Her books are concerned with the issues, global and local, social…

Create Your Own Spy Mission

The perfect book for a long journey, young readers will quite literally get drawn into Create Your Own Spy Mission by Irish brothers Andrew and Chris Judge. A fun, interactive story which invites the reader to draw, doodle, decide, fold and tear, this quirky little book is part comic, spy story, quiz and drawing book…

Doodle Town

When I was a kid I did not doodle just to doodle. I always needed a project. I later tried to study fine art but my lecturers politely suggested I might be more suited for illustration. Art as a project. Art with a purpose. Which probably explains my later career as a graphic designer. Give…

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World

This book is empowering and adorable. The appropriately named Pankhurst (who is, actually, a descendent of Emmeline Pankhurst) takes us through simple biographies of exceptional women, both known and relatively unknown, and celebrates their achievements in arts, science, activism, altruism, espionage and feminism. Jane Austen, Gertrude Ederle, Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, Marie Curie, Mary Anning,…

Get Out and Play… Football!

The children of Ireland are being encouraged to get more active by Rod Smith with the second instalment of his Get Out and Play fiction series, following on from the success of the launch of Get Out and Play… GAA! But this time, football is on the agenda. Granddad Mick is on a mission to…

Helper and Helper

Are you an animal living in the wilds of the arid New Zealand wilderness? Do you require assistance? You need to call ‘Snake and Lizard’, an odd couple who will solve your problem for the small price of an egg or a beetle. A sequel to her book Snake and Lizard, Joy Cowley’s Helper and…

I am NOT a Dinosaur!

‘I may look like a dino that lives in the sea, but that wouldn’t be fair to my family tree. I swim with flippers – oh yes, I’ve got four! But – I am not a dinosaur!’ This rhyme is spoken by the prehistoric reptile, the Plesiosaur, one of eleven prehistoric creatures in this book…

Looking for Yesterday

Alison Jay has produced a very philosophical picturebook here. Ostensibly it is about nostalgia and an almost Proustian yearning for the perfection of a past experience. But there is more to it than that. It is also about a rich relationship between a boy and his grandfather. The subtle wisdom of a wise grandfather is…

Magical Celtic Tales

This is a collection of Celtic tales from Ireland, Brittany, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. These are familiar stories with a slightly different telling. Fairy tales or folk tales tend to reappear in different cultures and are retold in different ways. For example, the story ‘Blaanid’s Secret’ is similar to Rumpelstiltskin –…

Making Millions, Cass and the Bubble Street Gang

Young fans of Irish author Erika McGann will be delighted with the second in the series of Cass and the Bubble Street Gang mysteries, Making Millions. This time, the inventive and entrepreneurial Cass is not only trying to make her fortune but she is also trying to solve the mystery of the invisible boy in…

Message from the Moon and other poems

Hilda Offen’s poems are as enjoyable as her illustrations, any reader would be hard pushed to say which they prefer. Wonderful stories are created through the clever coupling of powerful phrasing and intelligent illustrations. The minimalist and simple style of the illustrations allow the reader to find meaning easily within the clever cartoons. Offen uses…

Mostly Mary (A Mary Plain Adventure)

Mary Plain is an orphan bear living with her relatives at Berne Zoo in Switzerland. Her delightful adventures were first published in 1930 by Welsh author Gwynedd Rae, and the books were much loved by the family of author-illustrator Shirley Hughes, whose daughter Clara has illustrated this charming book. The childlike Mary Plain is a…

Ossiri and the Bala Mengro

This is a charming and fun tale about a young traveller girl named Ossiri whose family are ‘Tattini Folki’ or rag-and-bone people. Ossiri’s family recycle unwanted old goods, mending old clothes, fixing broken furniture, selling scrap iron. They live in caravans and are happy. Ossiri loves music, but the family can neither afford to buy…

Pandora

A little fox named Pandora lives alone in a world of broken things. She spends her time gathering and mending what she can, never seeing anyone else in this strange and ruined landscape. But one day, when a bird falls from the sky, another living thing in need of her help, her world slowly begins…

Perfect

Perfect is a rare and wonderful picturebook by Nicola Davies. It tells the story of a young boy, coming to terms with the arrival of a baby sister with special needs. His sister’s condition is not explained or diagnosed, and the subtlety and artistry with which his journey from sadness at unfulfilled expectations to acceptance…

Return

A young, lonely girl fails to get the attention of her busy father yet again. So she returns to the world she created in the previous instalments, Journey and Quest, where she has found friendship and adventure. This time, the father notices his daughter’s absence. He and follows her into the magical realm – populated…

Sonas ar Só: Rannta do pháístí óga

A blast from the past! Due to its obvious popularity and demand, this book has been published with its original illustrations for the third time since 1977. It is a varied collection of rhymes and jingles in Irish suitable for all primary classes but mainly for younger classes. Many practising pedagogues will remember teaching at…

Sticker Shape Create

Illustrator Thereza Rowe has created a beautifully bright and cheerful activity sticker book that inspires creativity. Children can create 29 scenes using over 1,500 stickers and are encouraged to add their own imaginative details using colouring pencils or pens. Each double-page spread provides step-by-step instructions to create the images and a background scene to complete.…

Storm Whale

Brennan’s text has found a perfect match in Tanner’s illustrations here. There is a sense of performance as we are led from an ordinary, calm seaside scene on the front cover, to the drama of a dark, brooding seascape on the back cover. Delicate pencil sketches evolve through gentle watercolours and pastels into magnificent storm…

The Adventures of Alfie Onion

When you’re the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, you have some high expectations to live up to. But when you’re the eighth son, you may have to work a bit harder to get noticed. Alfie Onion is not afraid of hard work, nor of trolls, ogres, a talking horse, mischievous mice or even meddling…

The Big Book of Beasts

Zommer’s book is a treasure-trove of beastly facts. Have you ever wondered why wolves howl at the moon or why tigers have stripes? This book will give you all the answers. Not only are the illustrations detailed, showing such things as animal footprints and fur patterns, but they are also incredibly expressive, imaginatively showing the…

The Foolish King

With Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown on board, you know you can expect fun and irreverent accompaniments to the text, and this doesn’t disappoint. Mark Price, the current Minister of State for Trade and Investment in the UK, was prompted to write this for his daughter to teach her to play chess. It is a…

The Monster From The Blue Planet

Little Zaleb loves nothing more than her grandfather’s stories of faraway planets and the strange monsters that live there. Her favourite is about a beautiful blue planet called Earth. When she receives a small spaceship for her birthday, Zaleb takes off through space, determined to capture her own Earth monster and bring it home for…

The Pond

Beautifully conceived and constructed, The Pond is Davies and Fisher’s second collaboration with Welsh publisher Graffeg. Told through the eyes of a young boy grieving after his father’s death, ‘the muddy, messy hole’ left by the unfinished pond which Dad started to make, is a metaphor for the family’s sense of emptiness. Fisher’s images combine…

The Rise and Fall of Claude the Magnificent

It’s a much told tale. A poor artist travels to the big city to find fame and fortune. They find success but it goes to their head. Until of course their pride and arrogance sends them tumbling back to reality with an impressive thud. But this is a tale told with charm by writer Chris…

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World

Meet Romeo from Italy, Kei from Japan, Daphine from Uganda, Ananya from India, Ribaldo from Peru, and Kian from Iran. These seven children are inviting you into their homes and their lives. They want to introduce you to their families, their teachers and their friends, and show you how they play, where they sleep and…

Uncle Holland

Palmer and Ella had three sons, good boys, apart from Holland who had a weakness for stealing beautiful things. After he was caught for the thirty-seventh time the police gave him an ultimatum: go to jail or join the army. Holland chose the army and was posted to a very pretty place, far away in…

‘Key Readers’ Series

In fairness, these books really do set out their stall from the start: books for the 6–11 age range written to set specifications of ‘high interest, low vocabulary’ in order to produce ‘a varied range of meaningful reading experiences within a phonetically controlled setting’. And this, I fear is their limitation – such a specific…


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