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The Adventures of Miss Petitfour

This book brims with delicious fun like a plate of cream cakes on a summer’s day. The five stories inside are packed with an array of confectionary delights that tempt you through each tale. But it’s not the opportunities to sit with an éclair that make this collection so wonderful; it’s actually Miss Petitfour, her…

The Awesome Body Book

Adam Frost has been described as one of the UK’s most exciting new children’ s writers. He is also a worthy winner of the Blue Peter Book Award for best book with facts 2016 for his title The Epic Book of Epicness. When you look at The Awesome Body Book it is not difficult to…

The Best Medicine

The Best Medicine is a welcome addition to the growing body of children’s literature dealing with the topic of cancer. The book shares some similarities with Patrick Ness’s magnificent A Monster Calls, in that the protagonist is a young boy living with a single mother and dealing with a school bully, but Hamill’s approach veers…

The Book of Revenge (Nine Lives Trilogy)

E. R. Murray’s thrilling trilogy for younger readers comes to a close in fitting and fantastic style as the heroine of the books, young Ebony Smart, must overcome dangers and horrors to defeat the enemies of the Order of the Nine Lives. Without revealing too many spoilers, suffice it to say that Ebony overcomes ghosts…

The Bookshop Girl

Abandoned as a child, Property Jones is now eleven and living in a bookshop with the owner, Netty, and her son Michael. Property fits perfectly into the family of booksellers, apart from one minor detail: she can’t read! Nobody knows her secret and, too ashamed to admit the truth, Property invents clever methods to conceal…

The Boy At The Back Of The Class

There’s an empty chair at the back of the class because a girl left at the end of last year. Nobody pays it any attention until one day a new boy sits there. A strange, quiet boy who never talks or smiles and who disappears at break and lunch. A group of classmates, lead by…

The Boy With 17 Senses

Earth has a new tiny visitor. This tourist is Jaq, who comes from the planet Yipsmix, where everyone has synesthesia, a real-life condition where people’s senses become confused when simulated, e.g. they see colours and shapes when they hear sounds. On this planet, it extends to a whole range of senses : words have a taste,…

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is a graphic novel which may introduce readers to some very challenging topics and questions around gender, equality and violence. From the outset the female gender of the protagonist presents as a problem, in a male dominated and controlled world. The dark shades of colour throughout the panels reinforce the sombre, melancholy mood…

The Clue is in the Poo (And Other Stuff Too)

The Clue is in the Poo is all about making factual things fun. From the intriguing title to the characterful animals that fill its pages, it is packed with fascinating, funny facts about the natural world that you can discover through the animal droppings, tracks and other traces that are left behind. Each spread has…

The Colours of History: How Colours Shaped the World

There is something for everyone in this colourful, well-designed book: adventure, danger, discovery, intrigue and more! From ancient times to present day, colour has shaped our perceptions and engagement with the world and drawing on history, chemistry, sociology and economics, Gifford tells the story of how colours we take for granted today came into being.…

The Confidence Code for Girls

The Confidence Code for Girls is based on the idea that girls can do anything – all they need is confidence. But confidence can be hard to come by, especially in a world that still has very fixed opinions on what girls can and cannot, should and should not do. This is where the Code…

The Dodo Made Me Do It

Danny is not looking forward to yet another boring summer. As much as he loves his gran, nothing ever happens in the small Scottish village of Kisoussie where she lives. He dreams of having adventures like his comic book hero Zac Hanaway, but instead he will be stuck in the middle of nowhere with only…

The Dog Who Saved the World

Can you imagine a world without dogs? Thanks to a canine-specific plague, poor Georgie is about to experience it firsthand. Can she find a way to stop it, with the help of her best friend Ramzy, the mysterious Dr. Pretorius and her beloved pet Mr. Mash? Much like the eponymous mongrel, The Dog who Saved…

The Eleventh Trade

Vibrant characters and a lively narrative draw the reader straight into this heart-warming story about life as a refugee featuring Sami and his grandfather Baba who live in Boston having fled the Taliban and their home in Afghanistan via Asia and Europe. A renowned musician in his homeland, Baba now busks on the streets to…

The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare

In a dry and barren future world, Auden and his mum relocate to the Cambridge cottage they inherited from his uncle, the scientific genius Professor Jonah Bloom. Auden has achromatopsia, which means he can’t see colour at all. (The title is a bit misleading.) Mostly, he’s fine with his condition, even if the bullies aren’t,…

The Fearless Five

A group of five schoolchildren have just finished sixth class and are looking forward to their hazy, lazy summer holidays; but their lives change forever when these pleasant, good natured, mild-mannered kids plan (of all things) a heist and manage to become the Most Wanted Kids In Ireland – the inimitable Fearless Five! You see,…

The Gauntlet (Marvel Iron Man)

In which Iron Man comes to Ireland! Eoin Colfer brings billionaire bigmouth/Marvel comics staple Tony Stark to these shores to attend an international eco-summit, but of course his many nemeses have other plans for him. Old enemy The Mandarin (who will be familiar to fans of the comics and movies) is lying in wait, but…

The Gift Of Darkhollow

This sequel to Podkin One-Ear is a continuation of the young rabbit’s adventures with his sister Paz and brother Pook through the burrows of The Five Realms, in his quest to become the leader of his clan and continue the fight against the fearsome, iron-corrupted Gorm. With his fabled dagger, as well as a new…

The Goat

When a young girl named Kid moves into an apartment block in Manhattan from Toronto, she has no idea what awaits her. Shy and rather anxious, she misses her school, her friends and, most of all her cat. But New York City has a lot of unusual things to offer. In her building alone, there…

The Good Thieves

From the award-winning author of The Wolf Riders, Rooftoppers and The Explorer comes another incredible and stellar adventure story: The Good Thieves. Katherine Rundell’s latest novel is a riveting caper set against the magnificent backdrop of New York City. The Good Thieves is packed full of exciting elements, including acrobats, animal charmers, pickpockets, dodgy criminals…

The Great Fire of London

This strikingly beautiful historical picturebook has been published to commemorate the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the great fire of London of 1666. It is a very fitting tribute to that event. It is a model of how to present facts to children in a clear, logical, well-written but always engaging style. It uses…

The House on Hawthorne Road

Beth, who is very shy and often feels invisible, has her world turned upside down when her beloved grandmother dies and her family move to Dublin. Everything is so different from London. At school, life is made even more difficult by Grainne the school bully and Beth’s BFF, Aisha, is now only available on Skype.…

The Incomplete Book of Dragons

In an encyclopaedia like no other, Cressida Cowell gives an insight into her very own world where she categorizes dragons great and small from the minuscule Ziggerastica to the monstrous Leviathorgans, from the short-sighted Bog Spotted Gormless to the silly Two-Headed Gormatron. The book is filled with quirky facts and characteristics for each creature the…

The Incredible Ecosystems of Planet Earth

With her famous blend of interesting facts supported by intricate illustrations, Rachel Ignotofsky returns with another glorious work of art. This time she tackles planet Earth, its ecosystems and what we can do to protect it. Learning about how our ecosystems interact is essential in order to understand how humans are destroying it, intentionally or…

The Kew Gardens Children’s Cookbook

The name Kew Gardens is synonymous with excellence in horticulture, and in this book that quality shines through. The concept of a cookbook that not only encourages time in the kitchen, but moreover makes children aware of how to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs, is one that will inspire both children and their…

The Last Spell Breather

Spell Breathing is the only thing that keeps the village safe from the monster curse that plagues the world. And for Rayne, Spell Breathing does not come easily. Now her mothers’ apprentice, she spends hours upon hours learning the spells, transcribing scrolls and examining a spellbook imbedded with grotesques that snap and bite. Rayne hates…

The Lost Fairy Tales: Fearless Girls That Time Forgot

You’ve probably heard of Cinderella and Snow White, but chances are you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing the folk tales featured in this stunning new collection. From the Chinese story of a young Han farm girl who wanted to sing what was in her heart, and became famous for her witty and clever compositions,…

The Lost Library Book

Inspired by a true story, The Lost Library Book is just that – the story of a book that was lost for over a hundred years, only to be found again in the most unlikely of places. Amanda Bell’s story provides a window into one of Dublin’s most secret places – Marsh’s Library, established in…

The Lotterys More or Less

The Lotterys More or Less is Donoghue’s second book about the four-parent, seven-kid modern family, also known as the Lotterys. Donoghue returns to visit nine-year-old Sumac and her eclectic mix of ‘sibs’, parents, rescued pets and grumpy old Grumps, who has settled in nicely. It’s now Christmas time, and Sumac has prepared a list of…

The Magic Place

Kept a prisoner by her brutal aunt and uncle, a young orphan named Clementine dreams of escaping the Great Black City to seek out a magic place that she only knows of from her dreams. The first thing to say about The Magic Place is that it is an absolutely gorgeous looking book. From the…

The Magic Pudding

Reprinted with an informative introduction by Philip Pullman, The Magic Pudding is a whimsical adventure from 1918 that has endured over the generations. Written and illustrated by Norman Lindsay, it concerns three friends, Bunyip Bluegum (a koala), Bill Barnacle (a sailor) and Sam Sawnoff (a peguin) who form the Noble Society of Puddin’-Owners. Their protected…

The Mapmakers’ Race

The Santander family is on its way to the town of Grand Prospect to take part in a Great Race to map a route through the mountains between there and the town of Coalhaven. The impoverished family want to win the lavish prize and fund a search for their missing explorer father. However, a mishap…

The Mighty Dynamo

Like many boys, Noah dreams of becoming a professional footballer. Nicknamed the Mighty Dynamo, he knows he is good, and winning the school’s world cup with his school team is his chance to get noticed. We quickly learn that, for Noah, playing professional football is more than a boyhood dream, it is his only chance…

The Noisy Classroom.

With a collection of poems, Ieva Flamingo explores perceptions of life, relationships and issues relevant to the students of a Latvian classroom. From finding one’s own identity within a group, to dealing with technology and debating character traits, the poems vary in tone and texture, from blank verse to internal rhyming schemes, to prose, some…

The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary

Oh Mince My Maggots! This book is absolutely phizz-wizzing. It may not come as a surprise to his fans, but Roald Dahl invented over 500 swashboggling words and character names and now for the first time in celebration of this beloved author’s 100th birthday they’re all available in one dictionary. Compiled by lexicographer Dr Susan…

The People Awards

Forget about the Oscars, the Meteors and the Pulitzer prize, the People Awards are the ones to win this year! Drawing from all ages and walks of life, Lily Murray presents us with a colourful celebration of people who have excelled in their fields and transformed society around the globe. From Mozart to Rosa Parks,…

The Picture Atlas: An Incredible Journey

Little explorers, ready yourselves for global travels! From the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, through continents, oceans and peoples, this book is a visual feast of maps filled with indigenous flora and fauna. The picture atlas explains not only nuggets of national culture and history, but also species that are particular to an area, which is…

The Poet’s Dog

I write this review blinded by a tear of emotion, for not only is Patricia MacLachlan’s tale of The Poet’s Dog a touching story of human love, but it delves deeply into the mind-set of children coming to terms with the concept of loss. With poignant beauty, Nickel and Flora learn, through their love of…

The Run-aways

Gottfried Junior (the narrator) is very close to his Grandpa, who is seriously ill in hospital and hating every minute of his enforced rest. From the first exchange between Grandpa and Gottfried we realise that the ‘normal’ way of things is turned upside down, as Grandpa thunders ‘I’m not allowed out!’ and Gottfried muses ‘I…

The Star-Spun Web

Tess de Sousa is no ordinary orphan. As a baby, she was left in the care of the kind and loving teachers of Ackerbee’s Home for Lost and Foundlings. Knowing nothing of her parentage or background, Tess yearns to learn more about her mysterious origins when a man claiming to be a distant relative comes…

The Trouble With Perfect

Helena Duggan’s first novel, A Place Called Perfect, introduced amazing characters and a chilling plot. Fans of Neil Gaiman will appreciate this book, which continues the adventures of Violet and Boy whilst introducing new characters and new misadventures to befall them all. Beautifully presented by Usborne, the gorgeous artwork on the cover continues inside with…

The Truth About Martians

Over a year after his older brother’s death, Mylo witnesses a flying saucer crash near his home. Mylo investigates with his best friend, Dibs, and comes into contact with an alien lifeform that desperately needs his help. Melissa Savage has written a wonderful science-fiction novel that should appeal to all fans of the genre. Set…

The Unworry Book

Everybody worries; it’s a fact. Children worry more than we might like to think. This book acts as a toolkit to help them deal with their fears and anxieties with practical action that really does help. Designed as a book to use, not simply read, there are pages to write and scribble in. There are…

The Variety of Life

Lorna Scobie’s beautiful illustrations bring this book alive. Working in watercolour, she has created realistic drawings of mammals, birds, fish, insects and plant life, but all have an engaging picturebook quality that will encourage the reader to imagine the animals outside the book. This engaging quality is fully realised by the storytelling features of the…

The Wild Magic Trilogy: The Little Grey Girl

The Queen and her raggedy witches have fled from the land, and now Mup moves with her family into the Queen’s old castle with the hope of setting things right. However, while the Queen and her minions may be gone, the castle is still haunted by the memories of her tyrannical rule. One ghost above…

The Wizards of Once

The bestselling author-illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon series is back for the pleasure of all her avid fans with a brand new book series, the Wizards of Once. Cressida Cowell transports us into a brilliantly imagined world, starting in an enchanted primeval land with a supporting cast of magical creatures: sprites, fairies,…

The World of Supersaurs: The Stegosorcerer

The Stegosorcerer is the second book in The World of Supersaurs series. Imagine a world where dinosaurs have never become extinct and co-exist with humans in the twentieth century. Dinosaurs are used for manual labour and for showmanship, but they are also hunted by poachers. In this volume set in Africa, Carter Kingsley has been…

The World’s Greatest Space Cadet

James Carter’s school visits have taken him, and his guitar, to over 1,200 primary schools in Britain over the last fourteen years. This collection, his twelfth, positively fizzes with energy, and suggests what a dynamic performer he must be in the classroom. In The World’s Greatest Space Cadet Carter experiments with a wide variety of…

The Yark

The Yark loves children. That much is indisputable. But the Yark loves children to eat. This is because the Yark is a monster. But the Yark is not just any monster – he’s a monster with a problem. Good children are delicious to eat. But good children are harder and harder to find these days.…

This Is Not Another Maths Book

Readers are challenged to decide whether this is a maths book or an art book. Personally I come down on the side of art! Anna Weltman has done it again, effortlessly putting the STEAM into STEM, she has created a terrific follow up to her 2016 Educational Writers’ Award winning This is Not a Maths…

Votes for Women! The Irish Women’s Suffrage Movement

Votes for Women! is number 14 in the hugely popular Heroes In a Nutshell series from Poolbeg Press. Published to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the granting of the parliamentary vote for women in Ireland, four of the women closely associated with the Irish Women’s Suffrage Movement are featured in short accessible biographies. Caroline…

Watcher of the Skies: Poems About Space and Aliens

This anthology is very ambitious. Its central idea is very laudable, to link poetry about the universe with serious and reliable scientific information and then to extend this to ideas about writing poetry and other activities for children themselves. It contains over thirty poems by twenty-seven different poets. The poems’ themes are hugely varied, from…

We Are Giants

‘Change brings growth’, so foretold Sydney Goodrow’s fortune cookie but that’s the last thing Sydney wants. Her mother is only four feet tall, and according to Sydney, that’s the perfect height. It was as tall as her dad had been when he was alive too, but now he’s gone, and Sydney continues to grow. She…

Wed Wabbit

Fidge, the almost-eleven-year-old heroine of Lissa Evans’ latest book, has a lot on her plate – not least the fact that her real name is Iphigenia. Two years after her father’s death, she, her mother, and her little sister Minnie are still struggling to cope, albeit in very different ways. But it’s only when a…

What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems

This is an invaluable handbook for readers, writers and teachers of poetry. Its unintimidating cover, large print, and sparse, jokey illustrations belie the well-devised content, which supports UK National Curriculum English at Key Stages 2 and 3 (children aged 7-14). The title poses an impossible question – to answer it Rosen examines all the things…

What’s the Difference? 40+ Pairs of the Seemingly Similar

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a bacteria and a virus? Or a tornado and a hurricane? As this highly inventive book sets out to prove, the difference lies very much in the detail. Each double-page spread features a pairing that young (and grown-up) readers may struggle to identify the difference between;…

Who Stole the Hamster?

Smashie McPepper and her best friend Dontel make a great team, especially when it comes to solving mysteries – like who stole Patches, the Room 11 hamster? This is a soap-opera of a book with a large cast of characters, a fast-paced main story, several sub-plots and a few red herrings. The book opens at…

Why is art full of naked people?

This is a book about questions, most of which are explored as comprehensively as one would expect in a primer. The question in the title, however, is more or less dismissed. Hodge introduces a huge variety of artistic styles and concepts, skilfully and engagingly. There is a diverse cast of artists and critical thinking is…

Wildspark

When you die, would you want to be reborn into a new body with no memory of your past life, not even your name? Would it make a difference if the body was that of a bear? Or a rat-like creature with extra-long legs and protruding yellow eyes? All these are possibilities for citizens of…

Will You Be My Friend?

How do you celebrate Ireland’s best-selling children’s poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice? Will you be my friend? is an extraordinary anthology of over one hundred of Fitzmaurice’s poems from thirteen collections, and includes another twenty-six new poems for his well versed fans. The richness of language, while still being accessible to a child reader, is perhaps Fitzmaurice’s…

Worry Angels

There have been so many changes in Amy-May’s young life. The family has separated from her wonderful, yet troubled artist Dad; they’ve moved house far from her lovely cottage with a garden and fresh sea air; and now, she is so filled with anxiety, she can’t go to school. It’s just too much for her.…

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