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All reviews tagged with 10-12

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1066 And Before That

Early history gets an airing in this poetry collection – co-written by Brian Moses and Roger Stevens – which is divided up into five sections, beginning at the Stone Age, ending with the eponymous battle of Hastings, and taking in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome along the way. In fact, there is precious little that…

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…

A World of Information

This is a miscellany of the very best kind. Readers will be hooked by facts as varied as differing kinds of knots, different kinds of print, the periodic table of the elements, neap and spring tides, the organs of the body and a whole host of other information. At no point does the trivia seem…

Above and Below

Perfect for nature lovers, this lift-the-flap book gives a summary of many ecosystems on our planet presented alongside luscious illustrations of flora and fauna. From the rainforest to the savannah, we get an A-Z of natural habitats. We are presented a generalised list of the creatures and plants that occupy these areas, as well as…

Aidan Abet Teacher’s Pet

Guy Bass, an award-winning author known for his series Stitch Head and Atomic!, is back with another hilarious and peculiar story where a very unpopular teacher’s pet takes on more than he can chew with the arrival of a new teacher. ‘Aidan Abet, teacher’s pet! Peed his pants and now they’re wet!’ These are the…

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…

Beyond the Bright Sea

Roughly once a year comes a children’s book of unexpected brilliance, a book that has you hooked from the first sentence and keeps you eagerly turning pages until the early hours of the morning. It has the feel of an instant classic; and like an addict, you want more. This is such a book. Wolk’s…

Books Books Books

Open the cover and let this book take you on a whirlwind tour of the British Library and its incredible collection, housed on 625 kilometres of shelves and spread over fifteen floors. With copies of every single book published in Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as extensive catalogues of newspapers, maps and music,…

Coming to England

In Coming to England Floella Benjamin recounts the emigration of her family from the idyllic island of Trinidad to England. The book chronicles her life in Trinidad where she was born and lived until the age of 11. Benjamin gives a utopian glimpse into the beautiful family house, the wonderfully fragrant markets, the school and…

Cool Coding

Code tells a computer what to do. Each individual directive is very simple, but, when combined into a program, can accomplish amazingly complex tasks, including games. Many coders begin as hobbyists before turning professional. Code can be written in a myriad of programming languages. Different languages are optimised for specific tasks, and all have unique…

Countess Markievicz: An Adventurous Life

This volume of the Easter Rising Centenary In a Nutshell series focuses on Countess Constance Markievicz, the woman made famous by her involvement in the fight for Irish Independence. In this short biography Ann Carroll leads us through Markievicz’s life, from wealthy origins in rural Sligo, to her marriage to the Polish Count Casimir Markievicz,…

Create Your Own Superhero Epic

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s a book! (You must need glasses) That pretty much sets the tone for the third in a series of Create your own… books from the Judge Bros. and the results are ridiculously fun. Doodletown needs a superhero and you need to draw them. It is…

Danger is Really Everywhere

Danger is everywhere or at least it would be if it weren’t for the world’s leading dangerologist, ‘Docter’ Noel Zone. With ‘Docter’ Noel to guide us we just might make it through life alive. In this third book in the Danger is Everywhere series, O’Doherty and Judge take their antidote to the bubble-wrapped world we…

Darkmouth: Chaos Descends

Full of danger, intrigue but also lots of humour, Chaos Descends is the third part of Shane Hegarty’s thrilling Darkmouth series. Ten months after almost destroying both Darkmouth and the Infected Side in order to rescue his dad, Finn is getting ready to take part in his completion ceremony, and become a real Legend Hunter,…

Elias Martin

At seventeen, Elias Martin was driven north ‘by dint of not fitting in anywhere else’. For twelve years Elias lives a solitary life of constant struggle to stay warm and fed as he slowly learns the skills that allow him to survive in the harsh tundra of the far north. One day, he sees strange…

Facts!

Following the success of Tracey Turner’s previous releases (How to Make a Human out of Soup, How Can a Pigeon Be a War Hero?, to name but a few), she has produced yet another wonderfully fascinating book of facts. This time, there is one for every day of the year! From astronomy to zoology, ancient…

His Royal Whiskers

In the far-away land of Petrossia, something terrible has happened to the kingdom’s heir, Prince Alexander. It is far worse than kidnapping; far worse than murder! On his sixth birthday, Prince Alexander has somehow been turned into a little fluffy-wuffy kitten. The Czar, Petrossias’ fierce, all-conquering ruler is out forblood. Young Pieter, tallymaster to the…

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey

This book brings two of ancient literature’s classic tales together for young readers. In Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Gillian Cross retells these two enduring tales, bringing them to life with the help of Neill Packer’s vivid illustrations, in the classical style. Cross achieves the almost impossible by making these heroic and sometimes gory tales come…

In Focus: Cities

This book is a gloriously colourful tour through some of the world’s most important cities. Taking a collaborative approach, ten illustrators take one location each to convey something of the geography, culture, and unique colour of each place. Whether it is the vibrant streets of New York or the sumptuous sunset-soaked skyline of Istanbul, the…

Journeys

Read your way around the world with some of history’s greatest story makers. Discover some amazing expeditions, including that of Nobu Shirase – who raced Scott and Amundsen to the South Pole – and Henry ‘Box’ Brown – a slave who posted himself to freedom. Recounting the stories of some of the bravest and most…

Lizard Music

This is like a film noir for 8-12-year-olds, if a film noir was crossed with old-school X-Files, and was also a musical. It was written in 1976 and you can tell, in the best of ways. Its main character, Victor, is a cool and laconic narrator—most of the time. He’s often baffled by the world…

Magrit

Magrit lives in a tiny, abandoned graveyard, lost, forgotten and overgrown amongst the tall buildings and busy outside world that surround it. But she is not alone. She has her friend and advisor, Master Puppet that she built from old bones and bits of graveyard stuff. Magrit and Master Puppet are sitting atop their crumbling…

Missing Arabella

Kathryn Siebel is a storyteller like no other. One night while travelling with her husband to a B & B in Ireland, Kathryn saw a mother and daughter sitting in front of a fireplace sewing. Years later, she began to imagine the story that Irish mother might have been telling her daughter in front of…

Mr Baboomski and the Wonder Goat

Initially, I was sceptical about this book. The nonsense words in the opening pages reminded me too much of Roald Dahl’s BFG and apart from that, the grammar was riddled with errors. I’m usually looking at books with teacher eyes, so I wasn’t sure if this would be a book that I would be happy…

My Book of Stories: Write your own Adventures

This and its companion volume Write your own Shakespearean Tale are the first of a series of children’s books commissioned by British Library Publishing. The concept is to encourage children to write their own adventure stories using inspiration from the canon, and Patterson has assembled a treasure trove of material from classics by Lewis Carroll,…

Naturama

In this non-fiction book on wildlife, the author offers us an insight into the four seasons in Ireland and how our environment changes with them. Beginning with a brief history of each season as celebrated in ancient Ireland, Naturama talks us through the meteorological characteristics of spring, summer, autumn and winter (change in temperature and…

Odd and the Frost Giants

Odd might seem like an unusual name, and even though it’s actually quite a lucky one in the Viking village he grew up in, there’s no denying that Odd has taken some of the qualities of his name to heart. After his father dies unexpectedly in a freak ‘pony-overboard’ incident after a raid, Odd becomes…

Old Masters Rock: How to Look at Art with Children

Old Masters Rock is a valuable guide for parents and children to help make art enjoyable and accessible. Featuring fifty artworks ranging from the fourteenth to the twentieth century, including Renaissance, Impressionist and Baroque works among others, it is a great starting point for the study of art. The introduction features useful tips on how…

Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature

Winner of the Bologna Ragazzi award in 2015, this amazing book is full of information and hints for outdoor activities to get even the most reluctant couch potato up and out. Part encyclopaedia, part instructional guide, it is written in plain, straightforward terms which will appeal to reluctant readers and fact aficionados alike. The writers…

Plantopedia

As colourful and fascinating as a wildflower meadow, this gem of a book introduces children to the variety, beauty and sheer quirkiness of the botanic world. Although fulfilling all of its credentials as an encyclopaedia, this text manages to go far beyond that, providing a vibrant celebration of the natural world. Crucial to the success…

Podkin One Ear

Sure to be a big hit with young lovers of fantasy, Podkin One Ear is a gripping, page-turner by Kieran Larwood. A story within a story, this is the tale of the legendary Podkin One Ear, the warrior rabbit who stood up to the cruel and fearsome Gorm, as told by the visiting bard to…

Pug-a-Doodle-Do!

Pug-a-Doodle-Do! is a doodle and activity book with a difference, full of drawing and writing adventures inspired by the wacky world of Reeve and McIntyre who have previously brought us the best-selling fiction titles Oliver and the Seawigs, Cakes in Space, Pugs of the Frozen North, and Jinks and O’Hare Funfair Repair. The book contains…

Rover and the Big Fat Baby

Another adventure from Rover and the Gigglers, this fast-paced story is guaranteed to provide the reader with numerous chuckles. The Big Fat Baby has gone missing, so Rover and his side-kick Messi, have to find her. In the meantime, Rover’s business, providing the Gigglers with poo, has a big order on and that has to…

Sam Hannigan’s Woof Week

Sam Hannigan and her friend Ajay love animals. When Sam’s next-door neighbour is cruel to his dog Barker, she uses her grandad’s invention, the Brain Swap 3000, to inhabit Barker’s body and give the dastardly neighbour a fright he’ll never forget. All goes according to plan – until the Brain Swap 3000 runs out of…

Secret Treasures of Ancient Egypt

This book has been published to coincide with the British Museum exhibition ‘Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds’. It is the story of two magnificent ancient cities, Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion, which once stood at the mouth of the river Nile. The cities were thriving, busy ports until catastrophe struck causing them to sink under the sea.…

Self-Destructing Science: Space

Proving that there is an exception to every rule, this book truly can be judged by its cover! As the title suggests, readers can cut, stick, rip, fold and colour their way through this fact-filled activity book about outer space. Even the front page is designed to be cut out and framed! Quirky illustrations in…

Shiny Pippin and the Broken Forest

It hasn’t rained for a year in Funsprings. The rivers and streams and lakes have dried up. The animals are vanishing. The Forest is broken. Pippin must fix this aberration of nature and bring the water back to Funsprings. But Pippin is just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life – a girl who loves…

Skeleton Tree

What would you do if you found a bone poking out of the earth in your back garden, one that started to grow, reaching up out of the ground until it turned into a skeleton? This is the situation facing twelve-year-old Stanly Stanwright, the protagonist of this unusual and heart-warming adventure. Stanly is determined to…

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth

Research informs us that visualisation is one of the comprehension strategies used by good readers. Encouraging children to become enthusiastic readers means providing them with text that is imaginative, exciting and descriptive. Cottrell Boyce provides just such a text in this mad-cap story. The scenarios are beyond belief, and yet so skillfuly portrayed that they…

Spycraft: How To Be The Best Secret Agent Ever

From start to finish, this book contains everything you need to know about the thrilling world of espionage. How to set up a spy ring, secret hiding places, code-cracking, making and using invisible ink, becoming an expert at surveillance; it is jammed with tips, tricks, advice and instruction. This manual is both practical and fun!…

Tamsin and the Deep

In this chapter-based graphic novel, Tamsin, swept out to sea when attempting to bodyboard in her home county of Cornwall, is returned to her family a month later by mysterious means. The narrative hinges on her family’s magical and historical links, their responsibilities regarding Cornwall and an ancestor’s deal with a mermaid. As one might…

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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…

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…

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…

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…

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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