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All reviews tagged with Catherine Ann Cullen

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A Game of Ghouls: The Phenomenals

This is the second book about the four Phenomenals (Citrine, Folly, Vincent and Jonah), a dysfunctional quartet made up of a lock-picker, a seeker, a rich girl and a thug. To the law-abiding citizens of Degringolade, the four are undesirables who should be thrown in the city jail. The local newspaper has even offered a…

All Better!

No one likes feeling ill, having to visit a doctor or stay in hospital, so this collection of funny, informative poems is like medicine for the reluctant patient. From the cosiness of your bed when you are sick, to parents’ care and humour when a little person in is hospital, Latvian poet Zandere gently deals…

Arthur and the Golden Rope

Within the Brownstone vault lie multiple treasures collected over thousands of years by that enterprising and adventurous family. But the most astounding treasure is the collection of books written by Brownstones through the ages, a collection which is sure to inspire an echoing series of Flying Eye books. This very first book is the incredible…

Bad Magic

Wise-cracking author Bosch fizzes in this first book of a new series featuring the not-always-grounded Clay. Fans will remember Clay’s brother Max-Ernest, an amateur magician who disappeared two years ago, from the Secret Series. Bosch is undisputed heir to the Lemony Snicket throne of childhoods imbued with misery, and there’s plenty of injustice meted out…

Beaky Malone: World’s Greatest Liar

Barry Hutchison has form when it comes to comedy writing for children (The Shark-Headed Bear Thing and many more), and his new character Beaky Malone is another winner. If this was a film, the tagline would be: ‘What happens when the world’s biggest liar enters a truth machine?’ The set-up introduces us to Beaky’s dysfunctional…

Firefly July – A Year of Very Short Poems

Bright blocks of colour on the patchwork-style cover announce this as a warm blanket of a book, and the blanket is by turns one of stars, of flowers and of cloth. Sweet’s watercolour, gouche and mixed media illustrations draw on nature, with birds, insects and trees reinforcing the mostly outdoor feel of the book. The…

Fluttering their way into my head

Among Gabriel Rosenstock’s many accomplishments is his mastery of the haiku as a form and a way of life. This is his latest book of and about the tiny verse-form, an expanded version of an Irish-language book from early in 2014. It’s aimed at young people, and specifically addresses teenagers. It deserves a wider audience,…

Ghost Knight

We meet 11-year-old Jon on his reluctant way to boarding school at the behest of his mother's boyfriend, The Beard. Jon had done his best to alienate The Beard, with itching powder in his mouthwash and his face photoshopped onto a WANTED TERRORIST poster, but his plans have backfired badly. It quickly becomes clear that…

Heroes of the Red Branch Knights

Heroes of the Red Branch Knights is the twelfth book in the series described by Poolbeg as 'Ireland's Best Known Stories in a Nutshell.' The books present Irish myths and legends in a cheap and cheerful format for readers growing in confidence. The easy-to-read type, combined with a picture on every page, bring even the…

Lunatics and Luck (The Raven Mysteries, Book 3)

Your third chance to read the annals of the Otherland family, as told by their guardian, a raven called Raven. And caw blimey, this raven deserves every feather in his cap. What with a small earthquake, an alarming new teacher, and Fellah the pet monkey appearing in a wedding dress while smoking a pipe, the…

Meet the Weirds

When my seven-year-old devours a trilogy over an hour or so, I know I'm on to a good thing. We've been here before with writer Kaye Umansky, whose creations include Pongwiffy, the polluted witch, and the bumbling Sir Quinton Quest who hunts the Yeti. This time, the theme is a twist on the classic Odd…

Monkey And Me

Jez, or Beanie as he is known, has more on his plate than most nine-year-olds do. For one thing, he is trying to keep up with his big brother's dare-devil gang, even though he can't be a full member until he's in double digits. For another, he's being treated for leukaemia, hence the nickname –…

Notebooks of a Middle School Princess

The Princess Diaries are fifteen years old, and in honour of the birthday, Meg Cabot has penned and illustrated this entry level diary, aimed at new readers, younger sisters of current readers, and even – yes, it’s possible – the children of her original audience. The first entry has diary author, 12-year-old Olivia, being bullied…

Olivia Goes to Venice

The peppiest pig of them all goes the whole hog as usual, this time on a family trip to Venice. Only Olivia could love airport security, even though at first she’s not so sure about the city itself. Why are they crossing the same canal on a variety of small bridges all morning, when, as…

Scam on the Cam

Readers who have visited Cambridge will find this book particularly appealing, with its action centred on the university town and especially on the Cam river. Luckily, a visit isn't a prerequisite to enjoying the book's wise-cracking heroine, Sesame Seade, and her amusing mystery-solving skills. The story opens with Sesame and her friends in an embarrassing…

The Brockenspectre

Linda Newbery didn’t invent the Brockenspectre. This ‘giant made of shadow’ is an optical illusion called after Brocken, the highest mountain in the Harz range in Germany, where walkers sometimes see their own enormous shadow projected onto the clouds. Newbery brings the creature to life, however, as a threatening presence in the Alps, where Niklas…

The Girl Savage

Wilhelmina Silver – mostly Will – lives on a farm in Zimbabwe. In her sunny, all-male world, she rides with the horse boys, keeps a monkey for a pet, and worships her farm manager father and his boss, Captain Browne. But a family crisis sees Will’s paradise exchanged for a boarding school in England. She…

The Truth According to Arthur

An established author and illustrator come together for the first time, and the result works like a charm. Step forward Booktrust award-winner Tim Hopgood, who won Best Emerging Illustrator for his book, Here Comes Frankie! and wrote and illustrated Wow! said the Owl and The Big Blue Sofa (all Macmillan), and David Tazzyman, illustrator of…

The Wordsmith

The Wordsmith is the first novel from Galway writer Patricia Forde, author is picturebooks including the popular Mise agus an Dragún. Little Island punches above its weight as usual with the post-apocalyptic tale set in the village of Ark after the Melting. Letta is a wordsmith’s apprentice, tasked with transcribing the words and their definitions…

Unleashed: A Life and Death Job

Fans of Ali Sparkes's best-selling Shapeshifter saga will enjoy her new five-book series. Each book features one character, A Life and Death Job focuses on Lisa, the spoilt rich girl, who happens to be a medium. (It's a rare medium who tells unquiet spirits to 'get over it' or that they have BO.) Lisa is one of…

Welcome to Bugville

Paul Howard is best known as the illustrator of books such as The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson. Welcome to Bugville is his first venture into writing, and he plunges straight in. It's only chapter one, and Superfly and Midge, the swat team of Bugville, are already tackling a giant, gas-filled caterpillar. Of course,…

When I Am Happiest

As summer term closes, Dani looks back on the year – mostly good times, like when she and her friend Ella wrote their own commandments: ‘You shouldn’t show off too much – only a little bit, if someone else is showing off a lot.’ If you’ve met Dani before, you’ll know she’s ‘happy about almost…

Words to Tie to Bricks: Creative Writing from CTYI

Words to Tie to Bricks is an anthology of poetry, stories and other short writing from an intensive course run by Claire Hennessy for the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland at Dublin City University. The fifteen authors are aged 14-17, and the book is sold in aid of St Michael's House, which provides services to…

Zeraffa Giraffa

The poignant story of a baby giraffe, Zeraffa, who is captured in Africa by Egyptian hunters, and sent by the Pasha of Egypt as a gift to the King of France. Zeraffa's epic journey takes her down the Nile and across the Mediterranean to Marseilles, from where she walks to Paris with her loving minder,…

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