A selection of recommended reads for children.
Octopus Escapes Again. Text and Illustrations by Laurie Ellen Angus
Beautifully illustrated in a collage style, this book skilfully blends a fictional story about Octopus’s day with non-fiction information. Lush colours evocative of the sea and lots of exciting action words take us directly into the perils and pleasures of life under the sea. Could be enjoyed after a day at the beach?
A Dot in the Snow. Corrinne Averiss, Illustrated by Fiona Woodcock
A young polar bear and his mum are juxtaposed with a young girl and hers in this charming story set in the snowy north. The two youngsters, finding a new friend in one another, have a fun-filled day in a beautiful, pastel-coloured world. A perfect story for bedtime.
FICTION 7-9 YEARS
See You When I see You. Rose Lagercrantz & Eva Eriksson
This stand-alone chapter book for younger readers follows on from a well-loved series of stories, which began with the title My Happy Life. In this story, the main character Dani goes on a class trip to the zoo, where she sees her best friend Ella who is with her own school group. Dani and Ella, desperate to see each other, separate from their groups and go off together even though they know they shouldn’t. The stories about Dani are very much based on real situations, but written with warmth and understanding from a child’s point of view.
Stinky Spike the Pirate Dog. Peter Meisel, illustrated by Paul Meisel.
Spike is a shipyard pup who is very good at sniffing things out with his powerful nose. When Spike is lost at sea he is rescued by pirates. His mighty sniffer helps the pirates to find treasure. A great read for newly-independent readers, with brightly coloured illustrations and short chapters which lead to a satisfying conclusion.
FICTION 10 +
Moonlocket ( A Cogheart Adventure). Peter Bunzel
This sequel to Cogheart is set in steampunk-Victorian London in 1897. Lily, Robert and a mechanical fox named Malkin are trying to solve a mystery involving criminal mastermind Jack of Diamonds and the Moonlocket, a precious family heirloom that the children stumbled across. This is a fast-paced science fiction story with air-powered machines, clockwork robots and a notorious criminal at large. Amidst the mystery and adventure are also themes of family, friendship and honesty. A great read.
Orphan Island. Laurel Snyder
This is an entrancing story about nine children who live an idyllic life on a mysterious but beautiful island. However every year when a boat appears out of the strange mist encircling the island, a new young child arrives to be cared for and the eldest child has to leave the island forever. Jinny’s best friend, Deen, leaves the island on the boat and in his place is left a young girl who Jinny has to care for until the time comes when she too must leave. Really this is a story about the joys and sorrows of moving from childhood to adulthood. It is a compelling read and I would absolutely recommend it.