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A Selection of Books for Children: Part 1

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As Christmas approaches, we present a series of short reviews by Grace O’Reilly of books for children.

The Elves of Cologne by Eve Tharlet

This beautiful little book was first published in Switzerland in German its original language, Die Heinselmännchen von K , in 1992 by NordS Verlag AG, in Z Switzerland by August Kopisch.  It was first translated to the English language in in 1998 by North-South Books Inc. New York.  The person who translated it was Anthea Bell and the illustrations are by Eve Tharlet.

The blurb at the back says,

“The tradesmen of Cologne don’t know how lucky they are!

Each night hundreds of elves come and build for the carpenter, bake for the baker, trim for the butcher, and sew for the tailor.  When the tradesmen awake each morning, their work is done and their goods are ready to sell…

until one night something happens to break the spell.”

A sweet little tale about magic and elves, full of colourful pictures, using prominent red and browns.  The elves like to be helpful, but they also like their privacy.

“They tell a tale in old Cologne

Of little elves in days long gone,

When weary workers, should they please

Could laze about and take their ease”

Order your copy online here.

(c) Grace O’Reilly

BIG MACHINES – Trucks by David and Penny Glover

This is a great educational read, for eager to learn readers.  My eight year old son Ben took this book out of our local library in Gorey, Co Wexford.  He is fascinated by vehicles and the engineering and mechanics of them.

This series of books are edited by series editor, Sarah Peutrill, designed by Richard Langford, art directed by Jonathan Hair and illustrated by Ian Thompson.  Published by Franklin Watts, this edition was printed in 2007.  The reading consultant is Margaret Perkins and all of the picture credits are logged at the front of the book.

“The world is full of big machines.  They di all sorts of jobs to help us.  This series has lots of photographs showing big machines at work, so you can find out what they do.  You can make a big machine yourself!”

This is the fourth of six books in the series.  Book one was Bulldozers, book two was Cranes, book three was Fire Engines, book four is (this one) Trucks, book five is Tractors and finally book six is on Diggers.

At the front of the book on the ‘Contents’ page, you can see about,

on the move, tractor units, the trailer, the driver’s cab, wheels and axels, lights, mirrors and sounds, special loads, truck driving and gigantic trucks.

At the back of the book there is a ‘Make it Yourself’ page, where you can see how to make your own model dumper truck.  There is an image for little people to trace their own truck to colour in, and there are ‘Truck Words’ explaining certain parts to little readers.  There is of course the index.

Order your copy online here.

(c) Grace O’Reilly

A Dublin Christmas by Dan Boyd (illustrated by Tomasz Laskowski)

Written by Dan Boyd, A Dublin Christmas, is illustrated by Tomasz Laskowski. All of the author royalties are to support Irish Autism Action.  Published by Mercier Press in Cork, in 2006 with financial assistance from the Arts Council, and was printed and bound by J. H. Hynes & Co Ltd, Sparkford.

The blurb at the back of the book reads,

“Christmas shopping the day before Christmas Eve is just about the best treat ever for Michael and Niamh.  While their parents are chatting to a friend they decide to go off and do their own Christmas shopping without telling Mum and Dad.  But when they return, their parents are nowhere to be seen!

Things go from bad to worse when they fall asleep behind the big Christmas tree and get trapped in the shopping centre when everyone has gone home.

They are just getting really worried when, in the middle of the night, a long line of Sants arrive at the shopping centre.  What are they doing there?  And how did they get in?

What Michael and Niamh didn’t realise was that this was all part of Santa’s plan to give them the best Christmas ever…”

There is a Christmas message at the front of the book from Boyzone’s Keith Duffy.  Keith is an active advocate for autism.

This a sweet book with lovely colourful pictures throughout, and would be a nice gift for under the Christmas tree!

Order your copy online here.

(c) Grace O’Reilly

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