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Recommended Reads - Children

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The Great Ape Escape: the accidental adventures of Onion O’Brien by Jason Byrne   The Great Ape Escape: the accidental adventures of Onion O’Brien by Jason Byrne
Published by Gill Books in 2019

The Accidental Adventures of Onion O'Brien is the deadly debut from Ireland's Got Talent's comedian Jason Byrne! Meet Onion O'Brien. He's an ordinary kid growing up in the suburbs where nothing ever happens. Except when it does, it always happens to him. Luckily, his friends have his back. The circus has come to town and Grandad has free tickets for Onion and his friends but the evening turns very eventful when a young orangutan escapes and ends up in Onions back garden!

“My 12 year old son loved this debut novel from Jason Byrne, said it was soooo funny and so Irish. Said he has to get the next book and is delighted to see there are 3 Onion O’ Brien books to read. Great to hear Tadhg laugh out loud reading this book and still laughing explaining the story line to us! Fair play to Jason Byrne, we all need a laugh in these times.” – recommended by a Kilrush Library staff member.

     
Wee Donkey’s Treasure Hunt: An Adventure Around Ireland by Erika McGann   Wee Donkey’s Treasure Hunt: An Adventure Around Ireland by Erika McGann
Published by The O'Brien Press 2020

A clever introduction to Ireland’s famous places of interest for very young children by Erika McGann. Wee Donkey sets out to bring souvenirs of Ireland to his ageing grandad. The Wee Donkey thought, “I can’t turn back the years. But I can get Grandad some great souvenirs.”

Wee Donkey’s first stop is the Jeannie Johnston followed by the Round Tower at Glendalough and on he goes to bring back Blarney Castle, The Giant’s Causeway, and the sea on the Wild Atlantic Way. Gerry Daly’s illustrations transform the book into a treasure for keeps. - recommended by a Clare County Library Staff Member.

     
Icarus was Ridiculous by Pamela Butchart   Icarus was Ridiculous by Pamela Butchart
Published by Nosy Crow Ltd 2019

A light hearted take on the Greek Myths. Four retellings of the most dramatic myths with all the action and adventure of the originals but with lots more sandals! Izzy LOVES all the stories the Ancient Greeks told! She can’t wait to tell her friends about Icarus, who was a TOTAL NUMPTY, and the Trojan Horse, which ended a war and wasn’t even REAL!
Izzy retells four Greek myths in an effort to help her friends and classmates learn valuable lessons about their behaviour. It's a clever way of looking at the relevance of those myths and legends with plenty of humour and entertaining characters. - recommended by a Clare County Library Staff Member.

     
A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan   A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan
Published by Usborne Publishing Ltd 2017

The town of Perfect is anything but! Why does everyone have to wear special glasses to stop them going blind? What are the strange noises in the night and why is Mum acting so weird? Then Dad disappears and Violet is determined to uncover the truth with the help of the mysterious Boy. But returning normality to Perfect is a battle they never imagined.

This is the first book of the Perfect trilogy and was read by the Shannon Library Junior Bookclub for their January 2020 meeting. They found it “creepy and funny and couldn’t wait to read the next book in the series”. - recommended by Shannon Library Junior Bookclub.

     
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett  

The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
Published by Putnam Publishing Group.

Aloo-ki glances up from fishing and sees her sled dogs floating off on an ice floe. She races after them and comes upon an igloo. Being a curious girl, she goes inside only to find no one home. That's because the polar bear family who lives there is out walking while their breakfast cools off. Aloo-ki eats some soup, tries on their boots, and finally crawls into the smallest bed for a nap. Meanwhile, Papa, Mama and Baby Bear see her dogs adrift, swim out to rescue them and return home to Aloo-ki fast asleep in Baby Bear's bed.

"Children will want to listen to this exciting version of a well-loved story over and over again". - Recommended by a Scariff Library Staff member.

     
The Elephant by Peter Carnavas   The Elephant by Peter Carnavas
Published by Pajama Press.

Olive's father has a sadness so big that she imagines it as an enormous elephant following him around. Every day Olive sees the elephant. And every day, she wishes it would go. With the help of her cheery grandad and best friend, Arthur, Olive sets out to chase the elephant away. But how can Olive move something so big?

'Your dad won't fix your bike - until you fix your dad.'

This book deals with grief and depression. - Recommended by a Scariff Library Staff member.

     
The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer  

The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer
Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books

A return to the world of Artemis Fowl after 7 years, Fowl Twins brings us the bizarre adventures of Artemis’ younger twin brothers. Myles and Beckett are non-identical in every way except in their wit and brilliance which they need to wriggle out of the many crises they find themselves in.

"Packed with action this book is a mix of fantasy and science fiction full of Eoin Colfer humour that his fans will love. Suitable for older readers around the 9 to 12 age group." - Recommended by a Clare County Library staff member

     
Boot: The Rusty Rescue by Shane Hegarty  

Boot: The Rusty Rescue by Shane Hegarty
(author of the Darkmouth series for older readers)
Published by Hachette

Boot is a little robot with a big heart who has amazing adventures. Boot the Rusty Rescue is the second book in the series that introduces us to a new robot called Rusty, that Boot, his friend Gary and other pals in his robot gang meet on one of their adventures. The book is full of fun, great pictures and an exciting adventure plot to keep young readers turning the pages and waiting for the next book in the series.

" Suitable for ages 7 to 9 but this is a great story for everyone and would certainly be enjoyed by older children too." - Recommended by a Clare County Library staff member

     
Where Are You Puffling? An Irish Adventure by Erika McGann  

Where Are You Puffling? An Irish Adventure by Erika McGann and illustrated by Gerry Daly
Published by O’Brien Press

Little Puffling who lives on Skellig Michael is lost and her neighbours and family friends work together to find her. This is a charming story full of cartoon type illustrations that children will love and they also have the added challenge of finding the miniature puffling on every page.
A picture book for younger readers. Also available as gaeilge Cá Bhfuil Puffin Beag translated by Muireann Ni Chiobháin

Recommended by a Clare County Library staff member

     
The House on Hawthorn Road by Megan Wynne  

The House on Hawthorn Road by Megan Wynne

A mischievous boy from the 1950s; a shy girl from today; a time-slip adventure like no other. Beth didn’t want to move to Dublin – she misses her old life and her best friend back in London – and to make matters worse someone keeps messing up her new room … When she discovers that a boy called Robbie, from the 1950s, is slipping through time and into her house, things start to get REALLY weird!

"This book has to be one of my favourite books. It is about a girl named Beth and a boy
named Robbie. It is about them going to each other’s centuries. Robbie gets stuck in Beth’s
century only to find his father who is old and frail is still looking for him. This is my favourite book ever." - Mille, aged 11, Kilmihil Library Junior Bookclub.

     
Dork Diaries, Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renee Russell  

Dork Diaries, Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renee Russell

Love is in the air for Nikki Maxwell in this sixth book of the New York Times best-selling Dork Diaries series. It's the biggest dance of the year and Nikki Maxwell is hoping her crush, Brandon, wants to be her date. But time is running out. What if he doesn't ask her? Or worse...what if he asks Mackenzie?!!

"I loved this book as it had romance and humour. There is a lot of drama and excitement. I
have read nearly all of the series. I enjoyed this book a lot. I would recommend this to girls
aged 11-14. Rating: 9.5/10" - Cara, aged 11, Kilmihil Library Junior Bookclub

     
The Witches by Roald Dahl  

The Witches by Roald Dahl

A Real Witch gets the same pleasure from squelching a child as you get from eating a plateful of strawberries and cream. What's even more unnerving is that real witches don't look like witches. So how can you tell when you meet one? You'll find out all you need to know in this remarkable story about the most gruesome gang of witches imaginable!

"This book is about a boy whose parents die and he has to live with his granny who believes
in witches. They go to a hotel in Bournemouth but they are in for a surprise.
I would recommend this book for 8-12 year olds and to a person who likes witches and scary
books. I give this book 9/10." - Noel, aged 11, Kilmihil Library Junior Bookclub.

"This book is about a little boy who tries to get rid of all the evil witches and then turns in to
a mouse but still manages to get rid of all the witches in England.
I would recommend this book to my sister Belle because she loves stories with magic. I give this book 8/10." Elke, aged 11, Kilmihil Library Junior Bookclub.

     
Shooting for the Stars by Norah Patten  

Shooting for the Stars: My Journey to Become Ireland’s First Astronaut by Norah Patten

At the tender age of 11 Norah’s interest in space was ignited after her first flight on a family holiday from Mayo to Ohio and her visit to the NASA space station.
Shooting for the Stars takes young readers on the journey of her life to the present day answering questions about space, stars, planets and how to follow your dreams.
This beautifully produced children’s book will appeal to 3rd class pupils and upwards with its endearing colourful illustrations, information bubbles on every page and different text formats throughout. And to show what happens when children dream big….
In 2017 Dr. Norah Patten, from Ballina in Co. Mayo, was one of 12 participants from around the world selected to take part in a unique scientist-astronaut training programme in Florida. She is on course to become Ireland’s first astronaut! - Recommended by a Library Staff Member

     
Buried Alive by Jacqueline Wilson  

Buried Alive by Jacqueline Wilson

Tim can't wait to go on holiday - especially as he gets to bring his friend Biscuits along. But their trip unexpectedly becomes truly, terribly adventurous when an encounter with two local bully-boys threatens to disrupt the fun.

"Buried Alive written by Jacqueline Wilson is a very good book. This books characters are Tim, Biscuits (loves food), Kelly’s Mum’s boyfriend, Kelly’s Mum, Kelly and her younger brother Deano. The book was a lot more exciting than I thought it would be. Biscuits was the best character in my opinion as he is very funny. I would give this book 9 out of 10 stars".
Recommended by Noel, Kilmihil Library Junior Bookclub

"I liked Buried Alive. I thought it was a great book after thinking at the start that I would dislike it. I thought the bit at the end was unnecessary where the bully puked. I like how Jacqueline Wilson did the diaries. I would recommend it".
Recommended by Millie, Kilmihil Library Junior Bookclub

     
The Secret Island by Enid Blyton  

The Secret Island by Enid Blyton

The Arnold children live with their horrible aunt and uncle because their parents are missing and presumed dead in a plane crash. They run away to a deserted island with their friend Jack and have many adventures. They live happily on their own, undiscovered on the island until Christmas when Jack discovers something amazing.

Recommended by Kilmihil Library Junior Bookclub members, who say:

I would recommend this book to ages 8-11 for boys and girls. I think it was very interesting and liked it a lot. 10/10 - Senan

Anyone can read this book 10/10 - Elke

The story was good and I liked it 8/10 -Abby

I loved it 10/10 - Grace

The book was a nice flowing book, nicely laid out and a happy book for age 8-12 – Noel

     
 

There's a Monster in Your Book by Tom Fletcher
Published by Puffin, 2017.

What a treat this book is and so clever and beloved by children. It is so inventive and invites you to interact with the cute little blue monster by shaking the book to get him out. When he runs away you have to call him back and in the end you stroke his head as he falls asleep. I love the last page with a picture of him sleeping and you are asked to gently close the book so he doesn't wake up. I read this book to my own daughter and after one read she could do the actions herself and loved tickling the monster and getting him to sleep. It was also a hit at storytime in the library and got lots of giggles.

I have to commend the author and the illustrator on creating such an adorable character that children warm to immediately. I loved reading it look forward to demands for it to be read again! - Recommended by a Scariff Library staff member.

     
Time After Time by Judi Curtin   Time After Time by Judi Curtin
Published by The O’Brien Press, 2016

Time after Time is about two best friends, Molly and Beth. Beth’s mum died when she was little and now her father and Molly’s mother have moved in together. Beth misses her mum, and when the girls go through a spooky shop doorway and end up in 1984, Beth knows she has to find her mum to see her.

This book is a very sweet read, the 80’s fashion, hairstyles and music are described with humour through the eyes of the children from this generation. A very enjoyable read. - Recommended by Kilkee Library’s Children’s Book Club

     
Stand By Me by Judi Curtin  

Stand By Me by Judi Curtin
Published by The O’Brien Press, 2017

Graham is Molly and Beth’s favourite uncle, so when Graham and his best friend were seperated in the 60’s, the girls know of a secret door that can bring them to the past. However , can they fix this friendship that was destroyed in the 60’s? The English is easy to read and understand. There are also really funny and sad bits when you least expect them. I enjoyed reading this book. - Recommended by a young reader in Ennistymon aged 10.

     
Top of the class (nearly) : Tom Gates [9] by Liz Pichon  

Top of the class (nearly) : Tom Gates [9] by Liz Pichon
Published by Scholastic, 2016

This book is very good. When Tom Gates keeps falling asleep and drawing, he decides to be the best pupil in the class, right? No. With Billy Buster and Marcus Meldren this won’t be so easy. But with his friends Derek and Norman, can Tom be top of the class? This is a very funny and exciting book and it is easy to read.- Recommended by a young reader at Ennistymon Library aged 10.

     
Paper Towns by John Green  

Paper Towns by John Green
Published by Bloomsbury, 2015

I thought this book was a very good book. I like the way it’s all one big adventure, in which something new happens on every page and makes you not want to put it down. I would definately recommend this book. - Recommended by a young reader in Liscannor N.S

     
The Princess and the Christmas Rescue by Caryl Hart  

The Princess and the Christmas Rescue by Caryl Hart
Published by Nosy Crow, 2016

This is a beautifully illustrated book with a great story. Meet the brainy and bright Princess Eliza who engineers wonderful contraptions to help Santa who is not feeling well, to get his long list under control and to keep boys and girls happy. The busy illustrations draw the reader into the workshop and the story stays with you after the book is read. One to read over and over again. - Recommended by a young reader at Ennistymon Library.

     
Dork Diaries: Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renée Russell  

Dork Diaries: Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renée Russell
Published by Simon and Schuster, 2013

This is a very good book. I’d read it if I were you. It’s about the dance of the year. Will Nikki have the courage to ask her crush Brandon to the dance? This book contains a few surprises and a few laughs. - Recommended by a young reader at Ennistymon Library

     
Eva’s Holiday by Judi Curtin  

Eva’s Holiday by Judi Curtin
Published by The O’Brien Press, 2011

Eva’s Holiday is a very good book. Once you read one of Judi Curtin’s books you can’t stop. It is about a girl called Eva. Eva likes fashion, fun and hanging out with friends. But when Eva goes on holiday and meets a girl called Kate who doesn’t care about being cool, she soon sees that the weirdest and coolest girls can make the best of friends. - Recommended by a young reader at Ennistymon Library aged 10.

     
Alice and Megan Forever by Judi Curtin  

Alice and Megan Forever by Judi Curtin
Published by The O’Brien Press, 2015

Alice and Megan Forever is a very good book! Alice and Megan start Secondary School with new subjects, teachers, seats and students. They feel sad to leave and go to different classes. But when Megan meets the bold pupil Marcus, things get bad. Will Megan ever find a new friend? The English in this book is easy to read. There are also fun and exciting twists to the story. This book is a good read. - Recommended by a young reader at Ennistymon Library aged 10.

     
Dork Diaries : Puppy Love by Rachel Renee Russell  

Dork Diaries : Puppy Love by Rachel Renee Russell
Published by Simon and Schuster, 2015

Very good book. When Nikki and her crush Brandon find an abandoned dog and her pups, they decide to mind the dog and her pups.However when Nikki asks her parents they say no, so Nikki is going to smuggle them in, easy right? Umm no! Funny story you’ll be laughing your socks off! The English in this is easy to read. I recommend this book. - Recommended by a reader in Ennistymom library aged 10.

     
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo  

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Originally published by Heinemann, 1982

War Horse was a very good read. I really enjoyed the journey the horse went on throughout the book, although I would have preferred if I had heard more from the horse’s owner. Overall it was a great book. - Recommended by a young reader in Liscannor N.S.

     
The Girl Who Saved Christmas  

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig
Published by Canongate Books, 2016.

The Girl Who Saved Christmas is the sequel to A Boy Called Christmas and is an equally enchanting story that will melt the hearts of young and old. Santa knows he must find Amelia Wishart who is trapped in Mr. Creeper’s workhouse or Christmas may not happen. But elves, reindeer, the Queen and a man called Charles Dickens are willing to help and so the magical Christmas adventure begins.

"A feel-good Christmas read packed with all things good about the season that will warm your heart.
For readers aged 9/10 and over". - a Clare County Library staff member.

     
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss  

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Published by HarperCollins, 2007

Just in case you haven’t read this book and even if you’ve read it a million times, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is compulsory reading for all ages for the season that’s in it!
The opening lines “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” will resonate with many or will draw the reader in from the first line if you haven’t read it before.

"Sharing this book at Christmas may just trigger that lifelong love of reading in your child". - a Clare County Library staff member.

     
Katinka’s Tail by Judith Kerr  

Katinka’s Tail by Judith Kerr
Published by HarperCollins, 2017

Almost 50 years after the appearance of the first Mog book, Judith Kerr who is just 6 years short of her centenary year has produced another delightful children’s classic, Katinka’s Tail. The story of a “perfectly ordinary cat with a not-so-ordinary tail” was inspired by the author’s own cat who “is a ridiculous-looking white cat with a tabby tail that looks as though it belonged to somebody else,” she said.

"This is the loveliest picture book to share with young children and their older siblings too, telling the tale of Katinka’s travels, far and wide. And for even more unique Christmas reading enjoyment, try Mog’s Christmas Calamity by the same author published in 2015". - a Clare County Library staff member.

     
Pandora by Victoria Turnbull   Pandora by Victoria Turnbull
Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2016.

Pandora lives alone, in a world of broken things. She makes herself a handsome home, but no one ever comes to visit. Then one day something falls from the sky. . . a bird with a broken wing.

"I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a picture book as much as this one. It is visually stunning and appeals to me and my nearly two year old equally. Pandora’s aloneness is beautifully and sensitively depicted. You are so happy for her when the bird lands in her life and the treasures it brings have life changing consequences for lovely Pandora. You find yourself elated when she is, and so sad when her friend suddenly disappears. Please take this book home to share with your children." - a Scariff Library staff member.
     
The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher   The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher
Published by Puffin in 2016

This book is about a boy called William and his Dad Mr Trundle who both love Christmas and Dinosaurs! It begins when Santas Elves discover an egg hidden for many years in the snow and with Santas help, hatch the egg and discover a baby Dinosaur! Meanwhile on planet Earth William is having a tough time at school with Brenda Payne, possibly the meanest girl on earth, and writes to Santa asking for a Dinosaur for Christmas. What unfolds is a Christmas Eve adventure like no other!

‘I read it with my son who’s nearly 9, a chapter a night, and he loved the story, still talks about it.
This story was really magical, great characters and lovely Elf songs throughout to sing along to! A lovely story to read, especially for this time of year.’ - a Kilrush Library staff member

     
The Spiral Path by Matt Griffin  

The Spiral Path by Matt Griffin
Published by The O’Brien Press, 2017

Matt Griffin’s The Spiral Path is the final book in the Ayla trilogy. Preceeded by A Cage of Roots and Storm Weaver all three books are inspired by Irish myths, particularly the Tuatha Dé Danann and are illustrated by the author.

Ayla, Sean, Finny and Benvy are in no doubt that their home of Kilnabracka is once again in danger. Everyone in their home village has been tuned into zombies by the powerful Dagda while they were away fighting. The friends must rely on the powers of magic and humanity to save their people.

As they are drawn further and further into a trap, can the friends save themselves and the town of Kilnabracka?

"For readers 10 to 13 this is an exciting fantasy adventure and a powerful trilogy finale." - a Clare County Library staff member.

     
Sam Hannigan’s Woof Week by Alan Nolan  

Sam Hannigan’s Woof Week by Alan Nolan
Published by The O’Brien Press, 2017

Sam Hannigan’s Woof Week is the latest hilarious children’s book from one of Ireland’s favourite authors and illustrators. Samantha Hannigan is an animal lover and champion Irish dancer who is in a serious muddle. Whilst messing around with Brain Swap 3000, one of her grandad’s crackpot inventions, along with her best friend Ajay, she has managed to get herself stuck inside the body of her neighbours’ dog.

How long can Ajay and Sam pretend she is just dressing up in a dog costume for charity? Are her chances of winning a big dance competition scuppered? What’s going on behind closed doors at Roger Fitzmaurice’s dog-biscuit factory? And, why has Sam suddenly started to chew on slippers and bark at the moon?

"Another madcap adventure from Alan Nolan ideally suited to readers aged 9 to 11." - a Clare County Library staff member.

     
The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop by Clare Balding   The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop by Clare Balding
Published by Puffin in 2016

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop is a story is based on the character Charlie (Charlotte) Bass, a ten year old girl who accidentally buys a racehorse called ‘Noble Warrior’ and gets a shaggy pony called ‘Percy’ thrown in to the bargain for good measure. Though Noble Warrior is a well-bred racehorse, he fails miserably when faced with any challenges, unless he has ‘Percy’ by his side. Everyone gives up on believing that he could ever win a race, except for Charlie who stops at nothing to prove that he is 'winning material'. A wonderful book for any lovers of horse racing and horses.

“Such a fantastic book and loved by all the children (and myself) in the group.” - a Miltown Malbay Library Staff member and the Children’s Book Club.

 
Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes  

Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes
Published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2016

Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes based on the picture book by Julia Donaldson is a delightful first cookbook for kids. With Guidelines for Grown-Ups and Hints and Tips to Read Together, you and your little assistants can make Mouse Toast, Woodland Salad or Roasted Fox Sweet Potatoe Wedges.

“Delicious treats from the Deep Dark Wood will have little tummies rumbling before breakfast, lunch and dinner as you explore a bookful of amazing recipes laid out in the most child-friendly fashion with simple step-by-step instructions.” - a Clare County Library staff member.

 
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