Books for chil­dren

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Books -

Ev­ery Boy’s Al­pha­bet by Kate Bing­ham and Luke Mar­tineau (Graf­feg, €14.70 HB) The book sets out to cap­ture the essence of boyhood in a com­bi­na­tion of verse, il­lus­tra­tion and su­perb bind­ing. Each page is awash with bl ue s , b r o wn s and earthy c o l ou r s . Boys will imm iately be drawn to the hat­ing to hold hands in the street page and the ad­ven­tur­ous climb­ing over the gate il­lus­tra­tion. The ac­tiv­i­ties may be old-fash­ioned but are pre­sented beau­ti­fully in wood­cut­like il­lus­tra­tions. Age five plus.

How To Think Like An Ab­so­lute Ge­nius by Philip Brasseur (QED, €12.60) This book ad­vises us to be cu­ri­ous, imag­i­na­tive and de­ter­mined, and sets out to im­prove the func­tion of our brains. It de­tails 26 of the most creative char­ac­ters from Socrates to John Lennon . But for lat­eral think­ing Ger­many might have won World War II — foiled as they were by math­e­mati­cian Alan Tur­ing crack­ing their Enigma code. Imag­in­ing the im­pos­si­ble Led Malala Yousafza­iat at the age of 17 to fight for ed­u­ca­tion for girls in Pak­istan. Think­ing out­side the box has solved seem­ingly in­sur­mount­able prob­lems. Nasa engi­neers fi­nally came up with a so­lu­tion to land­ing a probe on Mars-bounce it off the sur­face us­ing huge b a ll o o n s . Who would h a ve t h o u g ht ! P u z z le s and games plus a plan for each ind i v id u a l c o m p l e me n t t h e myr­iad of in­ter­est­ing ideas in this book. Suit­able for age eight and up.

The Clue is in the Poo by Andy Seed and Claire Al­mon (QED, €14.70 HB) And if ever a ti­tle grabbed young read­ers’at­ten­tion this is it. Though the book is a fas­ci­nat­ing file on iden­ti­fy­ing an­i­mal and bird types by what they leave be­hind, whether it be eggs, half chewed flora, marks on flora, seashells or good old­fash­ioned poo.

A sec­tion on bees, wasps and other in­sects is par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing - sur­pris­ingly most bees and wasps do not live in hives or nests ,and lit­tle pid­docks can drill holes into hard rocks at the sea side.

The text is en­livened by witty asides and out­ra­gious puns, as would be ex­pected given the ti­tle.

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