reading Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets Author and Illustrator: Dav Pilkey Publisher: Scholastic In this self-declared 'epic' of a novel, every boy's fantasy comes alive. George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two badly misunderstood kids who are always on the wrong side of their school principal, Mr Krupp. They have a talent for practical jokes and for creating comic books about a superhero named Captain Underpants who 'fights valiantly for Truth, Justice and all that is Pre-Shrunk and Cottony'. Mr Krupp is Captain Underpants, turning into the superhero every time he hears someone snap their fingers. In this second book of the series, the boys wreak disaster on the school's annual invention competition. Talking toilets start swallowing the teachers and threaten to take over the whole school. This is a job for Captain Underpants. Captain Underpants stories are absurd but imaginative, and come with Pilkey's original 'Flip-O-Rama', a low-budget animation technique that consists of flipping a page back and forth and making your own sound effects. The kids just love them. Suitable for ages 5 to 10 LionBoy Author: Zizou Corder Publisher: Puffin Books Once in a while you come across a book with a plot so gripping, characters so engaging, and writing so clever you can't put it down until it is finished, leaving you wishing for more. Well, I'm sorry to say that, for me, this was not that kind of a book. While the story was interesting enough, with the requisite adventure and mystery thrown in, reading it was a bit of a plod. Zizou Corder is the mother-daughter team of Louisa Young and 10-year-old Isabel Adomako Young. Isabel, like Charlie Ashanti, the hero of LionBoy, has an English mother and an African father. Charlie, who is able to speak to cats, goes in search of his scientist parents when they disappear. His hunt takes him from London to Paris on board a circus ship, and along the way he resolves to rescue six majestic and terribly bored lions from captivity. LionBoy is the first in a trilogy and is set to be published in 33 languages. Suitable for ages 9 to 12 The Prince Who Wrote a Letter Author: Ann Love Illustrator: Toni Goffe Publisher: Child's Play (International) Humour is one of the most precious gifts we can pass on to our children, and this book has a lot of it. The lesson of the story is that we should not be too quick to jump to conclusions. When our young hero, Prince Paul, tells his father that he has learnt to write a letter on his first day at school, proud King Clifford rushes to tell the queen, and both speculate that their son must have written to his friend across the valley, Prince Peter. The Queen Mother is told about the alleged contents of the letter, the maid eavesdrops, hears the wrong thing, panics, hurries to tell the cook - and on and on it goes, like Chinese whispers, until war is imminent. The next morning the tired and hungry soldiers learn what all the fuss has been about. When pressed to divulge what he had written in his letter, the surprised Prince Paul proudly announces, 'Yesterday I wrote a letter 'a'. And today I am going to write a letter 'b'.' Appealing illustrations, a compelling story with a twist in the end and a dash of humour keep children asking for this book to be read again and again. Suitable for ages 4 to 8 Siblings Without Rivalry Authors: Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company If you have more than one child, this book will help you deal with those aggravating 'sibling' situations. Faber and Mazlish, each the parent of three children, elaborate on the principles they learned from the late child psychologist Dr Haim Ginott. The central theme of the book is that children should be allowed to express their feelings, especially the negative ones about their brothers and sisters, and that parents should listen to and validate these feelings. Many an explosive situation can be defused by a parent acknowledging a child's feelings and reflecting them back to him. When children feel that they are understood, the need to be bratty disappears. The book is easy to read and helps parents through many everyday situations in a practical and sensible step-by-step manner.