CHILDREN'S

CHILDREN’S

FRINDLESWYLDE by Natalia O’Hara Illustrated by Lauren O’Hara (Walker £14.99 40 pp)

FRINDLESWYLDE by Natalia O’Hara Illustrated by Lauren O’Hara (Walker £14.99 40 pp)

FRINDLESWYLDE

by Natalia O’Hara Illustrated by Lauren O’Hara

(Walker £14.99 40 pp)

A perfect read for a frosty winter evening, this beautifully illustrated, atmospheric story harks back to traditional fairy tales such as The Snow Queen.

Cora’s Granny has warned her about the elusive, shapeshifting Frindleswylde child but, even so, one day the mysterious frozen boy creeps into their cottage and steals the light.

Determined to win it back, Cora follows him to an icy underground kingdom where he traps her as his Snow Queen.

But when a warm memory inside her stirs, Cora demands to leave — only to be ordered to first complete three seemingly impossible tasks.

Imaginative, lyrical and haunting, this a wonderful battle of powers.

THE FIRE FOX by Alexandra Page Illustrated by Stef Murphy (Two Hoots £12.99, 32 pp)

THE FIRE FOX by Alexandra Page Illustrated by Stef Murphy (Two Hoots £12.99, 32 pp)

THE FIRE FOX

by Alexandra Page Illustrated by Stef Murphy

(Two Hoots £12.99, 32 pp)

Another winter tale to warm the toes is this delightful story based on an Arctic Circle myth in Sami culture, about a fire fox whose fur scatters sparks that transform into the Northern Lights.

When Freya and her mum go to stay in a cabin her dad used to love, she feels lonely, scared and empty — clearly her father is no longer with them.

But in the woods she spots a white fox which invites her on a magical journey, painting the snowy hills a riot of colour and bringing back joy and laughter.

When the fox leaves, Freya returns to the cabin, but now she feels safe and loved and can snuggle up with her mum. A message of hope about rediscovering light in the darkness.

THE WORST SLEEPOVER IN THE WORLD by Sophie Dahl Illustrated by Luciano Lozano (Walker £12.99, 32 pp)

THE WORST SLEEPOVER IN THE WORLD by Sophie Dahl Illustrated by Luciano Lozano (Walker £12.99, 32 pp)

THE WORST SLEEPOVER IN THE WORLD

by Sophie Dahl Illustrated by Luciano Lozano

(Walker £12.99, 32 pp)

Ramona has been looking forward to her first sleepover with best friend Gracie and has planned exciting treats: building a den, dancing like divas and midnight feasts. But Gracie is far from a good guest — she hates the food, wants to sleep in a proper bed, tells scary stories and claims to feel ill.

Disappointed and fed-up, Ramona thinks their friendship is ruined, but wise, reassuring (en uitgeput) Mum comes to the rescue.

This funny but tender look at children’s insecurities and why fear can manifest as difficult behaviour will resonate with sleepover-weary parents as much as with children.

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