The Written World for Kids

With Sarla Langdon

PUSHKIN CHILDREN’S BOOKS —– ONCE AGAIN, THE FINEST CHRISTMAS GIFT CHOICES

This year, Pushkin Press, offers once more, a selection of exceptional children’s books, ideal for the kids to curl up with and equally suitable for reading out aloud.

Winter In Wartime by Jan Terlouw

Translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson (Pushkin Children’s Books £10.99)

While the Pushkin publishing stable is well known for entering thoroughbreds in the national Yuletide literary race, its children’s section has excelled this year, primarily with a seminal novel Winter in Wartime that transcends the realms of the entertaining to deliver some extraordinary perspectives on war and culpability, on a shared guilt for man’s inhumanity to man. The multi-award-winning Dutch novelist Jan Terlouw illustrates these ethi-cal and moral viewpoints through an absorbing narrative set during the Nazi Occupation of Holland.

His protagonist, 11-year-old Michiel van Beusekom lives through the horrors of a brutal regime, his father the mayor executed, his friends tortured and shot. His heroism in hiding a British airman and as an active participant in the Dutch Resistance, form part of the untold story of human endurance in the face of extreme adversity.

But Michiel learns that thus is the nature of war and that murder and viol-ence has been the norm in the history of mankind. No one nation or its people are the only perpetrators of ugly deeds: Winter In Wartime points the young reader towards a more universal understanding of the failings and triumphs of mankind. Neither good nor evil are the prerogatives of any particular race—a wisdom that all children should be taught. It is a seminal book worthy of acting as a guideline for all writers addressing younger readers.

The Missing Barbegazi

by H.S.Norup (Pushkin Children’s Books £6.99)

Competitive skiing, avalanches and alpine adventures sound an exciting enough mix—but throw in a centuries-old family of snow goblins, the Barbegazi and you have the action packed adventure story of teenaged Tessa and of Gawion, the elusive Barbegazi she befriends.

Glass Town Wars

by Celia Rees (Pushkin Children’s Books £12.99)

Celia Rees, well known as the author of the children’s novel Witch Child, enters the ultra-modern arena of cyber gaming with Glass Town Wars. Paradox-ically, Rees takes her inspiration from the early writings of the Bronte siblings creating a compelling narrative that will find favour with teenaged readers.

The Adventures of Catvinkle

by Elliot Perlman (Pushkin Children’s Books £6.99)

Come to modern Amsterdam to meet the sleek and smug Catvinkle, a dancing housecat with oodles of attitude, and share the story of her friendship with Ula the Dalmatian who supports her most outrageous ideas – even helping her win a feline dance-off.

Brunt Boggart

by David Greygoose (Pushkin Children’s Books £8.99)

With this his first novel, UK writer David Greygoose delights his readers with ‘a tapestry of tales’, a collection of interweaving stories of myth and magic. We join Greychild in his quest for his mother from the village of Brunt Boggart to distant Arleccra.

 

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