Ballet lovers, be warned - there's not much dancing in this book, which is mainly concerned with overcoming the many obstacles preventing Anna from taking lessons. She and her brothers are orphans, made homeless after an earthquake in Turkey, and find themselves in England, suffering culture shock. A really lively book.
MEET POSY BATES. POSY BATES AGAIN. POSY BATES AND THE BAG LADY. By Helen Cresswell. Red Fox. pound;3.99 each.
For anyone who hasn't seen them, these reissues are especially welcome. Posy, much given to joyful exclamations, is a feisty heroine, who collects pets and is busy giving her baby brother lessons in how to be a genius. There is a cast of engaging characters: the magical Bag Lady; Sam, Posy's friend; Miss Perlethorpe, her teacher. Cresswell's gift for sparkling language is, as Posy would say: "Total!" Adele Geras