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Pearl of the deep

Amy's Mermaid by Barbara Mitchell (Macdonald Young Books pound;8.50) is a story for newly independent readers about a girl who tells tall stories about a sister she doesn't have (but longs to have) until she meets a mrmaid called Pearl.

This is one of Macdonald's graded readers from the Bright Stars series for beginners: its brightly illustrated, quirky tales will entice the over-fives into the reading habit.

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