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Take five

MAZE AND TRAIL PICTURE BOOKS. Checkmate at Chess City. By Piers Harper. Walker Books pound;9.99.

A series of mazes based on chess. Great for those learning the game, but also a good exercise in visual concentration and logical rethinking.

FULL MOON AFLOAT. By Alastair Graham. David Bennett pound;4.99.

A sequel to Full Moon Soup and not strictly speaking a trail book. No words, and so much is happening visually that it will take the keenest of eyes to unravel the narrative. Good stimulus for encouraging children to provide an oral or written commentary.

MASTERTHIEF: catch the crook and solve the crime. By Richard Burnie. Jonathan Cape pound;9.99.

Mr Fabrizzi, who owns a second-hand shop, is suspected of committing robberies to keep his tore stocked. Each double page spread in this fiendishly clever trail adventure contains evidence of a crime and the perpetrator's route. Busy city streets and building cutaways make this far more demanding than a conventional maze book.

MAGNIFICENT MAZES. By Richard Burnie. Red Fox pound;4.99.

By the same author. Similar in concept, except that each spread has a self-contained trail to be found.

INTO THE UNDERWORLD. By Gillian Clements. Walker Books pound;4.99.

The maze routes are straightforward, but the trail is complicated by magic windows showing replicas of the point in the maze to move on to. Good for visual matching.

MICHAEL THORN Michael Thorn is deputy head of Hawkes Farm primary school, Hailsham, East Sussex.

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