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Take Five

Paperbacks for confident readers

SPID. By Ursula Moray Williams. Illustrated by David McKee. Red Fox Animal Stories pound;2.99.

This delightful story of a spider who wants to be loved will win over the most confirmed arachnophobe. McKee's drawings help Spid greatly in his aim of finding a place in every heart. Excellent value: 138 well-filled pages of very elegant prose.

NUMBER THE STARS. By Lois Lowry. Collins Children's Books pound;3.99

Lois Lowry tells a story of hope and bravery at a terrible time and tells it extremely well. It's about Annemarie and her best friend Ellen, a Jew, who live in occupied Denmark in 1943. This book is perfect for children in Years 5 and 6 who are interested in history.

THE WINGED COLT. By Betsy Byars. Illustrated by Richard Cuffari. Red Fox Animal Stories pound;2.99.

The story of Charles, his Uncle oot (who used to be a movie stuntman) and the miraculous colt blends a down-home, economical narrative style with the purest magic. Enchanting stuff, and terrific line drawings.

THE SNOW SPIDER. EMLYN'S MOON. THE CHESTNUT SOLDIER. By Jenny Nimmo. Illustrated by Joanna Carey. Mammoth pound;4.99 each.

It's good to see the first book in Jenny Nimmo's prize-winning trilogy not only in a new edition, but recommended as a Super Read in the World Book Day 2000 schools pack. For those dazzled by the exploits of a certain junior wizard, these stories are a timely reminder that there are other boy-magicians in the literary universe.

GHOSTLY TALES FOR GHASTLY KIDS. By Jamie Rix. Scholastic pound;3.99.

I found the references to fried spider hard to take after enjoying Spid, but this seems just the ticket for bloodthirsty eight-year-olds.

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