And big sister makes seven;Children's books

23rd April 1999 at 01:00
Tanya sums up helping to look after quads as: "A bit like being at war. When there's a lull in the shooting, that's your chance to get some more ammunition together." Brother Brother, Sister Sister by Helen Dunmore (Scholastic Press pound;4.99) is Tanya's diary of her final two months at primary school and has some gloriously entertaining moments.

There are genuine emotions in Tanya's outpourings. Sympathy for a father who has lost his job after falling asleep from exhaustion. Resentment at a mother who, before the birth of the quads, had all the time in the world for Tanya. And, from the author, an impressive knowingness about Year 6 female friendships. Favourite scene: Mum squirting Dettox at Roger, the advertising man, after one of the babies has leaked brown juice on to his immaculate cream jeans.

Another character who has had his fill of baby-tending is Angus, hero extraordinaire of Morris Gleit* man's brilliantly funny Bumface!, now out in paperback (Puffin pound;3.99).

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