THE AMBER CAT. By Hilary McKay. Hodder Children's Books. pound;4.99.
Hodder has reissued McKay's delightful Exiles series with bright new covers. Although this book isn't strictly in the series, all her work intertwines in a wonderfully reassuring way. The McKay fictional universe has elements of Enid Blyton, but is well written and much more reminiscent of Jane Gardam. It's a vision of family life that many children will find appealing, and the idea of having a chicken pox club (in which you're told stories of the past while being looked after with your similarly afflicted friends) is terrific. Another success for the talented Ms McKay.