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By Jane Bower — an advisor in art, drama, dance and literacy. She is available to work in your school. Email

From Celtic tales to rabbit detectives, Jane Bower reviews a selection of illustrated books

The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico (Hutchinson, £12.99 HB)

This beautiful and heart-breaking classic, set in the years leading up to the evacuation of Dunkirk, is still as powerful as when it was first written in 1941. Set in an abandoned lighthouse on the Essex marshes, it is the haunting story of the relationship between the young girl, Fritha, the recluse, Philip Rhayader, and an injured snow goose. The illustrations, by Angela Barrett, are exquisite and perfectly evoke the text. As much for adults as for children.

Coll the Storyteller’s Tales of Enchantment by Lucy Coates (Orion, £10.99 HB)

This is a well-illustrated, attractive hardback containing tales from Celtic literature, including those of Wales, Ireland, Scotland, The Isle of Man, Brittany and Cornwall, told in traditional folk style. Some are written for children for the first time. Reading these stories is rather like listening to tracks on a Steeleye Span CD. The prose has an unearthly, long-ago magical quality – and a lot of Celtic names (but there is a pronunciation chart at the front)!

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