Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch (maybe)

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9780862785154: Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch (maybe)
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Beverley, a bit of a snob, cooks up a plot to visit the island off the coast. She manages to convince the somewhat cautious Elizabeth and her slob of a brother, Gerard, to come along. A surprise companion is Kevin, the cool guy who works in the local shop. This motley crew must find ways to support each other and put up with one another's shortcomings, when they become stranded on the island and encounter a strange inhabitant.

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Review:

'It would be hard to overpraise this book. The characters are drawn with sensitivity and humour, the story, the stories within a story, are compelling, the location is fresh and vivid, and the novel is quite beautifully written. In the very best sense, it is an old-fashioned tale.' (Peter Hollindale, School Librarian)

'a magical and funny adventure about growing up and knowing yourself.' (RTÉ Guide)

About the Author:

Having grown up in Galway and Donegal, Siobhán Parkinson has lived most of her adult life in her native Dublin. She studied English literature and German at Trinity, and went on to take her doctorate in English literature. She has worked for many years as an editor, a profession that very closely resembles that of writing. She concentrates more on her writing these days, but is also a very active member of the writers-in-schools scheme, and she gives workshops in creative writing and talks on her work in all sorts of situations. She has held various writing residencies and she is currently co-editor of Inis -- The Children's Books Ireland Magazine. Her books have won numerous awards and been translated into lots of languages, her favourites being Latvian, because it is so different, and Japanese, because it is back to front.

Apart from reading and writing, she is very fond of eating and sleeping. Her favourite place is bed. Obviously, she is not a cross-channel swimmer. She is a big fan of the Great Indoors, including crackling fires, warm rugs and lots of candles. Her ambition is to be old, so that she can sit in a chair all day and eat chocolate and nobody can expect her to go out to work.

Her husband, Roger Bennett, is a woodturner and teacher, and her son Matthew is almost grown up. Being her son didn't do him too much harm, he claims, but time will tell.

Her first two books, The Dublin Adventure and The Country Adventure, were aimed at the 6-9 age group and were very well received. Her third book for the same age group was The Leprechaun who Wished he Wasn't.

With her fourth book, Amelia, Siobhán wrote for the older age group, 10s through young teens. Amelia was an immediate bestseller and was shortlisted for the 1994 Bisto Award. The sequel, entitled No Peace for Amelia, was published in October 1994, and also became a bestseller. Siobhán also wrote All Shining in the Spring, a non-fiction account of a baby who died. Written from personal experience, it is intended for children, families and carers involved with the situation of the death of a small child.

Sisters ... no way! was published in October 1996. A modern story of very reluctant step-sisters, written for the young teen market, it has become a bestseller. Sisters is designed as two books in one, each book telling the story from the other sister's point of view. It won the Bisto Book of the Year award in 1997.

Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch (maybe) was published in October 1997 and was described by Robert Dunbar as 'one of the best Irish children's books we've ever had'. It won a Bisto Merit Award.

Siobhán's next book, The Moon King, also won a Bisto Merit Award and was on the iBbY Honour List 2000, in Ireland's first year as a member of iBbY. It was selected for use in the Ireland in Schools project in British schools.

Breaking the Wishbone saw another move in Siobhán's writing. It is a gritty story of the challenges facing four homeless teenagers in modern Dublin. Call of the Whales , was shortlisted for the Reading Association of Ireland Award 2001. Animals Don't Have Ghosts is the sequel to the popular Cows Are Vegetarians .

Her latest novel The Love Bean has been described as 'a great comedy romance' and tells the story of two parallel love triangles between twin sisters and a foreigner, set thousands of years apart.

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