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

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

Beverley, Elizabeth, Kevin, Gerard and his cat visit the mysterious Lady Island, expecting some adventure and a little danger. But nothing prepares them for their encounter with the strange inhabitant of the island.


Bisto Book of the Year Merit Award 1998 - 1998

- Winner

E-Book (ePub): €5.99
ISBN: 9781847173997

Category: Children's fiction

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.

Siobhán Parkinson

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 has been editor of, Inis -- The Children's Books Ireland Magazine, and Bookbird, the IbBy International 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. 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 book Sisters ... no way! won the Bisto Book of the Year award. Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch (maybe) 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. Siobhán was Ireland's first Laureate na nÓg (Children's Laureate) from 2010-2012.

'Not only one of the best Irish children's books of the year, but I honestly think one of the best Irish children's books we've ever had, full stop ...It's an amazingly clever book.'

Robert Dunbar - The Gay Byrne Show

'a magical and funny adventure about growing up and knowing yourself.'

RTE Guide RTE Guide

'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.'

The School Librarian Peter Hollindale - The School Librarian

'appealing tale ... particularly suitable as a class novel ... for younger children it is a simple old fashioned adventure tale while older readers would enjoy exploring the dynamics of adolescent relationships'


'rightly deserves a place on every child’s shelf'

Books Ireland

'has a poetic flow and beauty of language'

Books Ireland

'I had forgotten just how good this book is'

Books Ireland

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • Download RBFS: Teaching ideas for fifth class from O'Brien Reading Programme

  • Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide from O'Brien Teaching Guides Collection 1

Rights Held: World, all languages
Rights Sold: Danish, English, Serbian, Thai, Radio

Also by Siobhán Parkinson:

No Peace for Amelia
The Leprechaun Who Wished He Wasn't
Call of the Whales
Animals Don't Have Ghosts
Sisters ... No Way!

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