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THE very popular Puffin books have been at the forefront of children's literature for more than 50 years. Children's Books: A Parent's Guide is published by Puffin as a lively way of steering buyers through their catalogue, with selections and recommendations on everything from books for babies to non-fiction and novels for 12s and over. Spiral-bound and divided into handy sections, it's packed with advice on how to get and keep kids reading, and includes a summary of National Curriculum requirements to satisfy anxious parents. The subject index groups books thematically, and the key identifies award-winners, TV tie-ins and books to tempt reluctant readers.

Best of all, this guide stresses fun: "Books should be accessible and not strictly educational ... try to find books that will interest children rather than books that will be `good' for them." At 99p from a good bookshop near you, it includes a 50p-off Puffin voucher to get you started.

Another useful guide - and one that includes books from a range of companies - is designed to help us choose from the staggering number of titles that hit the shops each year. Young Book Trust's 100 Best Books 1995 concentrates on new paperbacks (both fiction and picture books, to suit ages 0-12), starts with a snappy introduction and includes all the indicators of age and interest levels that you might need. 100 Best Books 1995 is available from good book shops for £1 - but Young Book Trust has generously provided us with 50 copies to give away FREE to the first 50 lucky readers who write and ask for them.

For your free copy, please write to: BEST BOOKS, Literary Editor, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL or send a fax to 0171 293 2027.