Monday, March 13, 2017
Sunday, March 12, 2017
We were also treated to a visit by Marguerite Tonery, who graciously spoke to two class groups and took us all away to Kapheus, the fantastical world of light. The kids from St Nicholas Primary and Scoil Iognaid were mesmerised by the journey...as was I. Marguerite has three Kapheus books out now, each one as amazing as the each other.
Finally, I had a visit from the 1st/2nd class from St Nicholas Primary, during which I got to read to them! My favourite thing to do. We read A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers & Sam Winston, The Knight Who Wouldn't Fight by Helen & Thomas Docherty and, of course, Where The Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak. It wouldn't be a World Book Day celebration without it!
Big thank yous to everyone! I'm already looking forward to next year.
Monday, March 6, 2017
I started off last week with a visit to Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh in Galway, where I spoke with 4 wonderful class groups. We, of course talked about World Book Day...now in its' 20th year...and what the kids had been reading, their favourite books, etc. I also read to them from one of my favourite books published over the past year, Perijee and Me by Ross Montgomery. The enthusiastic response from the children and the teachers was very much appreciated. I should also mention that, while there, I ran into Geraldine Mills, who was there to speak to 4 slightly older class groups about her absolutely brilliant book, Gold. (Lucky kids!) A huge thanks to the school for inviting me out to meet such a great group of young people.
On Thursday, March 2nd...World Book Day itself, one of my
favourite authors, Nicola Pierce visited Charlie Byrnes Bookshop and spoke to two local school groups, the 6th year class from St Michaels Boys School and 5th/6th class from St Nicholas Primary. She spoke about her writing life, how a book comes into being and focusing on her new and fabulous historical fiction book for young people, Kings of the Boyne. The kids were fascinated and had many thoughts and questions...and a few customers even joined the session. It was fabulous! Thank you so much once again, Nicola! As usual, you were brilliant!
To round off the week, on Friday the 2nd year class from Scoil Iognaid arrived for a very special treat: Julian Gough was in to tell us all about the lives of Rabbit and Bear as portrayed in his books; Rabbits' Bad Habits and The Pest in the Nest.
After giving us Rabbit and Bears' back story, he even worked with the kids to create a story of their own involving a cat-gummy bear stuck inside a crocodiles' stomach and how he was going to get out. It was lively and amazing! Thank you very much, Julian! The kids and I had the best time ever!
This upcoming week, I have a few more WBD events happening...so I'll keep you updated.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
This Thursday, 2nd of March, is World Book Day 2017 and we are celebrating 20 years!That's right. For 20 years, we have been celebrating the one day per year especially set aside to sing the praises of childrens' literature, reading and the pure joy and delight of books. That is really what it's all about. And I have absolutely loved every year; seeing the school kids, reading to them, watching them interact with authors, illustrators and story-tellers...it is utterly amazing.
As always, there is a special selection of books published for World Book Day.
We have Peppa, The Famous Five, Horrid Henry, those crazy Underpants-loving Aliens and much more, including a special offering from David Walliams....Blob!
These World Book Day books cost only one World Book Day €1.50 voucher each, which are distributed to schools and given to each child. (The World Book Day vouchers are only valid from 27th February through the 26th of March...so don't forget.) This way, every child can get a book of their own. The books are displayed in bookshops throughout the country. All you have to do is take your child into a bookshop with their voucher and let them pick up a book.
Also, there are events, storytime activities, author visits...more than you can imagine happening in your area. And not just on World Book Day...they could be happening all month long. We all like to pull out all the stops to bring the joy of books to school children. Check with your local bookshop, library or ask your school what events are on offer. Or check the website below for events in your area.
Happy World Book Day, everybody!
Monday, February 27, 2017
The Branford Boase was set up to honour the most promising new writers and their editors, as well as to recognise excellence in writing and publishing. The award is given annually to the most promising book for 7-year-olds and upwards by a first time novelist. This years' list is very strong (and includes many of my favourite novels over the last year.)
-Fenn Halflin and the Fear Zero by Francesca Armour-Chelu; editor: Sarah Handley; published by Walker Books
-Alone by DJ Brazier; editors: Charlie Shepperd & Chloe Sackur; published by Andersen Press
-The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull; editors: Sarah Leonard and Megan Larkin; published by Orchard Books
-Cogheart by Peter Bunzl; editor: Rebecca Hill; published by Usborne Books
-Why I Went Back by James Clammer; editor: Charlie Shepperd; published by Andersen Press
-Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke; editor: Emma Matthewson; published by Hot Key Books
We Are Giants by Amber Lee Dodd; editor:Niamh Mulvey; published by Quercus
-Little Bits of Sky by Sue Durrant; editor: Kirsty Stansfield; published by Nosy Crow
-Eden Summer by Liz Flanagan; editor: Bella Pearson; published by David Fickling Books
-The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster; editor: Rachel Mann; published by Simon and Schuster
-The Otherlife by Julia Gray; editor: Chloe Sackur; published by Andersen Press
-The Best Medicine by Christine Hamill; editor: Siobhan Parkinson; published by Little Island
-Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton; editors: Alice Swan and Kendra Levin; published by Faber and Faber
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave; editor: Rachel Leyshon; published by Chicken House
-Defender of the Realm by Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler; editor: David Stevens; published by Scholastic
-Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence; editor: Emma Goldhawk; published by Hodder Childrens Books
-Beetle Boy by M G Leonard; editors: Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leyshon; published by hicken House
-Girl Out of Water by Nat Luurtsema; editor: Emma Lidbury; published by Walker Books
-The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol; editors: Kesia Lupo and Barry Cunningham; published by Chicken House
Riverkeep by Martin Stewart; editor:Shannon Cullen; published by Penguin Random House
-Kook by Chris Vick; editor: Nicholas Lake; published by HarperCollins Childrens Books
-Spangles McNasty and the Fish of Gold by Steve Webb; editor: Charlie Shepperd; published by Andersen Press
So...that's the long list in full. If you are looking for a really great read for the young people in your life (or yourself for that matter), I can highly recommend any or all of these books. Quite frankly, I've got my fingers crossed for all of them.
I also want to mention that the Branford Boase awards does a marvelous job of recognising not only first-time authors, but their editors. The editors are frequently overlooked, but are the unsung heroes of the publishing world, working long and hard to make sure to bring the best books into existence. I'll keep you updated!
Monday, February 20, 2017
CHILDREN’S STUDIES SEMINAR SERIES
School of Languages, Literatures and Culture
Children’s Studies and Italian, NUI Galway
Invite you to join us for a Public Seminar
Professor Laura Tosi (Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy)
“Alice and Pinocchio –
At the Crossroads of Genre, Nation and Identity”
5.00- 6.00 pm, February 23, 2017
GO11, James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway
This Thursday there will be another outstanding Children's Studies Seminar at NUI Galway. Dr Laura Tosi will speak about genre, nation and identity in the context of comparison/contrast of Alice (in Wonderland) and Pinocchio.
So, if you're in Galway, at loose ends and as passionate as I am about childrens books, you should come along. This plans to be a particularly interesting and timely seminar.
Friday, February 10, 2017
The Lifetime Achievement Award was first given in 2015. The recipient was Shirley Hughes, author/illustrator of such books as Dogger and the wonderful Alfie series. Following on from that, in 2016, Judith Kerr received the honour for her many works, including the Mog series and the pivotal childhood story, The Tiger Who Came To Tea.
Each book is drawn and told with sensitivity and adds a deeper level of critical thought to the simplest of stories. His body of work has touched the lives of everyone. His perspective is refreshing and gives rise to more considered and critical thinking. And, they all capture a sense of wonder and beauty. Philip Ardagh recently referred to Briggs as one of the "picture Book royalty." He has won numerous other awards for his lifetime in childrens' books, including the Kate Greenaway Medal and was one of two runners-up for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen award in 1984. The BooksTrust Life Achievement Award is a well-deserved honour, indeed.