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Children's Book Festival 'Massive Success'

Clare Champion, Friday, 30th November 2007

Children's Book Festival 2007 has been dubbed a massive success by Clare County Library. Thousands of children attended events in Clare County Library branches during the month-long event with 15 branch libraries across the county hosting a total of 65 events collectively.

According to Patricia Fitzgerald, Executive Librarian, "Focusing on books and writing for children is the principal aim of the festival and with this year's selection of famous and popular authors, young readers had plenty of role models to emulate. Children's authors who visited the county's libraries during the festival included Derek Landy, Malachy Doyle, Ré O'Laighléis, Judi Curtin and Niamh Sharkey."

Meanwhile, Bairbre McCarthy and Eddie Lenihan told stories to enraptured young audiences in deValera Library, Ennis and in Scariff and Kildysart libraries. RTE’s Eanna Ní Lamhna brought her inimitable nature and wildlife slide show presentation to six libraries and David Lyons, Conservation Ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, introduced the children of Ennistymon and Miltown Malbay libraries to the life of bats in County Clare.

Dog and String Theatre toured ten branches with their new show 'The Wishing Tree', exploring a broad range of puppetry, from life-sized puppets to animated objects and shadow puppetry.

Margaret Sheehan of Kildysart Library commented, "A full house turned up including parents and children. Both parents and children thoroughly enjoyed the show."

Elsewhere, the National Print Museum travelled to several libraries bringing their hands-on workshops to children. Participating children worked on the Farley Proofing Press, learning basic printing skills and hand setting and printing their names in metal type.

Other events included Irish History Live's 'Flight of the Earls' presentation, during which children experienced this period in history four hundred years ago by wearing the clothes and armour of the day and trying out the weapons used by the Earls of Tyrconnell.

"Clare County Library wishes to thank the teachers, parents and children who continue to support the Children's Book Festival. Special thanks also to the sponsors of the festival, including the many local businesses, whose financial assistance ensures continued variety and promotion of events throughout the county every year," concluded Ms. Fitzgerald.

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