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Telling Tales Around the County

Clare Champion, Friday, 21st September 2007

Thousands of children will thumb through the pages during this year's Children's Book Festival, which takes place at all 15 library branches across county Clare, starting on October 1.

Clare County Library has organised a fun-filled month of activities again this year including author visits, storytelling, children's puppet theatre, as well as history and art workshops.

Participating authors include Derek Landy, Malachy Doyle, Judi Curtin, Niamh Sharkey and Ré Ó Laighléis. Wildlife expert Eanna Ni Lamhna, Clare sculptor Dermot Twohigk, storyteller Eddie Lenihan, David Lyons of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Irish-American storyteller Bairbre McCarthy and Michael Moylan of Irish History Live will also tour library branches around the county.

"The month of October is now synonymous with Children's Book Festival. All over Ireland, thousands of child-focused events are taking place, designed to celebrate books and reading. An overwhelming total of four thousand children attended events during last year's festival in county Clare", stated Ms. Patricia Fitzgerald, Assistant Librarian, Children's Services, Clare County Library. She explained, "Previous Book Festivals have shown that there is a growing interest among young people in literature. We anticipate that this year's event will again be an exciting, engaging, interactive experience for children and will stimulate their imagination, rouse their curiosity and leave them eager for more. Throughout October, numerous authors and illustrators will attend weekday events in Clare's libraries, all of which are free of charge, sparking off new interest in books and creative writing", added Ms. Fitzgerald.

Among the children's authors taking part in the Children's Book Festival is Derek Landy, who has been hailed as the next JK Rowling for Skulduggery Pleasant, his critically acclaimed children's book. Landy, who grew up on comic books, computer games and martial arts, wrote horror screenplays before turning his attention to books. Award winning artist Niamh Sharkey will host sessions in Clare library branches where she will read from her favourite books and give a step-by-step demonstration of how she has drawn her favourite characters in picture books such as The Gigantic Turnip, The Ravenous Beast and Santasaurus. Clare's renowned storyteller Eddie Lenihan will again bring the world of myth, magic and mystery alive for the bravest of children. Novelist Ré Ó Laighléis will host a series of bi-lingual and interactive reading/writing workshops in library branches. Cork-novelist Judi Curtin will perform readings from the adventures of Alice and Megan. And renowned Clare sculptor and artist, Dermot Twohigk, will host a series of practical workshops, guaranteeing a relaxed hands-on experience of painting for participants.

Elsewhere, RTE presenter Eanna Ni Lamhna will be in Clare on the 22nd and 23rd October when she will meet with children in Ennis, Tulla, Shannon, Kilrush, Kilkee and Kilmihil Public Libraries to present an hour-long interactive talk and slide show on Ireland's wildlife.

Clare County Library regularly hosts initiatives aimed at encouraging more children to read, including World Book Day, Children's Book Clubs and the popular Schools Service. Meanwhile, on Monday 22nd October next, Eanna Ni Lamhna will present certificates of merit to all children who recently completed The Big Wild Read, Clare County Library's Summer Reading Scheme 2007. The presentation will be held in The Civic Room, Ennis Town Council, at 7.30pm. All children who returned a reading log to their local library will be individually invited to attend.

Full details on children's festival events are available from branch libraries or at Some events must be booked in advance.

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