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Sharing books with friends and family or with anyone you think will love that book you’ve just read as much as you do, brings happiness for everyone young and old. The annual Children’s Book Festival helps spread the joy of books and reading among children and parents, authors and illustrators, teachers and librarians all over Ireland.
Children’s Book Festival events are taking place in all fifteen branches of Clare County Library this October and staff are looking forward to welcoming children and teachers from local schools to visit, enjoy the events, have fun and read lots of books.
During the month children will meet some of their favourite authors, take part in poetry workshops, design their own playgrounds in fun architecture workshops or experience the wildlife of their own county through engaging, interactive presentations on our local plants, animals and habitats.
BUMBLEance, The Children’s National Ambulance Service along with Clare libraries will welcome primary school children on board at four branches in early October. The BUMBLEance team will be joined by popular children’s authors Derek Mulveen and Christine Hamill. As well as enjoying the fun of books and reading, this unique visit to Clare Library branches will educate young children about illness and the central role it plays in supporting sick children nationwide. The BUMBLEance team will explain all about the service that transports critically and seriously ill children to and from their home, to paediatric hospitals, respite facilities and care centres throughout Ireland. Schools are invited to organize simple school-based sponsorship activities that will result in a small funding contribution by classes attending this amazing children’s charity service.
Kunak McGann grew up in Drogheda back in the days when electronic tablets were unheard of and playing out on the street was the most fun kids could imagine. She will be here in Clare this October for lots of talk about old-school fun and games. Try your hand (and feet) at elastics, have a go at conkers or make your very own fortune-teller. Packed with classics her book, Red Rover, Red Rover: Games from an Irish Childhood (That You Can Teach Your Kids) (O’Brien Press) has easy instructions, handy tips and ‘risk ratings’ and will whisk readers and reader’s children back to the carefree days of childhood!
Erika McGann will visit libraries also to advise children on secret clubhouses, solving mysteries and having brilliant adventures. Children will meet Cass and her best friends, Lex and Nicholas, who make up the Bubble Street Gang and will be treated to storytelling, mind-boggling games and some embarrassing childhood tales that inspired Erika’s books as well as hearing why being a writer is the best job ever.
Caroline Busher will be back for Children’s Book Festival 2018 offering two different workshops in six library branches. Children will get the opportunity to try their hand at writing historical fiction and listen to extracts from her latest novel The Girl Who Ate the Stars. Her second workshop, How to Become an Author offers top tips to senior classes about how to turn ideas into stories.
Third and fourth class children will explore mysterious Ireland through conversation and drawing demos with authors and illustrators Alan Nolan and Natasha Mac a’Bháird. The creators of the My Ireland Activity Books will take children on a journey around Clare and Ireland – solving puzzles, hearing stories, joining in on drawing demos and finding out fun facts about their locality!
Award-winning author Dave Rudden (Knights of the Borrowed Dark) welcomes senior classes to an action-packed workshop focusing on idea generation, plot structure, editing and how to go about taking those first steps on the path to becoming a writer. This class also involves a reading from Knights of the Borrowed Dark looking at the origin of each idea in specific scenes. Knights of the Borrowed Dark is the first novel in Dave’s trilogy about an orphan boy who discovers he is part of a secret army that protects the world from a race of shadowy monsters!
Children’s Author Debbie Thomas’ fifth book for children, My Secret Dragon, is published this September by Little Island. Debbie is the Writer in Residence at Crumlin Hospital School, works with children all over Ireland in creative writing and global education and is a member of Ibby (the International Board on Books for Young People). In Shannon Library her guests will meet the characters in her books and learn from the expert about creating their own characters, plots and settings with lots of fun and participation guaranteed.
In Sixmilebridge, Ennistymon and Lisdoonvarna libraries Debbie’s sessions will form intimate family gatherings for Syrian, African or other immigrant parents and children who have recently come to live in County Clare. Her Beyond Words workshop for parents and children will be based on examples of Silent Books or wordless picture books gathered from around the world. Before writing came stories; before words there were pictures and the pictures in these books will act as a launch pad for the participants’ own imaginative journeys. The light-hearted session will encourage creative thinking and focus on the magical gift of storytelling.
Sadhbh Devlin, údar Bí ag Spraoi Liom! (Futa Fata),
a scéal do páistí óga sa leabharlann agus
pléifidh sí an chruthaitheacht agus an chumadóireacht.
Beidh deis ag na leanaí tabhairt faoin a chumadóireacht
féin agus a chuid 'mheaisín' a roinnt lena chairde!
Older children are invited to join Bold Girls author Judi Curtin in Ennis and Ennistymon libraries. Children’s Books Ireland’s Bold Girls project shines a light on a whole host of well-known Irish female authors including Judi Curtin whose books can serve to break down societal barriers and to instil confidence in girls and young women. The female characters in their children’s books have agency, power and opinions, and address at a young age some of the issues that stand in the way of women achieving their ambitions. The BOLD GIRLS brochure publication highlights and reviews books that feature strong, intelligent, self-possessed female protagonists in children’s books, as well as celebrating twenty female Irish authors and illustrators, both emerging and established, who have made an exceptional contribution to Irish children’s literature. Judi Curtin, the 2017 winner of the Irish Book Awards will visit Ennistymon and Ennis libraries to share her stories of becoming a best-selling writer with 4th, 5th and 6th classes. Described as the Irish Jacqueline Wilson, her warm, convincing contemporary stories about girls, friendships and families are loved by children all over Ireland and far beyond. Her latest book Time After Time features the further adventures of beloved characters Beth and Molly who are accidently transported back to the past through a family situation which very interestingly gives them a chance to see the world through their parents’ eyes.
Architect Jacinta Curley invites 1st and 2nd class children to build their own playground. At five different libraries she will inspire participating children to bring a new world to life through model making. The children will make twisty slides, spinning roundabouts and other fantastic playground creations using as many recyclable and materials from nature around us as possible. The workshops will be based on the book My Dream Playground by Kate Becker in which a resourceful little girl with big ideas becomes a key part of the team when a community of family, friends, and neighbours builds a playground.
Nature and wildlife presentations are always popular events during the children’s book festival and this year Clare Wildlife Rangers Elaine Keegan and David Lyons will provide engaging and interactive presentations on the amazing wildlife found in your local area during Children’s Book Festival 2018. Their talks will cover the variety of habitats found in our county and the incredible plants and animals that can be found in them. The presentations include amazing photos, video clips and sounds, covering some of our most fascinating creatures and is suitable for young and old alike.
Junior and senior infants may be missing their teddies at the start of school year so why not bring them along with all your classmates this October to Shannon Library on the 3rd or to deValera Library, Ennis on the 24th. If your teddy is a little under the weather he may just need a medical check-up. The staff of the Teddy Bears Hospital, Medical Society, University of Limerick will look after your beloved teddies at the libraries in Clare during Children’s Book Festival while their very important “parents” will have a chance to look at their favourite books and listen to a teddy bear’s tale or two!
Clare County Library looks forward to welcoming teachers and children from schools all over the county to its network of branches for Children’s Book Festival 2018. For more information contact 065 6846350 or any library branch.