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Get Blown Away by a Book/ Bí Faoi Gheasa ag Leabhar! was Clare County Library’s message to children all over the county this October. Reading related events took place in all library branches raising the profile of children’s books for the thousands of children and their teachers who participated in them.
The Festival was the ideal opportunity for children to meet face to face with their favourite authors, have their books signed, get involved in STEM activities and bring the magic of children’s writing to life.
Clare County Library’s CBF programme 2017 included some of the biggest names in writing for young people in Ireland today. Caroline Busher and E.R. Murray’s joint event attracted an audience of 500 children. The award-winning and best-selling authors delivered a horde of tales that made the hair stand on end during their hour-long Things That Go Bump in the Night show in glór. Both authors visited library branches the following day. Kilkee Library staff were delighted to host Caroline Busher…
“This event was excellent, the children (and adults!) enjoyed every minute of it. The children were entertained with Caroline’s black bag that they picked items from, and each item held a creepy tale! From spooky basements in old Victorian houses in Manchester to Count Dracula’s Irish connection, the children loved every story.”
Illustrator and writer Matt Griffin’s debut children’s novel, A Cage of Roots was published by The O’Brien Press in 2015 and the final book in the trilogy, The Spiral Path, published in March 2017 won this year’s Literacy Association of Ireland Award in the 9 to 11 category. Matt loves to chat about his books with the children and teenagers who read them and did just that during his recent visits to Ennis, Miltown Malbay, Kilrush and Kilkee libraries. Children created original characters from their own imagination with his expert guidance through words and pictures.
Bhí an scríbhneoir, cumadóir amhrán agus foilsitheoir Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin linn i rith na mí, ag cur síos ar a chuid oibre le Futa Fata agus ag leámh scéil ón tsraith leabhar uaidh Fionn agus na Fianna. Bhí Máire Zepf ann freisin ag léamh óna leabhar Rita agus an Róbat atá maisithe ag Andrew Whitson. Bhí spórt agus spraoi ag na leanaí léi, le cluichí, ceol agus gléasadh suas agus fáilte roimh chách.
Aidan Courtney, a regular CBF guest, got children drawing their classmates, exploring cartoons and drawing caricatures at six libraries.
Gillian Perdue was back for the second year in a row with her drama and dance sessions based on her book Conor’s Cowboy Suit. Her library visits during October 2017 encouraged the youngest and even the most reluctant children to engage with the characters in her stories by getting involved in the action.
Another repeat visitor for this year’s festival
was popular author and illustrator Alan Nolan. Children were introduced
to Alan’s latest madcap story Sam Hannigan’s Woof Week
and his sessions with the usual mix of drawing, chat about his books and
lots of fun were loved by his audiences as always. The staff of Scariff
Library had the following to say about Alan’s workshop:
“Great fun was had by all, the story was very lively and the children really got in to the sprit of the event. Teachers and staff all commented on Derek’s excellent interaction with the kids and exploring imagination and creative writing.” - Killaloe Library StaffSTEM activities promote children’s learning and understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and Clare County Library staff were mindful of including such activities, linking them with books and reading in the annual Children’s Book Festival Programme.
Blackrock Castle Observatory’s Star Dome spent
an entire day at Kilkee Library offering children an amazing opportunity
to marvel at the night sky in an inflatable Planetarium.
“Great hands-on workshop where the children made two aliens – one from tinfoil and one with pipe cleaners. They finished off making slime with borax powder and all got to bring their slime sample home. The children loved the event which was extremely interactive and time flew” - Shannon Library Staff
Geologist for Clare County Council, Dr. Eamon Doyle from the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark presented A Geology Trip Through The Burren. Senior classes explored the beauty and fascination of some of the smallest and often overlooked creatures in the Burren National Park and in County Clare as a whole.
“Eamon also brought along some fossils that he found in Co. Clare. Each child got a copy of the Geopark’s book Stone, Water & Ice: A Geology Trip Through The Burren on leaving the library. Most of the children present showed great interest in the session and Eamon was very impressed with the degree of knowledge that the children possessed and their questions.” - Miltown Malbay Library Staff
Clare Beekeeper Frank Considine visited four libraries to share his limitless information on the importance of bees for plants, biodiversity and humans. During his talks he outlined the importance of pollinators; bees, bumblebees and butterflies in the West of Ireland and how we can help protect their environment. Children had an added bonus of tasting delicious honey from Frank’s hives in Cree, Co. Clare.
The Re-Discovery Centre’s programme for primary schools visited Clare libraries for the first time. In the ‘Nuts about Nature’ workshops children were encouraged to explore the wonders of our natural world. They looked at biodiversity, exploring different Irish habitats and investigated cool animal adaptations including camouflage. Games, hands-on simple experiments and nature-themed arts and crafts made up the show!
Life in the countryside was explored from a Farm Safety perspective with Alma Jordan of Agri Kids who delivered her message expertly showing us how to know when to play and when to stay away all the while being farm safe. Agri-Kids’ children’s books, Tales from Riverside Farm were available for borrowing at each of the four libraries she visited.
Over 2,600 children attended Clare library branches for Children’s Book Festival events in October 2017. Staff at every branch are delighted to see the sustained level of enthusiasm and support year on year, from local schools in their catchment areas.