County Library - Childrens Book Festival 2004
Book Festival took place in libraries all over Ireland from
the 14th to the 31st of October in 2004. Clare County Library
put together an exciting programme of events again this year,
featuring author readings, storytelling, art and crafts, children’s
puppet theatre, music workshops, nature and wildlife and magic
shows. Events took place in fifteen branches in the county.
Kilmihil, Lisdoonvarna, Corofin and Sixmilebridge libraries
were the venues for Storyteller, Joe Brennan from Co. Donegal
who entertained the local schoolchildren with his repertoire
of folktales, myths and legends from all over Ireland. Pat
Speight travelled from Cork to entertain audiences at Shannon,
Newmarket on Fergus and Kildysart Libraries. Both storytellers
went down a treat not just with children but with adult library
visitors, parents and teachers alike, all requesting a return
visit next year.
Puppets performed the tale of Eeny, Meeny, Miny or Mo in Kilmihil
Community Centre for a young audience, helping them to explore
the themes of peer and social pressures. The puppet theatre
from Cork sought to illustrate how honesty and self-belief
can help to ease these pressures. As well as delivering a
serious message, Eeny, Meeny, Miny or Mo is a light-hearted,
fun filled alien love story with plenty of laughs, catchy
tunes and daredevil stunts. Children in Ennistymon, Killaloe
and Newmarket on Fergus libraries also enjoyed this excellent,
entertaining mix of music, story and good old-fashioned puppeteering.
native storyteller, Deborah Dunleavy toured the County during
the first week of the festival visiting Ennis, Tulla, Kilrush
and Kilkee libraries. The session turned out to be an excellent
mixture of storytelling, music, song and rhythm with children
from local schools becoming totally engrossed in a very interactive
show, clapping along and learning some new dance moves to
rhyme. Deborah told stories about her native Canada and also
some African stories.
Educate Together School attended the African Drumming Workshop
in deValera Library. Children regularly swapped around drums
and percussion instruments supplied by Thomas Wiegandt from
County Cork who provided a very interesting historical background
to the music he was playing.
children’s comments on the workshop from Kilkee and
Ennis libraries were:
was fun and I would love to try it again”
“I thought the drums were fab – it was great”
“my favourite instruments were the bells, I really enjoyed
the workshop, it was brilliant fun!”
Corn dolly making with the Green Witch of the West, alias
Melanie Lorien was another very popular activity in this year’s
programme. Melanie told the history of corn crafts and some
scary Halloween stories to young craft enthusiasts and showed
corn crafts from different parts of the world for the children
to see and examine. In all workshops everyone made a corn
dolly to take home.
spread over 2 weeks gave parents an opportunity to take their
children to the library during the Halloween break, outside
of visits also organized by class teachers, the previous week.
Stephanie Dagg and Yvonne MacGrory drew large audiences; schoolchildren
and their teachers walking to the library during the week
was a common sight on the streets of Ennis.
was an excellent speaker, she chose some volunteers from the
audience to demonstrate the life cycle of a book from first
writing to publication. She then shared her experiences as
a writer and how she came to choose that path and finally,
read some excerpts from her books.
were plenty of questions and participation from the audience.
Yvonne MacGrory visited deValera Library, Ennis, Tulla, Killaloe,
Miltown Malbay and Ennistymon Libraries. A writer for children
aged between 9 and 13, Yvonne read from some of her ‘Ruby
Ring’ series of books and answered questions about her
life as a writer.
Alan Shoosmith, Nicola Welford and Eamon Doyle hosted art
workshops during the two week festival.
of Ireland’s most famous magicians, The Great Padini,
provided loads of laughs and plenty of excitement for children
with his highly entertaining magic show that required lots
of assistance from his young audiences.
County Library would like to take this opportunity to thank
all it’s sponsors
of this year’s festival. We would also like to particularly
thank all schools and teachers who arranged for classes to
attend events in library branches during school time. Increased
support from National Schools made this year’s festival
one of the most successful for many years.
Books Ireland ran a nationwide Design
a Bookmark Competition for children aged between 5 and
18. There was a huge response from children all over Clare
both individually and through their schools. The county winner
of this year’s competition was Niamh Keogh from Ennis
CBS National School.
nationwide Favourite Author Poll was also taken in all libraries
in Ireland. Children in County Clare had the option of listing
their favourite authors, numbers one to ten, on printed forms
or online direct to the Children’s Books Ireland website.
most popular authors in Clare for 2004 were
first place - Jacqueline Wilson
- J.K. Rowling
- J.R.R. Tolkien and Roald Dahl
- Darren Shan
- Meg Cabot
- Eoin Colfer
- Marita Conlon McKenna
- Karen McCombie
- Lemony Snicket
Cora Harrison from Kilfenora in County Clare came tenth.
The nationwide poll produced almost identical results:
Ireland’s Favourites according the thousands of young
readers who voted is
1. Jacqueline Wilson
In 2nd - 5th place were
2. J.K Rowling
3. Roald Dahl
4. Meg Cabot
5. J.R.R Tolkein