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Children's Book Festival 2012
Children’s Book Festival 2012 was an outstanding success with an unprecedented four thousand children attending events all over County Clare through the library branch network.
A diverse and interesting array of events were individually booked up within days of advertising with many branches under pressure to ensure that all schools in their area would have the opportunity to participate in their scheduled programme. Events including author visits, living history shows, several hands-on art and craft workshops and storytelling were planned to spark the imagination of young readers from toddlers to teens, with countless opportunities to explore a wide array of books.
Clare County Library staff were thrilled to welcome best-selling authors Marita Conlon McKenna and literary superstar Derek Landy, both of whom were celebrating the publication of new titles. Both authors took centre stage at Glór Theatre, Ennis to meet with maximum audiences of 500 children on both days who had traveled from schools all over the county.
Other visiting authors included Alan Early whose first book Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent has been hailed as the Irish Percy Jackson. Alan Nolan wowed his audiences with his amazing sketches and his natural affability with all the kids he met
Nicola Pierce gave a series of four readings based on her novel Spirit of the Titanic, now in its fifth reprint since publication last year. And staying with Titanic, Michel Moylan’s Irish History Live Show enthralled audiences with a living history presentation featuring several of the children present at all of his six shows.
Other authors who celebrated this year’s festival with us were Gerry Boland, Laoise Ní Chomhraí and Tomi Reichental.
Tomi Reichental met with 100 Leaving Cert students in deValera Library, Ennis who were both touched and privileged to hear the story of his life from the age of nine years old when he was rounded up along with members of his family in a shop in Bratislava and taken to a concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen.
Storytellers Niall de Burca and Pat Ryan, regular and hugely popular performers at Clare’s children’s book festival, were back with their extensive repertoires of folktales, myths and legends, riddles, rhymes and proverbs from all around the world to the delight of junior and senior classes in Clare’s schools.
Hands-on workshops facilitated by experienced artists are always popular and this year percussion workshops, journal writing by Isabelle Gaborit and story creation workshops with Donough O’Malley were all on offer. Visual artist and co-founder of Dog and String Theatre, Sarah Fuller instructed children in making their very own animated film show based on characters they created on paper at six different library venues.
Feedback from individual artists was hugely encouraging. Library staff were complimented on their organization of the festival, the warm welcome received in all branches and the enthusiasm and excellent attention afforded performers by audiences young and old. Teachers have re-visited libraries looking for contact details of various shows with a view to arranging similar sessions in their schools. Parents who attended events enjoyed them just as much as the children and complimented staff in branches on the calibre and organization of events.
“Pat Ryan's Storytelling session was a huge success.
We had 90 children in total and they really enjoyed the stories and got
involved in the many actions he used to entertain them. He regaled them
with stories about Halloween, animals and fairy tales. They were completely
engrossed in the stories and some chatted to Pat afterwards. The teachers
also commented on how good the session went and they were delighted to
have an event that they could take the juniors along to.”
“Thanks so much for having me last week in the
libraries. I really enjoyed the workshops and I hope the kids did too.
“The Percussion Workshop was a popular choice and
in big demand. With the emphasis on participation and performance, the
infectious enthusiasm and her rapport with the children the presenter
certainly succeeded in getting maximim participation resulting in a great
performance. Very much enjoyed by the participants and much appreciated
and praised by teachers present.
“The workshops went very well, the children seemed
to have enjoyed themselves and the library staff have been extremely helpful
and welcoming. Once again, many thanks for the opportunity”
“The children loved Irish History Live’s
Titanic Show. We had children from Kilkee, Carrigaholt, Moyasta, Bansha
and Doonaha National Schools.
“Gerry Boland arrived in very good time to organise
his posters etc. and get ready. He was friendly and greeted and spoke
to the teachers as they arrived. He read from his books and provided plenty
of opportunity for questions and chat. He signed posters and gave bookmarks
to the children. A good event and both teachers and children were happy
to have attended.”
“19 children were here last Friday for Laoise
Ni Chomhrai. The children really enjoyed the presentation, and the teacher
was also very impressed.”
“Overall I can honestly say that each and every
event was excellent and suited the age group of the children attending.
Events like Sarah Fuller's paper theatre workshop and Isabelle Goborit’s
art and craft events go down extremely well as its more hands on than
just sitting down listening to an author and its nice when the children
can take something away with them on the day. Having said that though
Gerry Boland came across very well and the children were just sitting
listening to him read. Alan Nolan drew a picture for his group which we
have hanging here on display in the library. All the people who came to
Miltown Malbay to give a talk or do crafts etc. were extremely pleasant
“The teacher commented that the Alan Nolan session
“Illustrator and author Donough O’Malley
held an hour long workshop for children at Scariff Library. Donough worked
very well with the children and they all freely interacted. We would highly
recommend that Donough return for future festivals.
“Ninety children from Kilkishen and Cratloe National
schools came to see
“I was delighted with the response from the students
and the respect we received. Of course, should you wish me to lecture
in the future, I shall be delighted to do so.”
28 children from Third Class attended the Percussion
Workshop at Tulla Library today. They enjoyed the workshop and each pupil
got to use either Drums, Timbas, Cowbells, Tambourines, Agogo Bells or
other forms of musical instruments. Sarah also did some rap music with
them and showed them how to compose a rap themselves. All in all the children
were very pleased with the entertainment.
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for looking
after me so well in Ennis.
“Derek Landy in Glór was such a great event,
we were really happy with how it went, so thanks for all your hard work!”
“Many thanks for having me! Derek Landy in Glór
was a great event.”
“Children’s author Derek Landy single-handedly
kept a theatre full of children entertained for over an hour last Thursday.
This included one hundred pupils from Ennis N.S. They were delighted to
see the creator of the very popular Skulduggery Pleasant books, who was
in Ennis as part of the Children’s Book Festival.