Posts Tagged ‘ children’s literature ’

More Tall Tales By The Sea: Dalkey Book Festival 2013

dbfAfter giving you advance notice of the book festivities due in September at the Mountains to Sea events, I’m now turning my attention to June’s book festival in Dalkey (14th -16th). This year will be the forth outing for Dalkey’s homegrown festival, which is organised by David Williams and Sian Smyth with the help of a host of dedicated volunteers. The festival originally sprang from a meeting of the Dalkey Business Group in 2010 and was conceived as a way of harnessing local literary talent to bolster trade in the seaside town. Continue reading


Looking Ahead To September: Monster Book Events By The Seaside

bksThe DLR Mountains to Sea Book Festival is one of my favourite literary events on the calendar as it usually has a good range of events for both children and adults. I spotted a flyer for the schools’ events part of the festival, for which booking opens this week. Event organisers Tom Donegan and Sarah Webb have been hard at work since as far back as last year putting together the Family and Schools’ Events Programme. The cost per pupil for the theatre events has been held at €3 which is remarkably good value for an entertaining and educational hour with a favourite writer.

 Several fantastic kids’ authors and illustrators feature in the schools line-up for both the primary and secondary age groups. The festival has built up a good track record for school events and this year the flag is kept flying by appearances from Laureate na nÓg Niamh Sharkey, Patrick Ness and Liz Pichon to name but three. The Patrick Ness event is particularly interesting as it is a Teen Curator Event involving participants from Newpark Comprehensive School. They will interview the author in County Hall, Dún Laoghaire in front of an audience, which is a brilliant opportunity for Ness’s readers. Continue reading

The CBI Book of the Year Awards 2012 (Gradaim Leabhair na Biana CBI 2012)

Last month saw the announcement of the shortlist for the annual awards for excellence in children’s books. The Children’s Books Ireland Awards (formerly the Bisto Awards) have been running for twenty-two years and have highlighted a wealth of talent in that time. This year is certain to be no exception judging by the very impressive shortlist of nine titles. Perennial favourites Roddy Doyle and Oliver Jeffers have made the cut and Siobhán Parkinson has clocked up two nominations (one book in Irish and one in English). Here is the complete list:

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle                                                       

Bruised by Siobhán Parkinson

Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan

Maitriόisce by Siobhán Parkinson

My Dad is Ten Years Old and it’s Pure Weird by Mark O’Sullivan

Ó Chrann Go Grann by Caitriona Hastings (illustrated by Andrew Whitson)

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers 

The Butterfly Heart by Paula Leyden

Will Gallows and the Snake-Bellied Troll by Derek Keilty

The prestigious awards, the winners of which will be announced in May, were designed to honour excellence in illustrating as well as writing in children’s literature. The awards are open to anyone born or generally resident in Ireland for work in the Irish or English language. There are six prize categories, which will be judged by a panel of seven judges, guided by Keith O’Sullivan as the Chairperson.  The selectors will have no easy task ahead of them if O’Sullivan’s comments are anything to go by. He has commented on the quality of the nominated titles saying,

This year’s shortlist features nine excellent books which all offer young readers a rich and satisfying experience. With subjects which range from difficult contemporary issues to stories of whimsy and fun, each book is beautifully crafted and brilliantly conceived.

The nine titles on the shortlist have been whittled down from a whopping seventy titles, so some hard decisions have obviously been made already. There are separate awards for fiction and illustration as well as an overall Book of the Year Award and The Special Judges Award. New authors are eligible for the Eilís Dillon Award for a First Children’s Book. Eagerly anticipated no doubt, will be the winner of The Children’s Choice Award, which is chosen by ten junior juries from around the country. I am sure that this is the prize that the writers and illustrators would most like to win, as it is a vote from the young readers themselves.

Children’s Books Ireland also run an interesting shadowing scheme that enables participating school groups to read and votes on the books alongside the actual judging process. Their results will be announced after the official awards are given in May. Schools can apply for information packs through the web site. One of the great things about these awards is that children can become involved rather than merely sit on the sidelines. It is just one more way to encourage the next generation of avid readers.

May the best author win!

Further details:  and