GROW IT YOURSELF! For The Whole Family

Have you been wanting to spend more time in the garden? I think we all should. Especially the children. One of the best gifts we can give to kids is an understanding of the natural world, how to grow our own food and a consciousness of how to be in the future. And with the current climate issues and environmental concerns, we all need to pay more attention to where our food is coming from. How much of the food we put on the  table comes from local sources? How much comes from our own back garden? If you wish it was much more, but don't know where to start, I have just the book for you!
GIY's KNOW-IT-ALLMANAC authors: Michael Kelly and  Muireann Ní Chíobháin illustrator: Fatti Burke GIY Ireland (4 October 2019) ISBN: 9780993042621 Narrated by GIY's own gardener-in-chief Monty Sheddington Potts, this is an entertaining, highly amusing journey through the garden that lasts all year long (and for many years to come, I'd say.)  Fabulously illustrated by Fatti Burke, this book is…

The Life and Loves of E Nesbit by Eleanor Fitzsimons

It has been over thirty years since a biography has appeared about the Victorian/Edwardian childrens' author, E. Nesbit. And now emerges an exceptional biography; one that will fascinate and delight those of us who have grown up (and passed along to young readers) such wondrous books as The Railway Children, The Phoenix and the Carpet, The Story of the Amulet and (my personal favourite) Five Children and It.

author: Eleanor Fitzsimons
Duckworth (17 October 2019)
ISBN: 9780715651469
Edith Nesbit is known and loved as the creator of so many classic childrens' books. In fact, it has been said (with exceptional evidence) that she was the mother of modern childrens' literature and certainly the inventor of the childrens' adventure story format. These books have stood apart from her other writing in her long, prolific career and have stood the test of time as children today still revel in the exploits and personalities of her characters. But this …

HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GHOUL? The Ghouls of Howlfair Blog Tour

It was several months ago that I received a proof copy of The Ghouls of Howlfair by Nick Tomlinson and I have been chomping at the bit ever since. This book really fired my imagination and excitement for all things spooky and intriguing. Then, to see a published copy, with its' wonderful cover illustration by Kim Geyer that captures the eerie, unusual atmosphere of the entire book in one image was an extraordinary experience. With a publication date of 3rd of October, it is the perfect read for this month, when the veil between the worlds thins and releases all those things that go bump in the night! To let you in on the story; young local historian and investigator Molly Thompson is overly preoccupied with Howlfairs' deep and rich history filled with myths, legends and the supernatural. But while the modern-day residents no longer believe that the towns' ghouls actually exist, Molly is certain there is more than just scary tale…



For the next two weeks, we will be celebrating the release of Mother Tongue by Patricia Forde, a new work of speculative fiction for young people that takes up the story of Letta, a young wordsmith and one of the few remaining survivors of an extreme environmental disaster.  In May 2015, we were introduced to a world after "the Melting" that saw little land left, and few people.We were introduced to the world of Ark, a ruthless leader named John Noa and our young heroine...and it was completely mesmerising; a book I simply couldn't put down and placed in the hands of more readers than I can remember. The Wordsmith by Patricia Forde (entitled The List in the US.) Over the last four years, while I have returned to The Wordsmith time and again, I have longed to return to that world; to discover what happened to Letta, to all of Ark in the time that passed. And now... there's Mother Tongue. When I was offered the opportunity to join …

A SENSE OF BELONGING: CBI Conference 2019, Day Two

Welcome back to my thoughts and ramblings around Day Two of BELONGING; the CBI conference 2019. After being treated to our morning coffees and teas, we were all wide awake and ready to have a magical, wonderful day...and it really was.
Our first session was a talk between two giants of contemporary childrens' literature; Julia Eccleshare is the former Guardian Childrens' Book Editor and currently holds the position of Childrens' Director of the Hay Literary Festival. What Julia doesn't know about childrens' books is not worth knowing. She was in conversation with an extraordinary author and personal favourite, Frances Hardinge. Frances is the author of 8 books (with her 9th due out any moment now), beginning with Fly By Night in 2005. Her debut novel won the Branford Boase Award in 2006. Her 7th book, The Lie Tree, took the overall Costa Book Award, the only childrens' book to do so since Philip Pullmans' The Amber Spy Glass. But the conversation revolved a…


Every year, I look forward in longing anticipation to the Childrens' Books Ireland conference; to that feeling of welcome and 'home' that feeds this particular kidlit enthusiast with. I am with my people; my tribe; all very diverse and different, but all very connected. CBI has actually built a strong sense of community in the childrens' book world. We BELONG, and we are excited about welcoming new members to our family. This years' theme was indeed BELONGING and each speaker brought a greater, broader sense of that term, of how we can get that across to children and their grown-ups; parents, teachers, librarians, publishers... this years' conference was truly wonderful.
I'm going to take you through some of the highlights; for me. It may be a rather long post, so I will break it into two...covering both days, but there will be a lot of pictures (not the best quality, I'm afraid...sorry.) I hope it will nourish some of you the way it nourished me.