FRIENDSHIP, ART AND BEING REAL- Clementine and Rudy by Siobhan Curham

Siobhan Curham has a strong history of writing books for young people that speak to the heart of blossoming creativity, authentic voices and living, finding your tribe and standing strong in a society that wants...sameness. And throughout her books, she does this in a quiet, determined way, revealing the little shadows that seek to dim the light inside and fail. She consistently brings together the most unlikely of people and through her story, cements unbreakable bonds between them.
Enter now, Clementine and Rudy...
author: Siobhan Curham
Walker Books (4 June 2020)
ISBN: 9781406390230
Two 'ordinary' girls from different worlds, living only a few streets apart...
Rudy is a young Street Artist, seeking out late at night even though nerves get the better of her, to reveal her images to an unsuspecting Brighton. Clementine is a poet, responding to the images she finds on Instagram with heartfelt, genuine words that seem to flow out of her of their own accord. Whe…


Ten years ago, an extraordinary book was placed in my hands. It was one of the first books I shouted about on this blog and now, with the Walker Books 10th Anniversary edition, I have to shout about it again. It is a book that sticks in my memory and in my heart as one of the most superb YA novels in the last decade and I have recommended it more times that I can count.
The Sky Is Everywhere: 10th Anniversary Edition
author: Jandy Nelson
Walker Books (7 May 2020)
ISBN: 9781406390933
When her wonderful, beautiful sister, Bailey, dies suddenly, Lennie suddenly finds herself, not only struggling with her grief, but also taking centre stage in her own life. The loss of her sister,  and finding her emotions torn between her sister's boyfirend (with whom she shares this heartbreaking common ground) and the new boy in town, Joe (the only person she knows who has never had any contact with Bailey) is bad enough. Running like a fraying thread through her mind and emotions is the disappearance …


It can seem a very strange and challenging time to be presenting a childrens' book awards ceremony, or any kind of ceremony for that matter. Covid_19 restrictions make it impossible for us to gather and celebrate in the traditional way. So we think of something different...
Yesterday at high noon (!), the childrens' books people of Ireland gathered in front of their computers, laptops and phones for the 30th annual (and first ever online) presentation of the Childrens Books Ireland Book Awards. Partnering with KPMG (another first), CBI reached out in the joy and excitement that is always present at these events to celebrate the finest additions to an extraordinary canon of literature for children and young people produced by Irish authors, illustrators and publishers.
The shortlist of outstanding books (shown above) has now been carefully considered, discussed and perused and, with Rick O'Shea presenting the worthy winners were announced in each of the five categories. Yo…


Dear readers,
Here's something a little different for you. And, I must add, very exciting.
Answering a call to address the lack of YA related platforms and publications for young people in Ireland today, Ruth Ennis, Grace Kelley and Amy O'Sullivan put their brains, enthusiasm and talents together and came up with...Paper Lanterns: The Teen and Young Adult Literary Journal.
Creating a space for teenage writers, artists and readers, this is a journal especially for them. It taps into the vast body of talent among Irelands' youth to allow a forum for expression and to "hear what they have to say about loss, love, magic, books, the environment and the universe." This is no mean feat, especially launching such a project in the middle of a global pandemic. But with the challenge accepted, the response is glorious.
Within the 50 plus pages of Paper Lanterns, there is some very fine writing indeed. The Creative Writing section is separated into Under 18s and Over 18s, f…


Being in lockdown is hard on all of us. With the world staying home, we are missing our families and friends, venturing out to new places, even the mundane things like going to work and school. It's easy for restlessness and boredom to set in as we wonder how long will this go on, only to hear things like "for quite some time to come." It's easy to lose hope. But help is at hand with something marvelous!

On 27th April, The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown was launched by award-winning (and completely brilliant) childrens' author, Katherine Rundell. Here, Katherine has curated the work of more than 110 authors and illustrators in a volume that is utterly wonderful. This is a collection of poems, short stories, essays and pictures from many favourites like Lauren Child, Anthony Horowitz, Jacqueline Wilson, Emily Sutton, Jonny Duddle, Sharna Jackson, Michelle Paver, Ross Montgomery and so many more, including …

WHY PICTURE BOOKS MATTER: There Are No Words In This Book!

Wordless picturebooks an incredibly significant contribution to our literary canon. But how, you may ask? There are no words, and isn't literature about words? Well, yes and no. Of course words are important in getting ideas across, but if you look at what words are in their most basic sense, then you begin to get an understanding of the absolute urgency of pictures; of visual literacy.
The written word itself is made up of letters. Letters are simply a visual representation of a sound; they are symbols. A somewhat random symbol conceived by someone (or someones) a long time ago that have gained enough significance to stand the test of time and that we all (or most all) accept as a given thing. We know what letters are; we know what they mean. Then, to make a word you gather together these random symbols to create another random symbol; like dog or run or beautiful; that we have over time accepted as meaning what it means. These word symbols are put together to make collections o…


Happy Earth Day, everyone! It's a very special Earth Day in a very strange time. I find it quite poignant that Earth Days' 50th anniversary should fall as the world is called to stay at home during the Covid_19 pandemic. We are looking past our immediate surroundings out into a world that is quiet...not filled with the constant hum of human busy-ness and we actually have time to look; to consider. And when we look at the planet, the environment, the climate crisis, we see that slowly but noticeably, Earth is healing. Pollution levels are that little bit lower. The sky is quieter and clearer. The water, cleaner. It is amazing that, without human interference, she is getting better. What would she be able to accomplish if we remained conscious of this and limited our activities in an effort to help?
But I did promise you some favourite picture books to celebrate. While there are loads of wonderful nonfiction books to inspire you and your children, I am going to focus on a few s…