Monday, January 31, 2011

Muscailt Music Festival

Welcome to February!
And so now, it's time for the Muscailt Music Festival, running this year from Monday 7th February through to Saturday, 12th of February. This is the 11th Festival, and NUI Galway is very pleased to invite all students, staff, alumni and the public to enjoy a multitude of performance, art and music on campus for the full week. (Among the schedule of fantastic events, the previously mentioned 'Pirates, Dragons and Moon Monsters' adventure tales for children by the brilliant storyteller, Rab Swannock Fulton and lyrical artist Marina Wild will be taking place on Monday and Tuesday.
Here's the link with the full schedule of events. Very exciting!!!!
http://www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie/

Kim Harte on Ireland AM with New Children's Books!

Kim Harte, children's book buyer will lend her expertise to TV3's Ireland AM programme tomorrow morning (February 1st). She'll be recommending some new releases for the spring, including 'The Lonely Beast' by Chris Judge, Emily Gravett's 'Wolf Won't Bite' and 'The Real Rebecca' by Anna Carey (published by O'Brien Press), among others.  If you're able, I strongly recommend tuning in. Kim's recommendations are always brilliant, with some fantastic insight.
Here's the link to Kim's blog, for more information:
http://www.richtercollective.com/kimharte/

Sunday, January 30, 2011

'Sesame Street' Writer, Tony Geiss, Dies

It is great sadness that I report Tony Geiss, writer for 'Sesame Street' for over three decades from 1973 until 2009, has passed away at the age of 86. Geiss was the creator of many popular segments, such as 'Elmo's World' and gave the words to Big Bird, Elmo and Kermit the Frog, helping 'Sesame Street' to win 22 daytime Emmy awards. After branching out from 'Sesame Street', Geiss went on to write the screenplays for two children's animated films along with Judy Freudberg; 'The Land Before Time' and 'An American Tail'. Tony Geiss passed away on January 21 in Vahalla, New York. R.I.P.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/arts/television/31geiss.html?_r=1

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Richard and Judy's Children's Book Club

Earlier today, TV presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan announced the launch of their Children's Book Club. The pair have been transformed into cartoon characters for the launch, exclusively with WHSmith.
The Children's Book Club is made up of three separate categories with six titles in each. The categories are: Reading Together, Reading By Yourself and Fluent Reader. Their concern is to help parents choose great books for their children, which the children will love. Additional enthusiasm, support and advice is being lent to the Children's Book Club by Booktrust, who have also given reviews for all 8 titles. Sounds like a winner!
Children's Book Club Titles
Fluent
Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder, Jo Nesbo
Muncle Trogg, Janet Foxley
Scarlett Dedd, Cathy Brett
The Ogre of Oglefort, Eva Ibbotson
The Wombles, Elisabeth Beresford
Vordak The Incomprehensible: How to Grow Up and Rule the World, Scott Seegert
Read by Yourself
Claude in the City, Alex T Smith
The Raven Mysteries: Flood and Fang, Marcus Sedgwick
Max & Molly's Guide to Trouble: How to Catch a Criminal, Dominic Barker and Hannah Shaw
Scream Street: Heart of the Mummy, Tommy Donbavand
The Magic Princess Dress, Gwyneth Rees
Will Gallows & the Snake Bellied Troll, Derek Keilty
Reading Together
Dinosaur Cove: Attack of the Lizard King, Rex Stone
Horrid Henry and the Football Fiend, Francesca Simon and Tony Ross
Jake the Good Bad Dog, Annette and Nick Butterworth
Molly's Magic: The Witch's Kitten, Holly Webb
Roodica the Rude & The Famous Flea Trick, Margaret Ryan
Winnie Goes Batty, Laura Owen and Korky Paul

Click on the link for the full press release on Richard and Judy's Children's Book Club from booktrade.info.

http://www.booktrade.info/index.php/showarticle/31632/

Monday, January 24, 2011

New 'My Kids Time' Update On Line Now!

Just a quick reminder for those of you already familiar with My Kids Time, or an introduction for those of you who haven't met this site yet; the new update of My Kids Time is now up and available on line. This is a unique and wonderful website for parents to find activities, classes, services, events..... just about anything in Ireland that's child-friendly. There is a different section for most regions in Ireland, and the site is easy to navigate. One of my favourite features in this edition is a splendid article on how to keep avid readers interested by Patsy. You'll find it in the 'Read' section. And there's a competition this month to win €25.00 worth of books via the Tara Book Company in Kilcolgan. It's all good!!!
http://galway.mykidstime.ie/

Join 'The Campaign for Fun!'

In these dreary months of January and February, where the weather is less than lustrous and the cold, clammy-ness has become the norm, we all need a little pick-me-up, don't we?  Jeremy Strong (that funny-man author of 'The Hundred-Mile-An Hour Dog', among many , many other funny books) has chosen today, officially the most depressing day of the year (according to all statistics), to launch his new 'Campaign for Fun'! To celebrate all things fun and funny, Jeremy is looking for the funniest school in the UK and Ireland. All you have to do is get an A3 sheet of paper and use it to show him what makes your class so funny. Use your imagination(s)! The paper doesn't even have to stay flat.... you can fold it, colour it, glitter it, stick things on it, make a box out of it.... just make it funny! You'll be in with a chance to win a Silly Ceremony at your school with Jeremy Strong, plus a trophy, plus £200.00 worth of books for your school library!!!! I hope all of you out there will get cracking and come up with the best entries ever..... Ireland is definitely included in this competition, and I'm absolutely convinced some wonderful and hilarious school class out there can win this one!
Here's the link, with everything you need to know:
http://www.jeremystrong.co.uk/pages/campaignforfun

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pirates, Dragons & Moon Monsters

If you haven't seen it yet, you simply have to check out this wonderful new children's poetry blog! Pirates, Dragons & Moon Monsters is the (blog) child of storyteller extraordinaire, Rab Swannock Fulton and  exceptional artist, Marina Wild. Marina's beautiful pictures are the perfect enhancements for Rab's unique poetic voice for children (and big children, like me!).The blog began at the beginning of the New Year, and this talented team are putting together a free, interactive show for younger children for the Muscailt Arts Festival in February.

Here's the blog site......
http://adventurepoemsforchildren.blogspot.com/

Enjoy!!!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

World Book Day 2011.... and another thing....

I apologise for being remiss, but I should have mentioned our readers.
In the past, we have had wonderful authors and storytellers come share their talents with the children (and us!).... Judi Curtin, Roisin Meaney, Eddie Lenihan, Ken Bruen, Patricia Forde.... so many generous people, it would take a full blog page to name them all. This year, the marvellous Sarah Webb has already volunteered and I'm so excited that she'll be able to join us! A BIG thank you to Sarah! And a BIG thank you, as well, to Rab Swannock Fulton, storyteller extraordinaire, who will be returning to us to share more of his spooky tales!
I couldn't do it without you!

World Book Day Is Coming

Yes, I know it's January, and personally, the cobwebs are not out of my head yet. But, it is time for me to begin the preparations for World Book Day. For those of you who don't remember, World Book Day (this year on Thursday, 3rd March) is the day when we celebrate books and reading. For my part, the entire in my children's section is dedicated to bringing in school classes from all around Galway for a series of readings, workshops, quizzes, storytellers.... well ,you get the picture. For a full week (this year, again, Monday February 28th through Friday 4th March inclusive.) Last year (thanks to the efforts of the dedicated staff of Dubray Books in Galway), we played host to about 700 school children throughout the week, and it was BRILLIANT!

Part of the celebration involves children receiving, through their schools, a World Book Day book token (value of 1.50 euro) with which they can purchase one of the specially printed World Book Day books. The World Book Day tokens are redeemable for a limited period ONLY(Monday February 28th through Sunday 27th March inclusive).Every child gets a free book. Every child gets to participate in an event. And all for the pure enjoyment and entertainment that reading can bring. Check out your local schools to find out what they are doing to celebrate World Book Day. You might even what to volunteer to go into the classroom and do a reading or storytelling... or help the children illustrate their own books. The possibilities are endless!
http://www.worldbookday.com/world_book_day_in_ireland.asp

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dick King-Smith Dies, Aged 88

The wonderful children's author, Dick King-Smith, has passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 88. Probably best remembered for his book 'The Sheep-Pig' which was turned into the popular film 'Babe' in 1995; King-Smith had also given us such wonderful books as 'The Hodgeheg', 'The Water Horse' and the six 'Sophie' books; along with too many others to mention. His first book, 'The Fox Busters' was published in 1978, when King-Smith was over 50 years old, and he went on to write more than 100 others to the great delight of children (old and young) everywhere. A quiet, unassuming man, Dick King-Smith will be missed, but will truly live on for generations to come in his wonderful, warm children's books.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jan/05/babe-creator-dick-king-smith

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Costa Children's Book Award 2010!

Massive congratulations go to debut author and web designer Jason Wallace for his exceptional novel 'Out of Shadows'. This is a thrilling teenage tale of bullying, race relations and the need to belong set in Zimbabwe. Dramatic, sometimes disturbing with excruciatingly drawn characters, 'Out of Shadows' is a unique and timely winner. The judging committee commented:
"For us, this extraordinary debut novel was a unanimous winner. This compelling portrayal of a nation in crisis gripped us from start to finish and has stayed with us since." 
To read more, here's the link.
http://www.costabookawards.com/awards/shortlist_detail.aspx?id=368

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

A very Happy 2011 to you all. Last year was certainly a challenge... a real mixed bag of good and, well, let's say challenging. So, out with the old and in with the new. But before we start with the new, I want to share with you some really nice 'surprises' I had, in terms of sales in my children's and teen's sections at the shop for the holiday season. These are books that were not heavily promoted by the media and still outranked sales of those that were... some old friends and some newcomers. You will find this list on my 'What Are YOU Reading' page. Please check them out.... and if you haven't read them yet, I really think you should.
Happy New Year!!!!