Showing posts from November, 2012

Welcome December!

Welcome to December! The holiday season is upon us well and truly now and the days have gone dark and cold. Whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating this winter, you can't escape the atmosphere. And, yes, Christmas is coming. I really love these days, with the lights, the music and everything that comes with it. It is very easy to let stress and anxiety enter your life, but why not take some time to step outside all that and look for the joy. My suggestion? Enjoy it!
And since I'm here to talk about books (more specifically, children's books). I've devised my own method to communicate that. Based on a tradition that we have always practiced in my family, I'm putting up a new page here.... my Advent calendar of books. Some are new this year; some are old favourites, some are focused on Christmas, some are simply great winter books. A book a day up to the 24th of December. I invite you to join me! I hope you enjoy it.

Madeleine L'Engle

Today, I'm thinking of and remembering the wonderful books of Madeleine L'Engle, who would have been 94 today. A Wrinkle in Time is one of the most powerful memories of my childhood.... the first book that opened up the possibilities of time-travel in my young mind and heart and took me to times/places and planets beyond my own imagination. 
Happy Birthday, Madeleine... wherever you are. Think I'll go read A Wrinkle in Time again......

Irish Book Awards...and the winners are...

Big, big congratulations to the winners of the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards 2012! And the winners in the children's categories are...
In the Specsavers Childrens Book of the Year, senior category: Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer (the last in the series, I might add.)
In the Specsavers Childrens Book of the Year, junior category: This Moose Belongs To Me by Oliver Jeffers.

Irish Book Awards Tonight!

The votes have all been counted and tonight they'll unveil the winners of the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2012! I've got my fingers crossed for... well, everybody in the childrens categories. It is so difficult to say who my personal favourites are... there are just too many good books to choose from. These awards are voted for by YOU, so they are truly meaningful. Here's a reminder of the shortlists in the childrens categories... stay tuned for the winners!
Specsavers Children's Book of the Year, Senior category:
Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian Eoin Colfer
The final thrilling Artemis Fowl adventure in Eoin Colfer’s globally bestselling series. Let the misadventure begin – for the last time.  The thrilling climax to this globally bestselling series – but will it all end happily ever after? The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket John Boyne
From the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, he defies the laws of gravity – and floats. Rejected by …

Children's Book Launch: The Good Inventor

Saturday, November 17 at 11:00am, get yourselves down to Charlie Byrnes Bookshop (Cornstore, Middle Street, Galway) for the launch of an exciting debut (and independently published) children's novel, The Good Inventor by Charlotte Curley. Just to give you a glimpse of The Good Inventor:  Recently orphaned Charlie has traveled from New York to live in the Connemara countryside with his Uncle Theodore, a professor and inventor of true genius... even if he is a bit eccentric. Uncle Ted has no idea how to raise a child, so he creates a marvellous 'secret invention' to help him out. On top of everything else, Charlie has a unique inheritance; the power of the Druids! And the magic and freedom of Connemara are exactly what is needed to release that power. But a deep and ancient evil is watching Charlie and have been waiting...plotting....contriving...... (Review coming up momentarily on 'What ARE You Reading' page)

Book Launch: Ni Mise A Rinne E!

Futa Fata is extremely pleased and excited to be launching another fabulous picture book (as gaeilge, of course) written by Bridget Bhreathnach; illustrated by Donough O'Malley. Ni Mise A Rinne E! (It Wasn't Me.. for those of us that have little or no Irish) will be launched next Saturday 17 November 2012 in Galway City Library at 12.00. All are welcome, so if you're out and about, do stop in for this wonderful new book.

The Lost Christmas Gift

Every year, I make it a tradition to pick up one very special Christmas book for the entire family (which is now getting rather large) to experience and share for years to come. Sometimes, these are simple picture books, sometimes wonderful Christmas novels or collections... it all depends on what's available at the time. Last year I was delighted to find a re-release of T'was the Night Before Christmas that, as it happens, was the very first copy of this traditional tale that I had owned as a little girl... it was a Little Golden Book edition.
This year, I've found something quite incredible. The book is called The Lost Christmas Gift by Andrew Beckham. Published by the Princeton Architectural Press (this alone may give you a hint as to the quality of this... it's not just a book, it's an experience.) The story is touching, exciting, filled with tension and drama and pure wonder. It is a picture book, but one for all ages. In a word, it is exquisite. If, when you…

Long Lists for CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals

As you may already know, the long lists for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2013 have been released. These are indeed VERY long lists, so I won't recite them in their entirety here. But I will point out a few of my favourites and leave you with the link, so you can peruse them for yourselves at your leisure.
The CILIP Carnegie Medal was first established in 1936 and named in memory of Andrew Carnegie, who accredited his great success to his use of libraries as a child. Those early experiences led him to resolve:
"if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries."  Wisdom, indeed. The CILIP Carnegie medal long list for 2013 includes some outstanding efforts by the best children's authors working today. A particular favourite of mine is Sally Gardner. Sally has two books on the long list; her new book Maggot Moon and the incredible and amazing The Double Shadow. Accompanying these two bril…

Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012

Well.... it's all over but the shouting. So here's a big shout out to the winners of this years' Roald Dahl Funny  Prize!!!!
In the 7 to 14 category.... Congratulations to Jamie Thomson. Thomson was under fierce pressure, but manage to sail past David Walliams, Roddy Doyle, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Philip Reeve to take the prize for his wonderfully funny Dark Lord: the Teenage Years (with illustrations by undergraduate student Freya Hartas.)
And in the six and under category.... a big hurrah to writer and illustrator Rebecca Patterson for her brilliantly giggle-worthy My Big Shouting Day.. a picture book about toddler tantrums.
Congratulations to you both... very worthy winners, indeed.

Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke

Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke was released last month and made the perfect Halloween read. But if you missed it for Halloween, don't let that stop you rushing out to read it now. My review of this stunning new book from my favourite childrens' author is up now on the 'What ARE You Reading' page. When I visited Scoil Iognaid and read bits from it to two 4th lass groups, they were riveted to their seats! Here's a video of Cornelia herself reading from it. It really is a must-read.... perfect for the dark, dreary winter months. (well.... any time, really.... but do read it,; you'll see what I mean.)