Showing posts from March, 2014

World Book Day Vouchers

Just a quick reminder to everyone: the 2014 World Book Day Vouchers are about to expire! For anyone whose children were given the WBD Vouchers in school or from your local library or bookshop, you only have this weekend to redeem them. After the 30th of March (Sunday) they can no longer be accepted. These vouchers allow your child to get one of the fabulous, specially printed World Book Day books for FREE! Alternatively, you can use the vouchers against payment for any other book you would like and will receive €1.50 off that book (£1 in the UK.)

So get busy! Use those vouchers and get a great book for your children NOW!

Hans Christian Andersen Awards 2014

The announcement of the winners for the oldest and most prestigious award in children's literature was made today at the Bologna Children's Book Fair. Japanese author Nahoko Uehashi and Brazilian illustrator Roger Mello are the recipient of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Awards. Many, many congratulations to these two outstanding contributors to the world of children's literature.
Of Nahoko Uehashi's work the judging panel said the author “has an extraordinary ability to create different fantasy worlds, and her work has tenderness and a great respect for nature and all sapient creatures.”

Of Roger Mello's exquisite artwork, the judges remarked that his  “illustrations provide avenues to explore the history and culture of Brazil. He does not underestimate a child’s ability to recognize and decode cultural phenomena and images. His illustrations allow children to be guided through stories by their imagination.”
The winners will receive their awards at the 34t…

Beloved Picture Book News!

I've just found two very important bits of news on two of (my very favourite) most beloved picture books... well one picture book and one picture book author.
First of all, Margaret Wise Brown, the author of the wonderful, classic Goodnight Moon, passed away in 1952. Sterling Books in the United States is now preparing to publish Goodnight Songs, a collection of 12 previously unpublished lullaby poems by Brown. These were discovered in a trunk in her sisters' barn. These poems will be illustrated by 12 different artists! The poems were written while Brown was on a tour in France during the last year of her life. She had been under contract at the time to create songs for a new childrens' record label.
Kirkus reviews called the collection a "treasure trove" and said:
"Brown's intent was to capture the spirit of a child's world in her songs as she had done with her stories … the simple rhymes have Brown's trademark charm," said the book revi…

CBI Book of the Year Shortlist 2014

Didn't I say all the awards lists were coming in now? Certainly not to be outdone by all the others is the CBI Book of the Year Awards. Now in it's 24th year, the CBI Book of the Year Awards are given annually to authors and illustrators born or resident in Ireland. The recognise. honour and promote excellence in books for children and young adults in Ireland. These awards are open to books written in English or Irish.
Six awards are given annually, to cover the over-arching goal of recognising the contributions made by these outstanding author/illustrators:
-The Book of the Year Award
-The Eílís Dillon Award for a first childrens' book
-The Honour Award for Fiction
-The Honour Award for Illustration
-The Special Judges Award
-The Children's Choice Award

And the nominees for this years' CBI Book of the Year Awards are:
-The Sleeping Baobab Tree by Paula Leyden
-W.A.R.P.: The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer
-Heart Shaped by Siobhan Parkinson
-Too Many Ponies by Sheena Wilk…

CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medal Shortlists 2014

The shortlists for awards in childrens' literature are now arriving en mass! Yesterday, the announcement was made for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. These are the oldest childrens' book awards in the UK. Whoever receives these honours will join the ranks of such lauded authors and illustrators as CS Lewis, Arthur Ransome, Noel Streatfeild, Phillippa Pearce and in more recent awards, Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd and Sally Gardner.

The CILIP Carnegie Medal is given annually to one outstanding new book for children or young adults. It is the UK's most prestigious award for childrens' writing. The shortlist is:
-All The Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry (Templar Publishing)
-The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks (Puffin)
-The Child's Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston (David Fickling Books)
-Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper (Bodley Head)
-Blood Family by Anne Fine (Double Day)
-Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (Faber & Faber)
-Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead (And…

Hans Christian Andersen Award Shortlist 2014

From the 58 candidates selected from the 33 national sections of IBBY, the shortlist for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2014 have been selected! Six authors and six illustrators will now be considered for the most prestigious international award in children's literature.
Launched in 1958, the Hans Christian Andersen Award is given biennially bi the International Board on Books for Young People to both an author and an illustrator whose work in the field of childrens' literature has made a lasting contribution. To be honest, even to make it on to the longlist is a huge honour, given the sheer number of exceptional childrens' authors/illustrators working today.
 The award will be announced on Monday, March 24th at the Bologna Book Fair.
The shortlisted authors are:
- Ted van Leishout from the Netherlands
- Houshang Moradi Kermani from Iran
- Mirjam Pressler from Germany
- Nohoko Uehashi from Japan
- Renate Welsh from Austria
- Jacqueline Woodson from the United States


Book Launch - Monkie Business

So after a full week of delight and madness (World Book Day events), it was off to Dublin for the launch of yet another fab childrens' book by Debbie Thomas.... Monkie Business (the third book in the Abbie and Perdita series. Debbie invited me up to say a few words about the wonderful characters she has created for these books, and it was a complete pleasure. I felt a bit disjointed, as I had left my notes behind me. But it went well.... it was only a few words, after all and the main bit of the talking part was Debbies' reading, assisted by Captain Winkymalarkey himself (aka Debbies' wonderful husband Steve). Sporting a beard that would have made Philip Ardagh envious, he had taken time off from piloting the Fidgety Bridget to join in the festivities.....(you'll just have to read the book, then, won't you.) After the reading, there was a massive treasure hunt around the National Library. One lucky young lady won the Goblet of Dripping itself! ('ll h…

World Book Day Extravaganza - The Final Day

Well, as they say, it's all over but the shouting. And what a fantastic day the last day of the annual World Book Day events at Dubray Books Galway branch was! It started with me reading to the 4th, 5th and 6th classes from Scoil an Linbh Iosa (Mercy Primary School)... a large group, but very attentive and interested. I was very pleased, because they offered me their time and their focus, and I hope I gave them something they will remember.
Then, the amazing Nicola Pierce took time from her manic weeks' schedule to come to Galway and talk to the final 2 class groups about her new book, City of Fate.... just as beautiful and memorable as her previous Spirit of the Titanic, but a very different subject matter. This time, Nicola has given us an eloquent and well-researched fictional view of the battle of Stalingrad during World War II. All I can say is WOW! (Review coming shortly) The children were mesmerised and engaged. Nicola left them with loads to think about, wanting to lea…

World Book Day Extravaganza - Day 4

It was a busy World Book Day for us! Today, we hosted a further 117 school children from Galway City schools, bringing the weekly total to 507 kids through the bookshop, enjoying the various author/illustrators, books, activities and each one choosing their own specially produced World Book Day Book.

After reading to the Sr. Infants classes from Mercy Primary School myself (4 of my favourite pictures: The Snatchabook, Troll and the Oliver, Gigantosaurus and... of course...Where the Wild Things Are), three additional class groups had a real treat in store, when Paula Leyden (author of The Butterfly Heart and The Sleeping Baobab Tree) joined us to about her books, her writing, her life and many, many things African. The kids were all captivated by the incredible Paula... as were all of us. Thank you, Paula Leyden... magnificent as usual!

Monkie Business is afoot!

As if all the excitement surrounding World Book Day weren't enough (and it probably isn't), the launch of Debbie Thomas' new book, Monkie Business (the third in the Abbie and Perdita series) is taking place this Saturday, March 8th! And you'll never guess..... I've been invited to help out with the launch. I must admit my nerves are a little shaky at the moment about this, but that's because I really want to do this book justice! Fingers cross I don't trip over... or something equally as embarrassing.
The book is out now! Read it! You'll love it! Funny, quirky and very adventurous... I just love the whole series... a pure delight!

World Book Day... Absolutely Everyone Loves It!

Also, I just wanted to share that, even our bookshop fairy, Milo-biblio, loves World Book Day. He even left us a note (acknowledging that we celebrate all week long!)!
l It reads:
"I can't wait for World Book Week to start! Will there be children and stories?..."
Yes, Milo... there have been and there will be even more. Today we had 148 children visit the shop. And every single one of them left with their own World Book Day book. I love this week!!!!

World Book Day Extravaganza - Day 3

Well, we're over half way through the World Book Day Extravaganza at Dubray Books Galway branch, and again, it was quite a day. I personally read to 3 class groups today, which I absolutely loved. I hope they all enjoyed it as much as I did!
But the big news is that we wound up the day with a visit from one of our favourite people in the world, Patricia Forde. Trish entertained and enlightened a group from her old school, Scoil an Linbh Iosa...Mercy Primary School. She talked about how she decided to become a writer, what it takes to actually be a writer; she had the children tell some of their 'great escape artist' stories and read to them from one of her best books, Frogs Do Not Like Dragons. Thank you sooooo mmmmuuuch, Trish! As always, you were great.

World Book Day Extravaganza - Day 2

We were extremely busy on day 2 of the World Book Day Extravaganza. Today, we hosted a total of 117 school children... and the wonderful and creative Sadie Cramer. Sadie talked to the classes about making stories, what a story is, and she even had the kids standing up and telling some stories of their own. Oh, yes... and then there was the moment when a large paper was rolled out and the children all joined in drawing their own stories. A fantastic day was had by all!

World Book Day Extravaganza 2014 - Day 1

The World Book Day Extravaganza 2014 has begun! At Dubray Books in Galway, today we played hos to a total of 122 local school children from 4 different schools, and I have to say, they were all brilliant! Many, many thanks to Maria Burke, who throroughly enthralled and intrigued the children with readings from her books; The Ark of Dun Ruah and it's sequel, Protectors of the Flame. Maria also made quite a number of new fans in Galway, as many of the children returned later to ask me to be sure to have her books in when they get their allowance! (If you haven't read the books yet, I strongly suggest you do... book three will be out later this year!)
And, of course, no one left without one of the wonderful books from the special World Book Day book selection. All in all, a great day!

Happy March! Happy World Book Day!

It's the first week of March, and as we get ready to (finally) put winter to bed World Book Day is looming. It's time to celebrate books and reading just for the joy of it. For me, this is a very busy week!
So I have to be brief... here it is.... five days, five authors (and me, of course) nineteen sessions of school children.....LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
Watch this space for the upcoming photos and fun!