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Showing posts from April, 2014

We're Going on a Bear Hunt! (Again!)

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If you find yourself in Galway with the kiddies this Saturday (26th April) at 11:30am, do call in to Dubray Books Galway branch, 4 Shop Street. It's storytime and we'll be '...Going on a Bear Hunt.' I'm going to make stick bear puppets with the children, so they'll all have their own bear to take home with them...and, of course it will then be participation time as we read the iconic 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt.' All invited...come join the fun! (I LOVE storytime!)
I'm no Michael Rosen....but then who is? But I'm really looking forward to a great morning! (If there's time after, we may just read another 'hunting' story that's a bit quieter.

We're Going On A Bear Hunt....for 25 Years!

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I know everyone out there knows this book... We're Going On A Bear Hunt is 25 years old! So much fun and all the kids love it (Sometimes to the complete distraction of their parents and teachers.) To say Happy Birthday to We're Going on a Bear Hunt; here's a video of the completely fantastic Michael Rosen performing the book that he 'helped make' and has given so much joy to all of us children (big and small) everywhere. Now, everybody! All together now!

Booktrust 2014 Shortlist

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Here I am playing catch-up again! At the end of March, Booktrust announced the shortlist for their 2014 Best Book Awards. This is a brand new prize in children's literature, selected solely by the votes of the reading public. There are five age categories, plus a special sixth prize, Best Tech Book, recognising the growing importance of digital storytelling. The final deadline for voting is June 20th, so there's loads of time to read the shortlisted votes and cast your vote on the Booktrust website. The winners will be announced on 2nd July (during Children's Book Week.)
And here are the lists. Better get reading!


0-5 years: Best Picture Book
1) Do Not Enter the Monster Zoo by Amy Sprakes, illustrated by Sarah Ogilivie (Red Fox)
2) Peck Peck Peck by Lucy Cousins (Walker Books)
3) The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty, illustrated by Thomas Docherty (Alison Green Books)
4) The Storm Whale by Benji Davies (Simon & Schuster)

6-8 years: Best Story
1) Oliver and the Seawigs by…

Waterstones Children's Prize 2014

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The Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2014 celebrated it's 10th year on Thursday, 3rd of April (this is a little belated, I know...apologies) at a ceremony at it's London Piccadilly flagship store with festivities surrounding the announcement of this years' winners. The prize celebrates new and emerging talent in the field of childrens' literature. Uniquely, this is the only childrens' literature award that is voted for solely by booksellers. So, take a bow, my comrades in the trade; you have chosen very well, indeed.
The overall winner and Best Fiction 5-12 category is:
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
Rooftoppers tells the story of Sophie, believed to be an orphan after a tragic shipwreck left her, a small baby, floating in the English Chanel in a cello case. But Sophie believes there is still a chance her mother may have survived. When the Welfare Agency writes, threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands. She flees Paris…

It's Nearly CBI Conference Time!

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The Children's Books Ireland (CBI) annual conference is coming! This fantastic weekend long event is happening on the 24th & 25th of May this year, and am I ever excited! (Just a bit...) This year, as ever, the line-up of speakers is incredible. And the buzz any childrens' literature enthusiast gets from just being there will sustain you for an entire year (guaranteed!)
The theme of this years' conference is "The F Word: Failure". Let's face it; failure stories are far more interesting than success stories and I'm sure we will all be listening most attentively for the moment when each speakers builds through the struggle to that one moment. It's something we all go through....again and again and again....
Have a look at this taster of what's in store. With all that's on offer, how can you NOT want to be there!:
http://www.childrensbooksireland.ie/conference-and-events/

A keynote address from Laureate na nÓg 2014-2016A debut writers panel fea…

International Children's Book Day

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Happy April everyone! Spring is here and, as usual, there is much happening in the world of children's books.
Today, April 2nd, is International Children's Book Day! April 2nd is Hans Christian Andersens' birthday, and every year since 1967, this day has been marked as the day to celebrate and call attention to children's books and to continue to inspire a love of reading in the world. Each year, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY)designates a different country to sponsor the day and create excitement through a specific theme. This year, Ireland is the sponsor and the theme is Imagine Nations Through A Story. There is huge scope for learning and understanding within this theme.
Ireland's first children's laureate, Siobhan Parkinson has written a wonderful letter to the children of the world. In it she says:
"...the reader is just as important to the story as the writer. There is only one writer for each story, but there are hundreds or…