Friday, March 20, 2015

World Book Day Extravaganza 2015...the final installment

Yes, Thursday the 19th of March was the very last World Book Day event of the year... and it was the perfect event to end on; a great day with Patricia Forde that leaves us all wanting more. Trish gave up time from her busy, bust schedule to entertain classes from Scoil Chatriona in Renmore and Scoil Iognaid. She talked about writing and reading and story-telling...and then she read a bit from a few of her books, including a small taste from her upcoming (and first ever) novel, The Wordsmith (published by Little wonderful people!; due oout on 14th May.) The kids all loved it....and so did staff and customers.
More photo op!

Thank you sooooo much, Trish! See you soon.

World Book Day Extravaganza 2015..the penultimate day

Drawing this extravaganza to a close is always bittersweet for me. It's been quite a month! I'll dispense with the sentimentality for this post (anyway) and share with you the events of Wednesday, 18th March. On Wednesday, the schools (4th class from Scoil Iognaid and 2nd class from St. Michaels Boys School) were treated (once again) to the phenomenal story-telling gift that is Rab Fulton. Rab shared one of his all time best stories; that of his Grand-Uncle Hamish and how the worst fisherman in Scotland became the best fisherman in Scotland. Then, Rab gave his own, particular rendition of Little Red Riding Hood..... a treat for everyone who stopped by to listen. Thank you to the schools, and to the customers who hovered around to hear how it all turned out!
Photo op!

And a FANTASTIC time was had by all!
Many, many thanks to Rab for your time and your talent...what a great gift to share.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Towers and Tales Lismore Story Festival

Here's some brilliant news! On Saturday, the 18th of April the town and historic castle of Lismore in West Waterford will play host to the first ever Towers and Tales Story Festival....and a new childrens book festival is always great news. This promises to be an event the whole family and anyone who loves childrens books is going to love. With a line-up of best-selling childrens authors and illustrators, plus some incredibly exciting newcomers, there will be readings, workshops; all manner of events held throughout the day.
So far, those confirmed to appear ton the day will be:
Philip Ardagh
Niamh Sharkey (you might notice Niamhs' work on the poster!)
Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
Darren Shan
Shane Hegarty
Chris Riddell
Sarah McIntyre
...with more soon to come. There will be the Monster-Doodle. The Book Doctors will be on hand to prescribe exactly what you need. There will even be an illustration masterclass and a 'writing for children' panel for the grown-ups.  A bookshop, an illustration exhibition; what more do you need?
You need more information. Here's the link. Sign up now to get updates on this brand new fantastic event:

Friday, March 6, 2015

World Book Day Extravaganza 2015 - Day Five

So...the week has come to a close. Todays' sessions were an  absolutely incredible way to end a week long celebration of books, reading and childrens literature.
We began the day with me (again) taking the first two sessions. First, there was the busy, exciting 3rd classes from Claddagh National School. After a bit of discussion of favourite books, I decided it was time to share the wonderful world of Harry Potter with a few of the new generation of Potter readers. Only one in the class(es) had approached the books, but all had seen the films. So we began at the beginning with Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. Incredible fun!
Then it was time to move on to the 1st classes of Mercy Primary and more favourite books. They really loved the reading of Tom Mclaughlins The Story Machine! And Abracazebra by Helen and Thomas Docherty was an big hit!
Then, it was time for the grand finale(s) by the one and only Nicola Pierce! Nicolas' biggest fans in Galway (to date) are the 5th/6th class from St Nicolas Parochial. Nicola gave her first ever presentation of her new book, Behind the Walls. And the kids just ate it up! Afterwards, for the first time ever, both 6th classes from St Michaels Boys School joined us. Both classes are currently reading Spirit of the Titanic and City of Fate. Nicola did her talk on Titanic and they were mesmerised. The questions from the classes after the talk were thoughtful young man has a great career as an investigative journalist ahead of him. The boys would really love it if Nicola would come back a bit later in the year and talk about City of Fate, so we are going to work on that. Many, many thanks, are simply incredible. And thank you to the students and authors who have made this day...and in fact this entire week, the best World Book Day Extravaganza ever!
Before I get on with sharing the photos, I have to warn you....we're not done yet! Yes, there's more World Book Day celebrating to be done. On the 18th and 19th, a few more classes will be joining us to enjoy the company and talents of Rab Fulton; back for more adventure stories and scary tales) and the marvelous Patricia Forde.'s the photos:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

World Book Day Extravaganza 2015- Day Four

Today was an exceptional day to celebrate the day that's in it! 
The started off with reading (by me!) to a wonderful group of 2nd class children from Scoil Iognaid. We read from Claude in the Country by Alex T. Smith...what a hilarious story! Then we moved on to The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle. And a good time was had by all.
The second session saw me reading from Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane to the 5th class boys (aged 10/11) of St Patricks School. This has been the first year in nine the St Patricks School has attended World Book Day events in nine years and I was positively delighted to have them join us. After reading from Death Cloud, we moved on to a short piece from Knife Edge, in which Young Sherlock finds himself in Galway. Only one of the boys had read any of the Young Sherlock series, so it was a real treat. There was a good bit of discussion has to what the next possible scenario in the books would be. Very inventive and decisive thinking by the boys! (Oh, by the way...there were 51 of them! And their attention and behaviour was exemplary.) I really loved it, and I hope they did as well.
For the final two sessions of the day, we were visited by Marguerite Tonery. Marguerite is a local author who has recently published her first book, and the first in a series, Kapheus Earth. Marguerite really engaged the fifth class students from Scoil Iognaid and Mercy Primary with her readings and discussion of the book. Sitting in a circular with the children, she got them to read various parts in the book and really fired their interest in the story. Thank you so much, Marguerite! They were all enthused with Kapheus Earth!
And now... here are the photos!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

World Book Day Extravaganza 2015: Day Three

What a busy, happy day it was today. We had a total of 120 school children visit for events today, and while it was, at times, a little chaotic (with 120 children, how could it NOT be?), it was really happy and fulfilling.
I started the events off today by taking the first two sessions myself. First, I chatted with and read picture books to the first class from Claddagh National School. We read The Wonder by Faye Hanson; a beautifully illustrated story that takes us through the day of a small boy 'whose head is filled with wonder." While he is always getting told to pay attention and get his head out of the clouds, he learns the real value of imagination and the beauty and joy it can create. The it was on to The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle and finishing, as always with Where The Wild Things Are. Great fun with wonderful, creative children!
The second class in was the 5th class from Scoil Ide. We read from Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell and discussed aspects of the book like time and place (and interpretation), descriptive language and characterisation. One of the most poignant comments came from one of the students who really liked how the author didn't describe too much; just enough to allow the reader to add their own details. Brilliant and insightful all the way, they all want to read Rooftoppers!
During the last two sessions, the wonderful, incredible Debbie Thomas visited us and discussed many things with the kids..... her books (Dead Hairy, Jungle Tangle and Monkie Business), how she became an author, why she writes the books she writes, bees, honey and amber! Debbie also treated one class with a reading of some of her poetry, written when she was 7 years old! There was also a quick glimpse into her upcoming book, Class Act (out in April). Personally, I can't wait! Here's some photos!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

World Book Day Extravaganza 2015: Day Two

Today was a brilliant day! First, I got to read to the junior/senior infants class from St Nicholas Parochial School. I chose 4 of my favourite picture books including The Story Machine by Tom McLaughlin, Frances Dean Who Loved to Dance and Dance by Birgtta Sif and The Snatchabook by Helen and Tom Docherty. (I am promised a picture story based on the things we found out in The Story Machine!) And, of course, we ended with my very, very favourite picture book of all time; Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak...and the children made very good wild things: the best I've seen in years!
After this session, the combined talents of Juliette Saumande and Sadie Cramer visited the bookshop for three sessions! It was wonderful! They talked about their book, Chop Chop Mad Cap: where the ideas came from, how the pictures were created, the characters and their relationships...and there was a brief reading from Mad Cap during which we met a very special character from the book. Then, each class was put to work drawing their own cat-creations! There was much excitement from all 3 class groups! Have a look: