Before I start my seasonal posts of favourite new Christmas picture books, best books of the year, fantastic winter reads and, of course, my annual page, The Advent Calendar of Books; I have to take a moment to look at a very special new picture book recently released by Focus Ireland.
If you only buy one picture book this Christmas, please let it be this one.

authors: Shane O'Brien and Stephen Rogers
illustrators: Lauren O'Neill, Steve Simpson, 
Steve McCarthy, Peter Donnelly, Tara O'Brien, Fatti Burke, Kevin Waldron, Yasmeen Ismail and Alan Dunne
Good Cop Good Cop Dublin (November 2019)
(with the support of Gill Books)
ISBN: 9780717186679
It's the week before Christmas and the children just can't sleep. It isn't the excitement of Christmas that's keeping them awake. Mum has told them their rent went up. It's just too much to pay and they have to move out and they don't have anywhere to go. As they go from a friends' house to a hotel with no room, spend a night in their car to a church building, Mum and Dad try to distract, reassure and cheer their children by using their imaginations, creating adventures along the way. Are they robots from the future as they load their belongings? Are they on safari as they spend a night in the car? Are they ghosts haunting a hotel? But, with all the moving around involved, there is a pressing question on all the childrens' minds...How Will Santa Find Us?
A wonderful rhyming picture book, this book brings to light the story of a family facing homeless at Christmas time. As the reader journeys along with the family in search of shelter somewhere, it may well (and absolutely should) cause concern, but it is NOT depressing. Rather it highlights the familys' plight and provokes deeper thought on the issue of homelessness while still entertaining and containing that bit of humour. It may seem difficult to accomplish this without becoming trivial or glib; but it succeeds admirably. And don't ends positively well, due to the cleverness of the little boy; giving us all something to consider. Ten of Irelands' most beloved illustrators donated their time and artistry to create the pages in this book. This makes for a lively, colourful story that flows surprisingly smoothly, as each illustration both suits the atmosphere of the accompanying text and blends into the next page with ease.The entire presentation is one you simply have to have on your shelves, to bring out each Christmas and ponder and enjoy always. How Will Santa Find Us? will open your hearts and help you understand that, no matter how little you may have, you can always give something to lighten anothers' burden.. It is simply a beautiful book filled with hope and compassion. 
On sale now at all the best bookshops. It doesn't matter if you're 6 or 60, this book will enrich your life.

Why should you seek out this book? Well, if my words haven't convinced you of its' merits, consider this....
From the note from the authors:
"This book was conceived as a response from Irelands' creative community to our growing homeless crisis, in particular the startling number of homeless children. We wanted to bring people together and make something that would raise money for the vital work of the wonderful team in Focus Ireland, but also create empathy for families who find themselves in the terrible position of being homeless..."
Currently in Ireland, the homeless crisis seems to be escalating day by day. On average, three families a day are made homeless. I'm going to say that again...three families A DAY are made homeless. Let that sink in. I's a very sobering thought.
Focus Ireland believes that homelessness can be solved and work hard everyday to find solutions and help people.
All the proceeds on the sale of How Will Santa Find Us? go to support the work of Focus Ireland.

To discover more about Focus Ireland, follow the link.


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