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Archive for the ‘Events for Children’ Category

Alexander Gordon Smith visited Dublin and Ashbourne Library for the Childen’s Book Festival on Monday  and it sounds like he had a great time!

Getting to go on tour is one of the best parts of being an author, and there are certain places that I absolutely love to visit as much as possible – Edinburgh, New York, and of course Dublin. The first time I visited Dublin was a couple of years ago, and I flew in on St Patrick’s Day. My first event was on the morning after, and out of two schools that were supposed to show up one came with half a class, and the other one didn’t show up at all, apparently because the teachers were off sick…

It was still a wonderful experience, and I’ve been looking forward to coming back ever since, so I jumped at the chance to be part of the spectacular CBI Children’s Book Festival! My event took place in Ashbourne Library, and this time I had a full house of truly awesome pupils. I talked about writing, reading, making scary masks to cure writer’s block, playing video games, exploring haunted houses, coming up with ideas, how anybody can be a writer and, last but not least, how writing is the best job in the world because you get to shoot cow pats with shotguns and call it research.

There were some brilliant questions and a signing too. It was fantastic to see so much enthusiasm for books and for writing, and there were definitely some future bestselling writers in the audience. Remember, just never give up on your dreams! I followed this with an event at Wesley College, which was great fun (even though I had to fit my talk into twenty minutes, speaking non-stop at roughly thirty words a second, which I think left a few people dazed and confused). Thanks to everyone who came to my events, and to the delightful Aoife Murray for looking after me!

The day wasn’t over yet! I enjoyed pizza and drinks (and cake!) with David Maybury and Juliette Saumande from Inis Magazine, and I got invited to the premiere of Frankenweenie, which was great! It summed up why I love this city so much – it’s always full of pleasant surprises, fun and friendly people, great food and drink (and cake!), and endless laughter. And that’s just what you need when you’re a horror author and you spend all day holed up writing about monsters, mayhem and murder…

Thanks to CBI for inviting me over, and to the amazing people of Dublin for making me feel so welcome. Hopefully I’ll see you all again soon!

Guest blog thanks to CBI

 

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Last week we featured a guest blog post from Rathcairn Library about Gabriel Rosenstock’s visits to their library during Children’s Books Festival. We’re delighted today to heat from Gabriel himself:

The first thing you notice about a visit to Ráth Chairn library is the abundance of Irish-language books for young and old and a lovely display of old book covers, featuring classic tales rendered into Irish such as Cú na mBaskerville – no prizes for guessing the original title. A pity we don’t have more bilingual and multilingual displays in our libraries and bookshops. Even from a visual point of view (quite apart from linguistic courtesy), a bilingual or multilingual display of books, covers, posters etc. would be an improvement on the ubiquitous “usual suspects” which become so tiring to the eye.

And what a great pleasure it was to be able to speak in Irish to such a lively group of Gaeltacht children, most of whom were very comfortable with their Gaelic identity and few of whom would remember the mockery endured by many of their parents/grandparents who moved to this fertile spot in County Meath from the harsh, rocky terrain of Connemara.

We had some great fun with classic and modern haiku, reciting and flavouring dozens of samples over three days and, most of all in illustrating them. Mind-boggling were some of the frogs and spiders that found shape and colour in Ráth Chairn over those enchanting days. This was the creation of haiga, or illustrated haiku, and we could have been at it for a month! And when we had enough illustrations, or so I thought, I asked them to try to sing a few haiku. (Their teacher – lucky for them – is a prize-winning sean-nós singer). And they obliged, individually and as little groups. And if you have never heard haiku sung by school children, hybrid songs influenced by rap and sean-nós, well then, you haven’t lived! All in all, a transcultural multi-media experience as rewarding for myself as it was for the children.

Rath Dé ar mhuintir Ráth Chairn!

 Thanks to CBI for this guest blog

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Nobber Library’s Children’s Book Festival is over for another year.  According to Imelda, the branch librarian there, it was the best festival so far!  All author visits were totally different from each other.  “In a world where children have the best of everything I was really impressed with their attention, interaction and courtesy to all the authors.  More of the same next year, please”.

Imelda said that “all events were entertaining for the children and us so-called adults. No two ‘author sessions’ were alike whatsoever”. 

First session was with author David Donohue – “the children loved his totally different approach with words and he engaged them throughout the visit”.

The Wolfling's BiteSecond session was with author and illustrator  Oisin McGann  or was it Annie Graves??– “the children were enthralled by his visit and I loved his encouragement for children to keep reading”.  Imelda reported a number of new visitors to the library that evening.  It’s great to see the author visit translating into new library members and a renewed interest in reading for pleasure. 

Next came Paula Leyden – “her life experiences were fascinating for the children.  They asked loads of questions and were very interested”.  Paula’s first book, The Butterfly Heart won the Eilis Dillon award for a First Children’s Book at the CBI Book Awards

Debbie Thomas’ creative writing workshop lasted one and half hours.  “I thought it would be difficult to engage the children for this length of time, but they were totally engrossed with her.   When she entertained a table of boys for that period it speaks for itself”.  “Many of the class expressed an interest in reading her book “Dead Hairy” after the workshop.  dead hairy

“I’m sure the children from Nobber will be writing books in the future”.

Thanks to Imelda from Nobber Library for this great report.

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Week 3 of Children’s Book Festival 2012 began with a visit of author Alexander Gordon Smith to Ashbourne Library yesterday morning.  he was here to talk about The Fury, his latest series of books for children and teenagers.  Thanks to Faber and Children’s Books Ireland for assisting us with this event.
Solitary Escape from Furnace 2
Today sees local author/illustrator, Tatyana Feeney, in Athboy library talking about her gorgeous new picture book, Small Bunny’s blue blanket. It’s beautifully illustrated and a lovely book to share with the little ones in your life.

We’re very excited about the impending visit of  The 2 Steves (Skidmore and Barlow)to Meath libraries. They’re flying in from the UK on Wednesday night for 4 booked-out shows in Trim, Ashbourne and Oldcastle libraries.  Between them they’ve published over 150 books.  Their latest series, Action Dogs, is in the shops (and libraries) now.  They’ll be performing their iHero show which is a  lively and funny interactive literary game show based on their I Hero series.

It’s going to be a busy week!

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Comics writer, Alan Nolan, presented two 90 minute workshops last week in Oldcastle Library for Children’s Book Festival 2012.    Children from Ballinacree and Oldcastle were the lucky ones to head down to the library for this fun event.death by chocolate

Alan Nolan is a comics writer, graphic designer and artist.  He is the creator of The Big Break Detectives Casebook, a graphic novel for younger readers, and the Murder can be Fatal mysteries.

The illustration session was well structured and easy to follow and the children really enjoyed drawing the comic book characters.   Alan was very patient with the children and in return the children were very attentive.   Alan was well able to adapt to the level and abilities of all the young children.  There was a very positive response from both teachers and children.

Thanks to Anne in Oldcastle Library for the report
death by chocolate

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On Friday morning, the 6th of October, the library in Kells was filled to the brim with children eagerly awaiting the arrival of the author Nicola Pierce, writer of the book “Spirit of the Titanic”. The atmosphere was electric and snippets of conversation could be heard amongst the children, excitedly discussing the Titanic and the story behind the first “unsinkable” ship ever to be built.
Spirit of the Titanic

When Nicola arrived she had the children and staff captivated with her story of how she came to write her book. How she had a “Eureka” moment of deciding to write the main character as a ghost (Samuel Joseph) who witnessed first hand who was on board the ship, what happened to the families Joseph came to know, the staff who worked on board, the differences between first, second and third class.

Nicola told her story through pictures, photographs and personal effects. She made the story of the Titanic come alive in front of us, from the beginning of how it was built, the people who worked on it, the photograph of the ship taken off the coast of Ireland. How it looked so frail against the might of the ocean, compared to the way the boat seemed so majestic whilst at port.

The amount of facts that we all learned through Nicola about the Titanic, like how the fourth funnel did not work – it was really only for show. Also how the men on the crow’s nest did not have binoculars to use for looking out for icebergs, as they were locked away in a locker and the only man who had the key had been taken off the boat just before she sailed.

When Nicola had finished her talk, the reaction from the children was magical. All wanted to ask questions and find out more. It was amazing the amount of children who said they had a distant relative or knew someone who did who had been on the ship.

I would thoroughly recommend every one – from children to grandparents to read the book – it is a brilliant story based on a true story of a ship that was meant to be unsinkable. Nicola Pierce is a wonderful author and storyteller.

Report from Claudine in Kells Library

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Children’s Book Festival Programme 2012

All libraries in County Meath are gearing up for Children’s Book Festival 2012 with events planned covering the entire month of October. One hundred events are planned to spark the imagination of young readers!


We have everything from readings by popular authors, to writing and comics workshops, plus storytelling and competitions as part of the line-up.
artemis fowl last guardian


Headlining this year’s festival are Anthony Horowitz who published the last book in his
Power of Five Series, Oblivion, Marita Conlon McKenna (The Children of the Famine Trilogy), and literary superstar Eoin Colfer who will be celebrating the publication of the last title in his phenomenally successful Artemis Fowl series, Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian. The 2 Steves (Skidmore and Barlow) visit us from the UK. Between them they’ve published over 150 books. Another author visiting us from the UK is Alexander Gordon Smith, author of the terrifying Escape from Furnace series.

Other authors visiting individual library branches include Alan Early whose first book Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent has enjoyed extensive media coverage and has been hailed as the Irish Percy Jackson. Alan Nolan will be here as well with his graphic including The Big Break Detectives Casebook, Death by Chocolate and Six Million Ways to Die published by O’Brien Press and there’s more…

Nicola Pierce will give four readings based on her novel Spirit of the Titanic, now in its fifth reprint since publication last year. And staying with Titanic, Michel Moylan’s Irish History Live will present an interactive show to his audiences on the making of the ship, how it was powered, the class system on board, how the ship sank and more. Michael’s living history shows never fail to enthral his audiences and are booked out on announcement whenever he comes to Meath.

Other authors who will celebrate this year’s festival with us include Gerry Boland, Joe O’Brien, Erika McGann, Tatyana Feeney, Chris Judge and Oisin McGann and CBI Children’s Book of the Year winner Celine Kiernan.

Storytellers Billy Teare and Kathleen O’Sullivan are regular performers at Meath’s Children’s Book Festival and never fail to entertain and delight audiences of all ages with their folktales, myths and legends, from all around the world. We’re also delighted to welcome The Storytelling Caravan to Meath for the first time

Hands-on workshops facilitated by experienced artists are always popular and this year classes can choose from creative writing workshops with Debbie Thomas and Paula Leyden, illustration master classes with Adrienne Geoghegan, or comic book workshops with Alan Nolan.

Tina-Mation has come on board yet again for our annual colouring competition. Entry forms can be picked up at your local library. There are some great arty prizes for the winners and their schools.

By visiting the Children’s Books Ireland’s website children can find out how they might win fabulous prizes for their school by designing a book jacket or writing a short story

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Don’t forget to visit your local library and keep an eye on www.meath.ie/library for full details of all events.

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