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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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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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CBF Front cover

Children’s Book Festival Events in Meath Libraries

 

The annual Children’s Book Festival takes place this October and is organised by Meath County Council’s Library Service.  All through October school children will visit Meath Libraries to see authors, illustrators, storytellers, and take part in drama and circus workshops throughout the county.

The festival will be launched at a public event in Ashbourne Library on Saturday 6th October by author Eoin Colfer, a not to be missed, sit on the edge of your seat event as Eoin takes you on an adrenaline fuelled exposé of teenage criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl, and talks about the eagerly anticipated FINAL instalment in the Artemis Fowl series, Artemis Fowl and the Last Guardian. Book your place at Ashbourne Library on 018358185.

We’re very excited about the visit of Anthony Horowitz to County Meath.  Anthony Horowitz is one of the UK And Ireland’s most popular contemporary children’s writers.  Both Alex Rider and The Power of Five are Number 1 Best-selling series.  His books have won numerous awards, including the Red House Children’s Book Award.  His Alex Rider books have sold over 13 million copies and have been translated into 28 languages.   He will be promoting his latest book, Oblivion.  This is the fifth, and final, book in The Power of Five series. 

Award winning author Marita Conlon-McKenna, one of Ireland’s best selling novelists is also headlining the festival. Her children’s book ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’ has sold more than 500,000 copies.

Other visiting authors include Gerry Boland, David Donoghue, Tatyana Feeney, Alan Early, Brian Gallagher, Adrienne Geoghegan, Oisín McGann, Nicola Pierce, Joe O’Brien, Alexander Gordon Smith, Debbie Thomas, Alan Nolan, and Erika McGann.

This year the Library Service extends a warm welcome to comic authors Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore from the UK and the Celtic Rathskallions travelling all the way from Canada. The schoolchildren will also be entertained by the Cork Circus workshop using Indian puppetry, magic and music and Imagination Gym workshops.

RTE’s Tina Mation from the Den has also organised a colouring competition in all the libraries where children from 3 years to 9 years can enter and not only win a prize for themselves but also a fabulous school prize for the overall winners.

The Library Service is very grateful to the many local businesses that have sponsored the Festival such as the Newgrange Hotel, Brogans Hotel Trim, The Pillo Hotel Ashbourne and Trim Castle Hotel.

The festival runs throughout October and also includes some Halloween arts & crafts workshops in various libraries. For details on any of these events check with your local library or view the library webpage on http://www.meath.ie/ , ‘Meath County Library’ on Facebook or @MeathLibrary on Twitter.

 

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The Ideas Shop Hits Navan

Writer, Sarah Webb reports

On Thursday 13th October we arrived at the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan to be greeted by the lovely Maedhbh from the library services. After tucking into tea and toast in the café with fellow Ideas Shoppers, Judi Curtin and Oisin McGann, we all set up our props and waited for the 350 school children to take their seats.

They came from all over Meath, a lovely mix of schools. As we waited nervously backstage, they spilled into the front seats, grinning, and we sneaked a few peaks through the black curtains at their faces. Waiting backstage for an event to start is nerve wracking and I’m always jingling with nerves – will I be OK, will the audience laugh at the right places, will they ask any questions? On this occasion there was nothing at all to worry about, the Meath audience were completely engaged and watched and listened eagerly from the very beginning.

We each spoke first about growing up and what inspired us to be writers. We had a Memory Box on stage – a great big wooden box filled with all our memories. For me it was books I loved as a child, my tutu and ballet shoes and ballet fuzzy felt; for Judi one of her old dolls (very unloved as she pointed out!), old books and diaries; for Oisin an art kit, books, and his special memories of driving diggers and playing in building sites. Oisin lives in Meath and he was a big hit, especially with the boys!

Next we spoke a little about how we write a book – I talked about research and the role that plays in my work, and meeting the elephants in Dublin Zoo; Judi explained how a book is like a Russian Doll, full of different parts (or dolls) that all fit together to produce a story; and Oisin drew a very fab skeleton which he covered in clothes and explained how you add things to the ‘bones’ of a story, a bit like dressing the skeleton.

And finally we all talked about how books live on through our readers – YOU! Which was followed by a lively question and answer session and a super signing.

It was a real pleasure to meet so many fantastic young readers and thanks to CBI, and most especially Maedhbh and her team for organising the event so beautifully.

And look out for me, Judi and Oisin – we’ll be doing some more Ideas Shops very soon.

Sarah Webb XXX

http://www.askamygreen.com or http://www.sarahwebb.ie for more info

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This exciting session is presented by popular Irish authors Judi Curtin, Oisin McGann and Sarah Webb.  The three authors will cover the basics of creating stories, generating ideas, research, creating characters and plots, all presented in a theatrical style. 

From "The evil hairdo" by Oisin McGann

Solstice Arts Centre is kindly hosting this event to cater for the huge demand.

More than 300 local schoolchildren will get to see their favourite authors as part of Children’s Book Festival 2011. 

Antonia’s Bookstore will provide a pop-up bookshop after the event so children can buy books and get them personally signed.

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See What I Mean?

When you get right down to it, comic art is about trying to get an idea from the creator’s head into the reader’s by the quickest, clearest means possible, and in a way that’ll stick.

The sessions I ran this week in Meath Libraries were not so much drawing workshops – although we did quite a bit of drawing – they were more to help the kids understand that pictures are primarily a form of language. A means of communication.

As we grow up, we are bombarded with images, and through this process we unconsciously develop an understanding of the symbols that we’re exposed to on a daily basis. A crescent moon means night-time; a bucket and spade means a day on the beach; a cactus signifies the desert; a running figure means an emergency exit. We are able to read pictures long before we learn to comprehend text. But just because it’s instinctive, doesn’t mean it’s not a skill. You don’t learn to walk at school.

In my sessions, I’m not even trying to teach these symbols, though we do use them. I’m just trying to show how they can be used to tell a story. And they can be used by those with only the most rudimentary drawing skills. For me, some comic illustrators are among the most significant artists of their generation. Others can’t draw to save their lives, but they might have a knack for telling a story in the simplest of lines.

For demonstration, for injecting knowledge or ideas, film must surely be the best medium. But there’s a reason every film project, from an advertisement to a feature film, starts with a storyboard. It’s the only way to explain what’s going on to all the various experts involved. Before extraordinary amounts of money are spent, before a single frame is shot, they all look to the storyboard to see everything that’s going to happen.

I love pictorial communication for everything it is. Sometimes that art can be beautiful, emotionally engaging, mysterious – complex, a tease to the imagination. Other times, I’m just desperately looking for the stick figure on a toilet door. Good comic art is a form of instinctive hieroglyphics, a language without words. It can be used simply or crudely, it can be lyrical, evocative. And then, when you stick the words in too, there simply is no better way to create that link between one person’s mind, and another.

THANKS OISIN

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Children from Coole NS had a fantastic time this morning in Trim library drawing and writing stories with author and illustrator Oisin McGann.

Oisin McGann in Trim Library

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