This spring children in Dublin are urged to keep their eyes peeled for mysterious aliens at their local library as Bumpfizzle – the Best on Planet Earth by Patricia Forde, has been chosen for the 2019 Citywide Reading Campaign for Children.Bumpfizzle is an alien, sent to Earth from Planet Plonk on a research mission. Or is he really just a ten-year-old boy who is feeling a bit disgruntled at all the attention his parents are lavishing on The Baby? It is up to readers to make up their own minds. The author, Patricia Forde, has published numerous books for children in English and in Irish, two plays, in addition to several television drama series for children and teenagers. She has worked as a writer on both English and Irish language soap operas. In another life, she was a primary school teacher and the artistic director of Galway Arts Festival.The illustrator Elīna Brasliņa is an illustrator from Riga, Latvia. She has illustrated fifteen titles to date, most of them picturebooks, children’s books and young adult novels. Her work has been nominated for many local awards as well as the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. She has twice received the Zelta Abele Award for Book Design, as well as the Janis Baltvilks Baltic Sea Region Award (2017).This is the eighth year of the city wide reading initiative. Previous books selected for the Citywide Reading Campaign in previous years include; Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent by Alan Early, The Nightmare Club series featuring Annie Graves, The Powers by Kevin Stevens, Danger is Everywhere by David O’Doherty and Chris Judge, The Book of Learning by E.R. Murray, Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden and last year’s book was Making Millions by Erika McGann. The aim of the campaign is to encourage children to read for pleasure. There will be author visits to many Dublin City Council branch libraries as well as city-centre based events in bookshops, the National Library of Ireland and Dublin City Gallery – Hugh Lane. The campaign ends with fun events based on the book, as part of the St. Patrick’s Festival’s in Merrion Square. Copies of the book are available in all Dublin City Public Libraries as well as in all good bookshops. Dublin City Council Library stock can be borrowed from libraries nationwide.Key Events;• Author visits to Dublin City Public Library branches between January and March. Class visits booked locally at branch libraries.• Cabra Library, Navan Road, Dublin 7, Tuesday 29th January at 3.30pm (Booking Essential; [email protected] or ph. 8691414).• The National Library of Ireland, Kildare St, Dublin 2. Thursday 7th February at 10am (Booking required: Contact Bríd O’Sullivan [email protected])• Dublin City Gallery - The Hugh Lane, Charlemont House, Parnell Square North, Dublin 1 Saturday 16th March 11am-12pmAuthor Patricia Forde says: “I am delighted and very excited that Bumpfizzle The Best on Planet Earth is the 2019 Citywide Read. Bumpfizzle is an alien- which may attract some funny business from other planets - but I think Dublin children are up for that. I sincerely hope so. We may need heroes before this is over.”(Dublin City Public Library Staff, Patricia Forde and Kids at Launch)(Photo Credit Fennell Photography)You can download a Reading Guide to the book, suitable for teachers and parents at http://www.dublincityofliterature.ie/projects/citywide-read/The campaign is run by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin City Council Public Libraries, in partnership with Little Island Books, and is funded by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
There were some 400 children in the audience at a special 'Moone Boy' event in Dublin's Liberty Hall yesterday (14th October). Chris O'Dowd and Nick V. Murphy, co-authors of 'Moone Boy: The Fish Detective' were there entertaining the children and reading from the second in the hilarious illustrated series inspired by the Sky TV series they co-wrote.The event was organised by the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Office in conjunction with Dublin City Public Libraries.'Moone Boy: The Fish Detective' is just about to be published and will soon hit the shelves in our branch libraries across the city. The first in the series, 'Moone Boy: The Blunder Years' is available now! View photos from the Liberty Hall event, featuring Nick V. Murphy, Chris O'Dowd and Cormac Kinsella (Repforce), in the slideshow below:Story Synopsis:Martin's parents are strapped for cash: it's going to be a budget Christmas this year. So Martin plans to buy his own presents - and attempts, unsuccessfully, to get a job. Padraic puts in a word for him with his Auntie Bridget, who runs the local butcher's shop. But her shop is struggling as the fish shop across the road undercuts her and Bridget just can't compete. No one knows how the owner, Francie Feeley, does it - especially since he doesn't seem to employ anyone at his fish factory. No one goes in; no one goes out - it's a mystery.Intrigued, Martin decides to go undercover and find out the truth, like a fish-mole - or fish detective. Martin infiltrates the factory and discovers that Francie is illegally employing a gang of Brazilian fish-gutters. They're a lot of fun and one of them, Fabio, becomes Martin's good friend. But when Martin is exposed as a spy, he has to choose which side he's on. Will Christmas be ruined for the whole of Boyle?
Brilliant Mid-term Reads from Book Festival Authors
Dark days, and even darker nights - autumn is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. You might already have a toppling pile of books beside the bed, or sitting on a bookshelf just waiting for you to pick them up and bring the story to life by opening that first page. But if you are finished everything interesting in your 'to read' pile and are looking for a good book to keep you company over this mid-term break, perhaps you will find inspiration in the work of some of the authors who have been visiting Dublin City Libraries during October for Children's Book Festival. Some, like Judi Curtin are very well-known and don't need any introduction from me, while others, like Michael Carroll, who writes science fiction / fantasy novels, are less well-known, but equally engaging writers.If you were lucky enough to be at Cabra Library or Drumcondra Library to meet popular author Judi Curtin, you will have heard all about how she started writing and how moving schools often as a child helped her become observant and made sure she always had good stories to tell. Judi's most recent book is 'Leave it to Eva' the third book in the 'Eva' series. There are seven books in Judi's earlier 'Alice and Megan' series, as well as a cookbook, so no need to run out of your favourite reads.Younger children will enjoy the 'Alfie Green' series by Joe O'Brien, who visited Rathmines and Kevin Street Libraries, and older fans of Joe's work might try 'Beyond the Cherry Tree' a novel of fantasy, adventure and magic. Another author who visited libraries in during October is Debbie Thomas, whose book 'Dead Hairy' is quite hilarious. Children who met Debbie in Donaghmede, Coolock and Ballyfermot Libraries were also let in on the secrets of Debbie's new book 'Jungle Tangle' which isn't even in shops or libraries yet - but keep an eye out!During week two of the festival we had a visit from Che Golden, who travelled from England to meet children in the Central Library, Rathmines Library and Terenure Library. There were plenty of questions for Che and we learned how her writing was inspired by her childhood visits to Blarney in Co. Cork to visit her grandparents - and we also learned exactly how little an author gets paid for each book sold (a lot less than you would think). Che's book, The Feral Child, is the first of a trilogy - and the first part is so exciting I can't wait for parts two and three.Week three of the festival was the busiest week, starting with visits from environmentalists Éanna Ní Lamhna and Don Conroy. Many of Don's books, such as 'The Anaconda from Drumcondra' and the 'Draw with Don' series are still available in libraries, and Éanna's book, 'Wild Dublin' has something to offer all ages - along with great photographs. You can also download a free copy of Éanna's brilliant resource for primary school teachers 'Wild Things at School' published by the Heritage Council.Eithne Massey writes for many age groups so she has something for everyone - for younger readers there's 'The Dreaming Tree' and 'Best Loved Irish Legends' while for older readers Eithne's fantasy novels (with an historical theme) include 'The Silver Stag of Bunratty' and, her latest, 'Where the Stones Sing'. You can also view a list of Eithne's own favourite children's fantasy books. During the same week, the fabulous Cressida Cowell entertained over 400 children from schools all over Dublin - with her tales of Vikings and Dragons. 'How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel' is the tenth in the hugely popular 'How to Train Your Dragon' series - if you haven't tried them, now's your chance! Perfect for boys and girls aged 8+.In week four we had visits from Nicola Pierce and Jean Flitcroft. Jean has written two books in her 'Cryptid Files' series; 'Loch Ness', which is set in Scotland and features the hunt for the famous Loch Ness Monster and 'Mexican Devil' which introduces us to El Chupacabra - a mythical monster from Mexico. Nicola Pierce writes historical fiction with a slight fantasy element in 'Spirit of the Titanic' a book that views the unfolding of the Titanic tragedy through the eyes of the ghost or spirit of Samuel Scott, an apprentice who was killed while helping to build the Titanic in Belfast docks.The last official Children's Book Festival visit will be from science fiction / fantasy author Michael Carroll to Ballymun Library on Hallowe'en, Wednesday 31st October - the very last day of the Festival. Michael has written many novels and short stories for children, teenagers and adults as well as stories for comics like Judge Dredd and Futurequake. During these visits he will be talking mostly about the 'New Heroes' series; 'The Quantum Prophecy', 'Sakkara' and 'Absolute Power', all available from your local library. The full list and their American as well as English titles is available here. If you are between 10 and 14 and enjoy fantasy and science fiction books, come along to Ballymun Library on Wednesday 31st at 3pm for a great opportunity to listen to and chat with a real writer about how he writes, what inspires him, and also what inspires you and tips for writing your own stories.So, loads of great ideas for new books to explore. Still not inspired? Drop in to your local library and browse along the shelves of great booksIf you find the perfect book for you - why not share by letting us know all about it? All replies to this post suggesting a good children's read for these Autumn days will be entered in a draw for a newly published book by an Irish author (I'm keeping the title a secret until I get those entries in - so start suggesting now).
Everyone remembers their last summer of Primary School
A tear wells in my right eye, spills over and rolls slowly down my cheek. I can't help it. As it drips off my chin I sigh with satisfaction and close over the last page of 'The Unforgotten Coat' by Frank Cottrell Boyce. I read this book in one sitting, and I challenge anyone to put it down once begun. 'The Unforgotten Coat' was commissioned for the Reader's Organisation 'Our Read' programme in the United Kingdom and was inspired by a true story of refugees, immigration and deportation. This story has almost every human feeling; fear, humour, affection, terror, betrayal, loyalty and friendship. The tag line for the book; 'Everyone remembers their last summer of Primary School' - it's a time of rapid change, of letting go and taking the first steps to adulthood. 'The Unforgotten Coat' introduces us to the children of Ms. Spendlove's class in Bootle, Liverpool, who have more reason than most to remember their last summer at primary school. Local children Julie, Mimi, Duncan and Shocky are growing up - thinking of boyfriends, girlfriends and their move to secondary school. Meanwhile, new arrivals Chingis and his little brother Nergui have a lot more on their mind...If the name Frank Cottrell Boyce is vaguely familiar to you it will probably be because he wrote the Carnegie Award winning and best selling book 'Millions' and also the screenplay for the popular film of the same story. Catch either, if you haven't already. Frank Cottrell Boyce has an uncanny knack for telling stories that seem really real and everyday - but with a little bit of extra magic, that lift them out of the ordinary. It's like he has never lost the openness and wonder of being a child - the ability to ask 'What if' and follow that, without automatically saying 'just because' or 'nah!'. And - great news! Frank Cottrell Boyce will be visiting Dublin in October and Dublin City Libraries have organised that you can meet him. Keep your eyes peeled to this Blog and/or our website to find out how to book your FREE tickets.