Robin Stevens is an American-born English woman author of children's fiction, best known for her Murder Most Unladylike series. She has spoken of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction as an influence on her work.First Class Murder Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are holidaying on the famous Orient Express. No sooner have the girls boarded the train than it becomes clear that all the passengers in first class have something to hide. Then out of the blue, a piercing scream can be heard from one of the cabins, and a wealthy heiress is found dead. The heiress’s cabin was locked from the inside, the killer has vanished and the girls are called into action! However, the girls aren’t the only detectives onboard. There is tough competition from the other sleuths, who are just as determined to crack the case and save the day!Top Marks For MurderDaisy and Hazel are back at Deepdean, just in time for the schools fiftieth anniversary. Plans are being made for a weekend of celebrations and everyone is looking forward to the weekend’s festivities. However, trouble is brewing. In the girls’ absence, Deepdean has changed. Daisy has lost her title to a new girl-and many of Hazel and Daisy’s old allies have become their sworn enemies! Then, to make matters worse, the girls find themselves witnesses to a ghastly crime, in the woods beside Deepdean. Certain that the crime is linked to the school’s anniversary, the girl’s find themselves in a race against time to save their beloved school. Top Marks For Murder is the perfect book to keep kids occupied this summer. A great read for junior sleuths everywhere. I really enjoyed it!Death in the spotlight No sooner are Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells back from their recent adventures in Hong Kong than their detective skills are called upon once more. Hazel and Daisy are just about to embark on a brand new challenge: acting! But it’s not long after the duo arrive at London’s Rue Theatre that disaster strikes! Jealousy, threats and horrible pranks quickly spiral out of control- then a body is found. There’s a killer on the loose. Now the girls must solve the case before the murder strikes again.Arsenic for TeaHazel Wong and Daisy Wells are spending the holidays at Fallingford, Daisy’s family home. It’s Daisy’s birthday and Daisy’s mother is throwing a tea party to celebrate. The whole family is invited, even eccentric Aunt Saskia and dashing Uncle Felix. No sooner have the guests arrived than Daisy realises the party isn’t for her at all. Naturally, Daisy is angry. Then, one of the guests takes seriously ill. Things don’t add up- and the girls soon realise that everything points to poison! To make matters worse, no one can leave Fallingford because of the heavy storm. With no help in sight, the Detective Society must do everything they can do uncover the truth. They must be careful though, because no one is quite who they seem.Access eBooks/eAudiobooks on your phone, tablet or reader. Once you have installed the app, search for Dublin in the ‘Library’ field provided and then sign in using your library membership card number and PIN. Watch our how to video on Borrowbox. Members of other library authorities will need to log in using a different link.
For this Spring into Storytime session we have chosen Clarence’s Big Secret written by Roy MacGregor and Christine MacGregor Cation and illustrated by Mathilde Cinq-Mars. As a young boy, Clarence didn’t go to school. Instead, he took over working in the farm after his father had an accident. He never learned to read until he was 100 years old. This book tells Clarence’s amazing true story. Celebrate Spring into Storytime with Dublin City Libraries. In April, we are choosing one story per day from the collection for you to enjoy. To find the story just log into Tumble Book Library and search for the title Clarence's Big Secret. This book is suitable for ages 4-7.About TumbleBookCheck out details of TumbleBook Library and how to acces it on our website. Tumble Book Library is a curated database of over 1100 children’s e-books, and includes their unique animated, talking picture books, read-along chapter books, national geographic videos, non-fiction books, playlists, as well as books in Spanish and French.It's full of great stories to listen to with videos showing all of the wonderful illustrations. You can even follow the text as the story is being read to you.To learn more about how to use Tumblebooks please check out our how to video.
Spring into Storytime with Not ‘Til Tomorrow, Phoebe
For this Spring into Storytime session we have chosen Not ‘Til Tomorrow, Phoebe written by Julie Zwillich and illustrated by Denise Holmes. Phoebe hates the word ‘tomorrow’. That’s when everything good is promised to happen. Why can’t everything good happen today? Then Phoebe’s grandmother teaches her the secret of how to make tomorrow become today.This April, we are choosing one story per day from the TumbleBook Library collection for you to enjoy. To find today's story just log into Tumble Book Library and search for the title. This book is suitable for ages 3-6.About TumbleBookCheck out details of TumbleBook Library and how to acces it on our website. Tumble Book Library is a curated database of over 1100 children’s e-books, and includes their unique animated, talking picture books, read-along chapter books, national geographic videos, non-fiction books, playlists, as well as books in Spanish and French.It's full of great stories to listen to with videos showing all of the wonderful illustrations. You can even follow the text as the story is being read to you.To learn more about how to use Tumblebooks please check out our how to video.
With the whole world feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic it is really heartening to see the response of those involved in the world of children's books. Many award-winning authors and picture-book makers are using their talents to bring a little bit of fun into the lives of their many fans and there are some lovely gestures, challenges and competitions from authors, illustrators and publishers alike.Author of the hilarious Pigeon series of books (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Don't Let the Pigeon Stay up Late etc.), Mo Willems has been doing an online illustration class every weekday called Lunchtime Doodle.Irish author Oliver Jeffers is reading one of his beautiful picture books every weekday on Instagram and uploading them to his website.Rob Biddulph, Official World Book Day Illustrator and author of several stunning picture books (including Kevin, Odd Dog Out and the Dinosaur Juniors Series) is doing live drawing lessons on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10am. Children can upload their efforts with the hashtag #DrawWithRob and tag Rob on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. His social media details and this week's lessons are available on his website.The inimitable Sarah Webb, in association with the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), is filming a series of daily writing games and challenges called ‘Creative Bursts’ for children aged from approximately 9+ (or younger with adult assistance).The wonderful new podcast series We Love Books has snagged author and raconteur Dave Rudden as their resident writer to help aspiring young writers with their entries for an exciting writing competition for 3rd to 6th class pupils. Armed with writing tips from the author of Knights of the Borrowed Dark swords will definitely be drawn to fight it out for the titles and prizes.Irish comic book artist Will Sliney (who has drawn Spiderman for Marvel and more recently worked on the Star Wars comics series) is posting pictures of superheroes for children to colour in, encouraging them to draw their favourite characters and offering praise to aspiring artists. @WillSliney on Twitter and William Sliney on Facebook and use the hashtag #WeWillDrawAnd Irish publishers are joining in too. Irish Educational publishers CJ Fallon have very kindly offered free access to their e-books from now until the end of term, a gesture that should be very well received by parents up and down the country.The O'Brien Press, in association with Children's Books Ireland, are running a Design-a-Cover competition and the winner will see their artwork on the cover of a new edition of Gordon Snell's The Supermarket Ghost.And if you need a break after all that interaction why not grab some alone-time on our Tumble Books e-book resource featuring hundreds of animated, talking e-books which are free to library members. Also keep an eye out on Twitter @dubcilib and Facebook @DublinCityLibrares for #Springintostorytime where we showcase one Tumble book a day.Be sure to check out Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo by ES Redmond for a salutary warning about coughs and sneezes! Stay safe everyone.
We decided to kick off our new series of regular blog posts on individual authors by putting the spotlight on that most prolific and popular of children's authors, Michael Morpurgo. A decision heavily influenced I might add by Michael's presence in Ireland right now to attend a big family event in the Concert Hall in Cork this evening. Michael could be heard on RTE radio's 'Today with Sean O'Rourke' show yesterday morning when he was interviewed by Claire Byrne. If you missed it, you can listen to the interview online (c.16 minutes in length).Right: Michael Morpurgo (Source) Michael is also in the news for another reason right now, his book 'Listen to the Moon' (Category: Older Fiction) having just been shortlisted The Children’s Book Award (UK) 2016. You can read here our post on the shortlist announcement. Michael has already won this award three times, the Award's uniqueness being that the winner (and shortlist) is selected by younger readers. This surely is testament, if it were needed, to the popularity of Michael Morpurgo amongst younger readers.Michael's latest book 'An Eagle in the Snow', (Category: Older Fiction) just published, is based on a supposedly true account of a young soldier's chance encounter with Adolf Hitler during World War One. Story has it that during a battle towards the end of the war, Henry Tandey, who went on to become the most decorated British soldier of WW1, told this young German soldier who wandered into his line of fire to go home, he having seen enough killing at that point. The young German soldier supposedly being none other than Adolf Hitler! Hitler apparently recounted in 1935 an episode where a British soldier during WW1 did not take the opportunity to shoot him but instead let him. Thus the story grew, as it did so the line between fact and fiction became rather blurred, to the point today where a degree of uncertainty exists as to its accuracy. In this novel Michael joins together some of the dots to deliver a great fictionalised account of the supposed event. As Michael says, his book is suitable for those aged '8 to 98'. Michael has authored over 100 books, many of which tackle social issues, one such being 'Out of the Ashes' (2001) (Category: Older Fiction), which is about the foot and mouth crisis. This book was adapted for television, as was 'My Friend Walter' (1988) (Category: Older Fiction), a book with a rather different, ghostly, theme. Some have also been turned into film, including 'Why the Whales Came' (1985) (Category: Older Fiction), which stars Helen Mirren; and 'King of the Cloud Forests' (1987) (Category: Older Fiction), a short (30 minute) film which won France's Cercle D'Or Prix Sorciere. And who of course hasn't heard of 'War Horse'?'War Horse' (1982) (Category: Older Fiction), like many of Michael's books has a war theme, and had huge success as both a book and a play before ever appearing as the 2011 box-office success directed by Steven Spielberg. Another with a war theme is 'King of the Cloud Forests', mentioned earlier, where Ashley and Uncle Sung embark on a perilous journey across the Himalayas as they flee the Japanese invasion of China in WW2.Award winning titles, there are many. To name but a few: 'The Wreck of the Zanzibar' (1995) (Category: Older Fiction), telling the story of 14-year-old Laura on one of the Scilly Isles, won the 1995 Whitbread Children's Book Award; 'The Butterfly Lion' (1996) (Category: Younger Fiction), telling the story of a young boy who rescues an orphaned lion club from the African bush, won the 1996 Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Gold Award); and 'Private Peaceful' (Category: Older Fiction), the story of a soldier who is looking back on his life from the trenches of World War I, winning the 2005 Blue Peter Book of the Year Award amongst others. 'Listen to the Moon', mentioned earlier, was also shortlisted for the 2014 Costa Children's Book Award.Michael Morpurgo was born in Hertfordshire (UK) in 1943. He spent a brief period in the army, after which he took up teaching and writing. He gave up teaching after ten years in order to set up 'Farms for City Children' with his wife. He and his wife were awarded an MBE for services to youth in 1999 for this work with inner city children. In 2003 he became the third Children’s Laureate, and he was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to literature.Visit Michael Morpurgo's website.Spotlight by: Eddie Byrne