The library’s aim to encourage children to enjoy the experience and the magic of reading saw close on three thousand children attend over 50 reading related events, including author and illustrator visits, live history shows, nature and wildlife presentations and story and song workshops, catering for the reading preferences of everyone from toddlers to teens and beyond.
The festival is the biggest celebration of books and reading in Clare County Library’s events calendar for children and this year’s programme featured some of the best authors and entertainers for young people that Ireland has to offer.
The main event took place in Glór on October 20th. Shane Hegarty was there to meet with over 500 children from schools in the county to bring them the background to, and stories from Darkmouth, his sensational series that has secured him record-breaking publishing deals in the UK, US, Germany, Brazil and further afield.
Other authors and illustrators that toured library branches included Alan Nolan, Ré Ó Laighléis, Matt Griffin, Derek Mulveen, Kim Hood and Debbie Thomas.
Ré was, as ever, delighted to be invited to be part of the library’s festival and his readings and workshops not only captivated the interest of the youth of Clare, both in Ennis and Shannon, but specifically two North American teachers of literature who had drifted into Shannon Library on the morning. They absolutely loved the session (which was bilingual) and were heartened by the fact that a County Library would schedule such a comprehensive programme of events for young people.
Sadie Cramer’s delightful story workshops for younger children were loved by teachers, their classes attending and librarians alike, while Dave Rudden’s and Gráinne Clear’s stories of sea kings, stuffed monsters, invisible warriors and mysterious witches also went down a treat.
Niall de Burca did the rounds again holding young audiences in the palm of his hand with his amazing repertoire expertly delivered.
Michael Moylan’s 1916 presentations from Irish History Live transported children to the founding of our nation, giving them real life experiences of dressing in the clothes of the time and handling the weapons of the Irish Volunteers and the I.R.B.
Music and story workshops came courtesy of singer, songwriter, musician, TV presenter and script writer, Tadgh Mac Dhonnagain who is also the founder and director of the publishing company Futa Fata.
Older children explored key areas of literacy through the art of songwriting in workshops delivered by Muso, an educational company that provides alternative learning workshops to schools around Ireland.
David Lyons, Wildlife Ranger, National Parks and Wildlife Service brought examples of the amazing wildlife to be found on our doorsteps to the children in Tulla, Sixmilebridge and Newmarket on Fergus libraries and drawing and illustration sessions came courtesy of the multi-talented Aidan Courtney, cartoonist, and the founder of Coimicí Gael.
Staff at all branches of Clare County Library were delighted to see such support from schools in their catchment area and look forward to welcoming the children who attended events to return time and again to borrow from their extensive book collections throughout the coming year.
The library service gratefully acknowledges assistance with funding the Children’s Book Festival, received from local organizations and businesses and from its book suppliers. A list of this year’s contributors is now posted on the library website at http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/library/services/childrens/cbf/sponsors_cbf2015.htm.
Image above shows Dave Rudden and Grainne Clear in the library in Kilkee.