Friday, 31 October 2008

Children visit the library in their thousands for Children’s Book Festival 2008

Miriam Lambert Puppet ShowChildren’s Book Festival in Clare libraries was an outstanding success this year with all branches packed to capacity for a bumper programme of events which included the best in children’s entertainment. Puppet theatre, drama, art and craft workshops and visits by best-selling children’s authors were just some of the events that took place during the month-long celebration of books and libraries. The aim of the festival is the celebration of books and reading and the encouragement of library use from a very early age. With this aim in mind, librarians throughout the county welcomed children and teachers from local schools to their individual programmes of events. The library service would like to thank all teachers, parents and children who supported the festival this year. One of this year’s most popular events was the Super Furry Animals Show. During this show children were treated to an interactive demonstration lecture on the wild mammal species found in Ireland with the added bonus of seeing first hand the special features of these elusive animals as presented in “stuffed” specimens. Artist Alan Shoosmith brought his Halloween art workshop to half of Clare County Library’s branches. Cereal boxes became haunted towers, dungeons and homes to dragons & scary creatures in 3D collages, that now decorate the young artists’ homes for the weekend ahead. Authors Karen McCombie, Kate McMahon, Áine Ní Ghlinn, Judi Curtin and Roisin Meaney did the rounds speaking to children and teenagers about writing and publishing their books and proved that drawing on your own experience is the best way to become a writer. They provided much food for thought for young book enthusiasts, some of whom left the libraries with thoughts of becoming writers themselves. Storytellers Joe Brennan and Niall de Burca were simply first-rate entertainment from beginning to end of their hour-long sessions. Stories new and old were delivered by both with a generous helping of myths and legends, plenty of humour and stimulation for the imagination. The Miriam Lambert Puppet Show performed a very special version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears for young children introducing them to an imaginative puppet world with lots of interactive fun to entertain and stimulate them. Sean O’Laoghaire from Cork presented ‘It’s My Planet Too’ a puppet show for older children set in Nature’s Garden, where the animal inhabitants are threatened by the villain Pollution. Growing up in a house full of stories, magic and tradition, Sean has a wealth of experience to draw on. He has written and performed puppet shows and run storytelling workshops for many years now. Clare County Library would like to thank all local businesses who sponsor Children’s Book Festival each year. One of Ireland’s biggest arts festivals, CBF provides approximately 1,500 free events for children all over Ireland each year.

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