Monday, 14 September 2009

Children’s Book Festival 2009: Demons, Dinosaurs and Beardy Authors!

Children's Book Festival 2009Demons, Dinosaurs, Beardy Authors and other beasts will be at large this October during Children’s Book Festival! That’s the word from Children’s Books Ireland, the national children’s book organisation of Ireland, whose website is well worth a visit. Throw in a whole host of activities organized by Clare County Library, from printing workshops to hilarious children’s theatre shows, with a generous helping of poets and storytellers to transport you to the world of the imagination, and you have what promises to be a “cool” month of October. The official launch of Clare County Library’s Children’s Book Festival takes place in Seán Lemass Library, Shannon, on Saturday 3rd October at 10am. Clare County Library invites all young, and not so young visitors to join in the fun on the day. Why not tell us a story, sing a song or showcase a special act, on your own, or with friends. Join us for some delightful treats from the chocolate fountain, meet well known characters from the world of children’s books and join in the magical entertainment throughout the day. There will be juggling, unicycling, magic and much more in a fun-filled four hour celebration of CBF 2009 from 10am to 2pm.

The festival will run for the full month offering young audiences across the island of Ireland a host of opportunities to engage in a wide range of book-focused activities and to celebrate all that’s positive about libraries and reading. Children’s Book Festival is the biggest celebration of books and reading which takes place in Ireland every year. Thousands of events take place in libraries, schools, bookshops and arts centres all over the country to bring children one of the most varied and exciting programmes of events available. Approximately four thousand children visit Clare library branches each year during the festival and with the quality and variety of this year’s programme, libraries all over Clare are expecting hordes of young visitors each week. The full programme of events is available on the library website and at your local branch library. Authors visiting the county this year include Sarah Webb, Kieran Mark Crowley, Fiona Tierney, Meadhbh Ni Eadhra and Enda Wyley.

October 1st is All-Ireland Poetry Day and as part of this year’s children’ book festival Clare County Library is pleased to announce the hosting of poetry readings for children in Kilrush, Kilkee, Kildysart, Shannon and Newmarket on Fergus libraries by poets Gabriel Fitzmaurice, who needs no introduction, and Paul Tubb whose recently published collection of poetry called Please Do Not Encourage This Nonsense by Purchasing this Book contains “23 Poems Not about Football, 11 that are about Football and 5 Limericks” - according to himself.

Later in the month one of Britain's favourite children's poets, Brian Moses, will visit Ennis, Ennistymon, Miltown Malbay, Kilrush and Kilkee libraries. Brian’s poems range from the familiar to the peculiar and audiences are guaranteed an excellent hour of rhyme, rhythm and rap in all his performances which will prove that poetry isn’t something that just sits on a page. The National Print Museum will hold printing workshops in four libraries for children aged 6 to 8; Dog and String Theatre will tour with their new show, Tales from the Forest; and The Kids Party Club will also perform two excellent puppet shows based on everyday classroom occurrences that are sure to strike a chord with teachers, parents and children alike.

One of the highlights of this year’s CBF programme is the performance by Galway Community Theatre, ALá, of The Stinky Cheese Man in Miltown Malbay Community Hall on the 21st of October at 1pm. The performance by a cast of twenty, which is kindly sponsored by Clare County Arts Office, is based on the picture book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by John Scieszka and is adapted for stage by John Glore. The play deconstructs not only the tradition of the fairy tale but also the entire notion of a book. The naughty narrator, Jack, makes a mockery of the title page, the table of contents, and even the end paper by shuffling, scoffing, and generally paying no mind to structure. Characters slide in and out of tales; Cinderella rebuffs Rumpelstiltskin, and the Giant at the top of the beanstalk snacks on the Little Red Hen. There are still lessons to be learned, but mostly just good fun that smart alecks of all ages will love. Bookings for the show by 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes in National Schools can be made by contacting Helen Flynn, Miltown Malbay Library 065 7084822.

This is just a taste of what’s on offer for children through Clare’s library network this October. Contact your local branch to check out times, age suitability and get the finer details on any of the 70 or more events that are coming your way for Children’s Book Festival 2009.

No comments: