WITH children heading back to school in the coming days, the Children’s Book Festival 2012 has been launched.
The festival will be taking place in October, offering a programme of Irish and international authors and illustrators, designed to spark the imagination of young readers from toddlers to teenagers.
Activities will be running in libraries, schools and arts centres over the course of the month, with everything from readings by popular authors to writing and illustration workshops, plus storytelling, quizzes and competitions, with countless opportunities to explore a wide array of books.
This year’s programme sees international authors come to Ireland with Cressida Cowell (the How to Train Your Dragon series), Alexander Gordon Smith (the Furnace series) and Che Golden (The Feral Child), sharing their writing experiences at events nationwide. Popular Irish authors Celine Kiernan (Into the Grey), Maeve Friel (Tiger Lily) and Oisín McGann (The Wisdom of Dead Men) will wow audiences at theatres, arts venues and libraries nationwide. Festival organisers Children’s Books Ireland have also announced that literary superstar Derek Landy will be making a one-off visit to Glór in Ennis to celebrate the latest title in his Skulduggery Pleasant series, Kingdom of the Wicked.
Also expanding minds at libraries across the country will be festival favourites such as Marita Conlon McKenna (The Children of the Famine trilogy), Alan Early (Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent), the National Print Museum workshops, Chris Judge (The Lonely Beast), Alan Nolan (Murder Can be Fatal series) and Brian Gallagher (Across the Divide).
This year will see the return of the popular O’Brien Press Cover Design Competition, which gives budding designers the opportunity to have their artwork featured on the cover of a professionally published book. To celebrate the fifth year of this competition, Gillian Perdue’s title Adam’s Starling, first published in 2002, has been chosen for rejacketing. The lucky winner will not only see their design gracing the shelves in their local library or bookshop but will have their entire class invited to an awards ceremony and will win five sets of all Gillian Perdue’s O’Brien Press titles for their school.
Aspiring writers will also have the chance to enter a writing competition in association with Little Island. Veronica Bennett’s The Broomstick Bike has been chosen for this competition, which asks young readers and budding writers everywhere to find a copy of The Broomstick Bike at their local library and write a short story inspired by the title and cover. There will be a book token for the lucky overall winner and a bundle of books for their class library from Little Island. Further details on these competitions can be found online at www.childrensbooksireland.ie.