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School kids put a new spin on town with help of Chris

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Author’s collaboration with CBS Primary pupils results in a fantastic flight of fantasy set in Ennis

THE students of CBS Primary in Ennis and writer Chris Judge have joined forces to create a magical new book with the county capital very much at its heart.
CBS Primary, Ennis is launching A Town Called Ennis, written by Chris and the students of CBS Primary and also illustrated by Chris.
This Friday will see the official launch of the book as well as the unveiling of specially commissioned artworks throughout the school, based on the illustrations created by Chris in the book.
The school community is eagerly anticipating the launch of the book, which is notable at national level as the very first fiction book created in collaboration between an author and the students of a school, through the Per Cent for Art scheme.
The scheme, associated with the capital construction of CBS Primary’s new school building, enabled the school to commission Chris to work with the whole school community on the project.
It also enabled Chris, who has worked predominantly as an illustrator up to now, to debut as a fiction writer for children.
The project was led by CBS primary teachers and project co-ordinators Margaret Shine and Colm Davoren.
Margaret outlined, “The project was conducted throughout Covid, and saw Chris work with the children through Zoom to develop ideas and images that would shape the book.
“What emerged was a creative process that saw the children engage in the town’s history and geography to create a thrilling adventure as the book’s main characters race through the streets of Ennis side-stepping an earth-shaking, tree-chomping colossus.”
Colm added, “The vivid illustrations that accompany the story have inspired gorgeous new artworks throughout the fabric of the school building, illuminating spaces and hopefully inspiring out students to continue with creative activities as they journey through primary school.”
Chris Judge, author and illustrator, was delighted at how the children’s ideas shaped “the entertaining and crazy caper filled with trolls, water bombs, sliotars, moving statues and hoards of kids clutching hurleys”.
“A Town Called Ennis is a celebration of the creativity of the children of CBS Primary, an ode to the past history of the town and highlights the positivity the children feel about their future in the town,” said Chris.
“This positivity is particularly insightful considering the children were going through a pandemic during the writing process.”
A Town called Ennis will be launched on Friday, by Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Councillor PJ Ryan who will be joined at the launch by Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Ann Norton.
Each family in the school will receive a signed copy of the book and copies will be available for sale in Ennis Book Shop from Friday.
For those outside of Ennis copies will be available to purchase online from https://www.ennisbookshop.ie/ and the school believes that these books would make gorgeous Christmas presents.

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