Syrian families take part in Children’s Book Festival

Syrian families take part in Children’s Book Festival

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Children who recently relocated with their families to Ireland from Syria this week took part in a reading and activity session at Sixmilebridge and Ennistymon Public Libraries as part of the 2018 Children’s Book Festival.

Hosted by Clare County Library with the support of Clare Immigrant Support Centre (CISC), the events saw children and their parents explore Clare Library Service’s set of wordless picture books from around the world with children’s author Debbie Thomas.

Describing the events, Ms. Thomas said, “The participants started by using props to create a group story where humans turned into cats, jumped into story books and were chased through the pages by dogs.”

“Each child then chose a silent book and explained why the cover jumped out at them. With their parents, whose English was more limited, they ‘read’ the book in a mixture of Arabic and English. Through questions and wonderings, everyone entered into the stories and beyond, imagining the prequels and sequels, or taking leads from the illustrations to weave new threads.

“Children then volunteered to sit on the ‘flying carpet’ in the middle of the group and tell the story to everyone. They drew pictures inspired by the books and the conversations around them. The session served as a great reminder of the unique comfort, delight and intimacy a book unhindered by words can bring,” concluded Ms. Thomas.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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