Clare libraries to host Children’s Book Festival

Clare libraries to host Children’s Book Festival

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The 2019 Children’s Book Festival, the biggest annual initiative in the children’s library programme, will feature events in all 15 Clare County Council library branches during October.

Partnering with schools in their catchment areas, Clare County Library staff will be spreading the joy of books and reading among children and parents, authors and illustrators, teachers and librarians in all counties.

Next month, children will meet some of their favourite authors, take part in poetry workshops, enjoy exciting children’s theatre shows, take part in science workshops and try their hand at creating a pop-up junior radio studio, as well as participating in writing and story workshops.    Teachers are invited to check out the programme on the library website, www.clarelibrary.ie, and to contact their nearest library branch to book events for their classes.

Junior classes have many events to choose from including a return visit from Derek Mulveen of Eire’s Kids telling stories of Oisín the Brave from Robot Island or presentations by Gary Ward and Audrey Moore based on their picture books for young children.

Booster Cushion Theatre presents Little Red Riding Hood and Friends in a fast and funny show with lots of slapstick humour and child participation in a not so traditional retelling of this well-loved tale.

Sadhbh Devlin and Tarsila Krüse visit library branches for bumper activity workshops based on their picturebook Bí ag Spraoi Liom! Sadhbh will inspire junior classes to design their own inventions based on her book and Tarsila will demonstrate how to bring them to life through illustration.

Photo: Eamon Ward

In separate workshops Tarsila will take children on a drawing journey through their home town inspired by images from her latest book My Little Album of Dublin. Children will be encouraged to create new characters, environments and stories to bring home. Tarsila Krüse is an award-winning children’s books illustrator. She has published seven books to date including My Little Album of Dublin (O’Brien Press) and Ná Gabh ar Scoil! and Percy Péacóg both published by Futa Fata.

Senior classes can choose from a variety of author events including readings by Patricia Forde based on her book The Wordsmith in which the heroine Letta is faced with the daunting task of saving the language as well as the entire culture of her people and where she lives. The Wordsmith is an intriguing and exciting read for older children followed by its newly released sequel Mother Tongue with a launch date of October the 3rd. Both titles are available for borrowing in Clare library branches.

Jane Mitchell’s book A Dangerous Crossing has been described as, ‘An important book, a necessary book, but above all, a brilliantly told story,’ by fellow writer and book reviewer Sarah Webb. In it she tells the story of Ghalib Shenu, a 13-year old Kurdish boy who lives in Syria who has no choice but to leave everything behind and try for a new life elsewhere. Jane will bring the experiences of real Syrian families to life for the children she meets in Clare libraries in a story of astonishing bravery and solidarity in the face of despair.

Recently published author Maeve Devoy will inspire the children who come to her workshops to use their own experiences to tell their stories. Working in teams, children will engage their research skills to create towns, characters and stories to make a book. Maeve’s classes include lots of creative thinking, planning, writing, readings and performances, all enhanced by group work and discussion.

Artist, storyteller, and all round funny man Wayne O’Connor is back with his unique take on the books of David Walliams. He will introduce you to the World’s Worst Children in an energetic and fun filled show for 3rd and 4th classes and will explore myths and folktales from around the world in his Stories of Magic and Myth for older children.

Senior classes will have a unique opportunity to see how music and poems enhance the greatest stories in literature during Tony Maude’s performances in Shannon, Sixmilebridge, Miltown Malbay and Ennistymon libraries. Tony is a London based composer, poet and singer. His shows will mesmerize classes and teachers as he introduces us to Shakespeare and Yeats through music, featuring guitar and ukulele, not to mention his wonderful voice. With five studio albums and poetry publications to date, Tony has extensive experience in various educational settings worldwide with adults and young people. As part of his Autumn 2019 tour of libraries and theatres, his Children’s Book Festival appearances in Clare will also be interspersed with poetic riddles, to guarantee an entertaining, stimulating and interactive experience for all.

Four Planet Science workshops will see children explore a range of scientific principles. Library spaces will become Slime Labs where they will discover the science behind poly­mers and how molecules bond. They will make slime monsters and slime bubbles and other exciting creations learning about chemistry, acid base reactions and test tube science as they work through their experiments.

Clare County Library also will welcome ‘Fighting Words’ as part of the Children’s Book Festival 2019 programme. Founded by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love ten years ago, Fighting Words aims to help children, young people and adults to discover and harness the power of their own imaginations and creative writing skills. Fighting Words is also about using the creative practice of writing and storytelling to empower children and teenagers to become resilient, creative and successful shapers of their own lives. Four branch libraries will invite classes to create and craft their own stories under the expert guidance of the Fighting Words team of tutors.

In addition, writer/producer Ann Dalton will facilitate ‘Audio Drama Workshops’ tailored to suit different primary school classes, with discussion and activities based around writing, drama, sound effects and voice recording.  Ann will demonstrate how writing for radio differs to other formats and will explore the many ways of telling stories including illustration, comic books, movies, poetry and song. There will be opportunities for children to produce and record their own sound effects in this pop-up version of an RTE Junior Radio Studio! Ann’s workshops are based on research into the use of audio within the primary school curriculum which found that children were able to respond to radio drama in a very creative way using a mix of literacy skills such as talk and discussion, active and collaborative learning, the use of ICT and role play.

Full details of events and participating libraries are available at www.clarelibrary.ie and at all library branches.

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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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