Let’s Start Discovering Irish Children’s Books

Engage, Inform, Inspire

Irish Children’s books. How many have you read? How many Irish children’s authors can you name? Despite the fantastic array of Irish children’s authors and titles, UK and US children’s authors still tend to dominate the Irish children’s book charts. And as brilliant as the books by non-Irish authors are, isn’t it high time that we see Irish authors, and the fabulous books they are writing, dominating our own book charts?

The range and depth of Irish children’s books out there is fantastic, Irish children can now see themselves represented in the books that they are reading, which is so important. We are so lucky to have so much talent on our small island, however in order to encourage that talent, it needs to be supported. So, in addition to the wonderful books that are out there by authors from the UK, US and other countries, we should also be encouraging children to read books by Irish authors too. 

But, where to start? A good first port of call would be a local library or bookshop. Librarians and book sellers are always happy to share their knowledge and they can help to point readers in the right direction. In terms of authors, there are plenty to choose from (and this is also where a librarian or bookseller can help), but just to throw a few names out there – Sarah Webb, Patricia Forde (the current Laureate na nÓg), Alan Nolan, Eve McDonnell, E.R. Murray, Peter Donnelly, Shane Hegarty, Judi Curtin, Marita Conlon-McKenna, Chris Haughton, Oliver Jeffers, Aoife Dooley, Leona Forde, Sinead Moriarty, Brian Gallagher and Natasha Mac a’Bháird . . . and there are so many more! 

Obviously, the choice of author and book very much depends on the age and interests of the young reader, but at least if you have a few names you have an idea about where to start the search. There are also two great resources to use online – the Children’s Books Ireland website and the Discover Irish Children’s Books website.

Children’s Books Ireland is a national organisation with an aim ‘to inspire and enable children and young people to become readers for life’. On their website there is a wealth of recommendations for books where you can search by age or by theme, as well as there being lots of information about children’s books and reading. They recommend both Irish and non-Irish books and authors, and the amount of information on their website is great to inspire young readers and those who want to encourage them. 

The Discover Irish Children’s Books website is another brilliant resource. It is the website of the campaign of the same name, created by the Irish children’s author, Sarah Webb. The campaign is aimed at bringing Irish children’s authors and illustrators – and their books – to the attention of children and their adults. The campaign uses the hashtag #discoveririshkidsbooks on social media. 

And soon there will be another way to find out more about the brilliant work of Ireland’s children’s authors – through our reading clubs! We plan to shine a spotlight on the wonderful Irish children’s books that are out there and find out more about the authors behind them too. 

Are you ready to #discoveririshkidsbooks? 


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