Children's Books Ireland
Children’s Books Ireland is the national charity and arts organisation that champions every child’s right to develop a love of reading. Through various activities and events, Children’s Books Ireland aims to engage young people with books, foster a greater understanding of the importance of reading for young people, and act as a core resource for those with an interest in books for children in Ireland.
Children’s Books Ireland is on a mission to inspire a love of reading in children and young people in Ireland. To share their expertise and enthusiasm with the adults who guide and influence them. To champion every child’s right to excellent books and live literature events, and support the artists who make that goal possible across the island of Ireland. Their vision is clear – Every Child a Reader.
Children’s Books Ireland works on various activities and initiatives to make reading accessible to young people - some of which we’ve detailed below.
Children's Books Ireland works with different partners around the country to deliver Book Clinics. These Clinics invite parents and children to drop in for an informal consultation with one of Book Doctors, who are ready to offer the best advice for the young readers in your family. When the Book Doctor is ready to see a patient, the consultation begins with some questions about the type of books the reader enjoys, as well as activities, movies, TV shows and video games. This lets the Book Doctor know a little bit more about the patient, so she can write a book prescription - a personalised list of book recommendations. Every patient leaves with a Reading Passport containing this book prescription, to take to their local library or bookshop to have filled!
Bookseed is a baby book-gifting initiative, funded by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund and the Social Innovation Fund Ireland, delivered across 14 areas in Limerick City and County. Bookseed gives the gift of a book three times in a baby’s first year of life. It’s all about families enjoying books together, starting little ones on a lifelong reading journey. Children who have been read to and who read for pleasure are more likely to do well at school, to have a wider vocabulary and to have higher levels of mental wellbeing. Parents, guardians or carers are encouraged and supported to share books with their child from a very early stage, in order to foster in them a lifelong love of reading. The project ensures families are made aware of the cultural, emotional and social benefits gained by reading books and sharing stories with children.
Bold Girls aims is to break down societal barriers and instil confidence in girls and young women by showing them female characters in children’s books with agency, power and opinions. This helps address some of the issues that stand in the way of women achieving their ambitions, whether that be in leadership, government, or the arts.
Bold Girls celebrates 20 female Irish authors and illustrators, both emerging and established, who have made an exceptional contribution to the canon of Irish children’s literature.
Books Make Things Better
After a difficult 2020, Children’s Books Ireland – supported by the Arts Council – launched the Books Make Things Better campaign. The campaign supported and promoted the Irish children’s literature sector through the publication of the Books Make Things Better reading guide – a 32-page publication that highlighted children’s books published in 2020 by Irish authors, illustrators, and publishers, with original cover artwork by renowned artist Oliver Jeffers.
The campaign gave visibility to authors and illustrators who had lost the opportunity to publicise their new books through bookshop launches and events. It raised awareness of Irish-published children’s books, drove footfall to Irish bookshops and helped to create a sense of community and belonging by encouraging families to share a book at bedtime.
Readings Guides are a great way to engage young readers and equip them with new and exciting books to explore. The series includes Mind Yourself, Doodle Starters, Rainbow Reads and Free to be Me.
• Mind Yourself
• Doodle Starters
• Class Reads
• Rainbow Reads
• Free To Be Me