THE Children’s Book Festival runs for the month of October every year and sees libraries, schools and bookshops across Laois and the rest of the country hosting events with the very best Irish and international children’s writers and illustrators.
The 2010 festival comprised of more than 1,200 events and involved almost 50,000 young readers spread across every county in Ireland.
In 2011 Laois Libraries staged almost 50 events at the 10 branch libraries around the county which were attended by over 500 children. With everything from readings by popular authors, to writing and illustration workshops, plus storytelling, quizzes and competitions - there were countless opportunities for children all over the county to come to their local library and enjoy books.
2012 marks the twenty-second consecutive year of the CBI Children’s Book Festival. The festival is a huge national event which is financially supported by long-standing sponsorship partners Foras na Gaeilge, Poetry Ireland and the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency. The continued support of these agencies helps to maintain the festival as a truly national event.
As well as hosting events at libraries and other venues, each year the CBI Children’s Book Festival hosts national competitions for students and library users from 5 - 18 years of age. Entry forms are usually available in libraries and on the CBI website. Libraries will run its own competition during the course of the festival. Entries for this competition are available in all of the branch libraries and winning entrants are invited to a prize-giving ceremony at one of the branches where prizes are awarded and the work of the winners are displayed. Recent competitions have included colouring competitions and book-cover design competitions.
This year Laois Libraries will be hosting a number of fantastic free events for children all over the county to take part in. Best selling Irish author Judi Curtain will be visiting Portlaoise and Abbeyleix Libraries. Judi is known and loved for her ‘Alice’ books amongst others.
There will also be visits to Ballylinan, Portlaoise and Stradbally libraries by Joe O’ Brien (of Alfie Green fame) and up and coming young Irish writer Kieran Mark Crowley will be reading from his ‘Colm’ series at Mountmellick and Portarlington libraries. Other visits include Maeve Friel who will visit Mountmellick, Portarlington, Durrow and Rathdowney. Michael Smith, whose wonderful book on antarctic explorer Tom Crean is loved by children of all ages, will visit Mountmellick and Portlaoise libraries.
Various classes from schools around the county have been invited to the above events. Besides the above events there are plenty of other book related events for young readers to get their teeth into. A county wide writing competition will run for the month of October and entry forms are available at local libraries.
Younger readers can draw a picture of their favourite character from a book and write a short piece explaining why they like this character and older readers will have to prove their writing skills by writing 500 words about their favourite character. For more contact each of the libraries.