Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ten Years of The Children’s Book Festival

October 14th 2005 - 0515 hrs, A Lonely Poet boards a train taking him from Cork to Dublin


OK, this is a slight exaggeration. I wasn’t lonely.  I was alone, due to my wife being unable to join me on my journey.  I was however too excited as I was travelling up to Dublin to give my first ever session for the Children’s Book Festival, the annual, countrywide celebration of Books and Reading, for DunLaoghaire-Rathdown Libraries.

It is now over ten years since this happened and I have done The Children’s Book Festival every year since then and it is the reason I really look forward to October.  The Joy I derive from boarding a Train on a brilliantly Autumnal day with the intention of sharing things I’ve created with a wonderfully receptive audience, who I hope enjoy it as much as me, is such that I find it difficult to put into words.   But nevertheless, the Joy is immense and it is down to this wonderful festival.

It started with me just reading my Poems to the Children, but it has grown to include Songs with me and my guitar and now I’m illustrating for the Children and getting them to illustrate too. Every Session is different, and the Audience participation sections are a total joy & splendidly received.

Thanks to this Festival I have been all over the Country of Ireland, as well as DunLaoghaire-Rathdown,  I’ve been to:

Westmeath, Cork City, Cork County, Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin, Mayo, Kilkenny, Clare, Monaghan, Donegal, Kildare and many more great places.

I’d like to Thank all the Library Services, and Librarians, that have facilitated me and allowed me to share my Art,  and I’d also like to send a Thank you to the organisation that created and puts on this wonderful festival, Children’s Books Ireland.  Also I'd Like to Thank Eileen O'Sullivan, who was Cork City Children's Librarian in 2005.  She gave me my first performance as part of Cork 2005, which made way for my sessions with the Children's book Festival.

This year, on the day of the tenth anniversary of my first performance, 14th October, I was Reading, Drawing & Singing at Westmeath Libraries.  My Wife, who has also been a participant for this festival, came with me this time, and we decided to make a bit of a break of it.  We stayed at Hodson Bay, Hotel on Lough Ree, and had a most relaxing time, Bird Watching and Chilling out at this most scenic of places…  In the middle of this was two wonderful performances of Songs, Verse and Illustrations for the Children of Westmeath…

Looking forward to next year’s festival…

More information on the Children's Book Festival, please use the following link: http://www.childrensbooksireland.com

Here’s a Few Photos from various Children’s Book Festivals through the past ten years…






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