Friday, 26 November 2010

Story Spark Sparked Off

 And in great style at that. Last Monday saw the great and the good of the Irish children's books scene with a crowd of authors, illustrators, storytellers, facilitators and young readers from far and wide (but mostly from Bray!).

Joseph O'Connor officially opened proceedings with a fantastic speech, which you can read on The Ark's blog (here). But I can't resist giving you the last paragraph of it:
"And I also believe, without his solidarity and courage, that his life, and therefore mine, would have been different indeed. All my life I have been given chances he did not have. The same is true of many of us. It’s hard not to be scared when times change very suddenly, as they have for many of us in what seems only a few months. But to read with a child can never be taxed, to believe there are deeper solidarities than the merely financial. Things were not better in the old days. Nobody sane could say that. But the example of that generation of Irish people has much to offer. It could be a time to remember the story of where we came from. It will help us write the story of where we’re going. For a story, in order to work, needs to have a good ending. And the story of our country and of our city is far from over, despite these times. The story gives us back our dignity, our passion, our pride, our courage, our solidarity, our pleasure, our sense of wonder, and to know there are young readers here in this room tonight is a cause of pride and celebration for all of us. I am honoured to be among them, and blessed, and fortunate. They represent the greatest values we have, the values that will see us through, and the future of the Irish story."

This week-end will see the kick-off of the series of public events, with Derek Landy and Anthony McGowan on Saturday, and Roddy Doyle and Frank Cottrell Boyce on Sunday.
Now be quick and book them tickets!

Irish Book Award Winners

I mentionned earlier that YOU were the ones to decide the winners of the 2010 IBA, and so, you have. Of course, there's all sorts of ''adult'' category prizes (which you can chexk out here for example), but since we're between kidlit addicts, I'll just announce the winners of the children's fiction awards. In the Junior category, Niamh Sharkey snatched the prize with On the Road with Mavis and Marge. Derek Landy's Mortal Coil (that's Skuldugery 5) won the senior section. Well done all!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Alcatraz, book 3

These days, I'm busy doing lots of things, one of which being the translation of Alcatraz Versus the Kights of Crystallia into French. Like the other two books, it's fast and fun, and it has its share of untranslatable puns, including something to do with riding hogs (as in bikes... or pigs) (precisely). I shall try my best!

Thursday, 11 November 2010


(c) fixedgear
 Following a fellow French-kidlit-writer-living-in-Dublin's suggestion, my French website is hosting a ''Tandem Fair'' where writers and illustrators are invited to send projects and find partners in crime to bring said projects as far as they will go. Writers will send me excerpts of text and illustrators one or a couple of pics, and I'll post the lot on the blog page on December 1st. The ''fair'' will then move on to another blog for another month. Watch this space!

PS: all welcome, although some command of French a plus! ;o)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


I am delighted to say that I will be roaming the aisles of the children's bookfair of Montreuil (near Paris) this December: manning the children's writers and illustrators' Charter's stall (, signing my Christmas opus on Hachette's patch and generally loitering and going 'oooh' and 'aaah' and spending plenty of money on my own crimbo list. If you're in the vicinity, do pop in!

Monday, 8 November 2010


Impressed yet? Here are the results of my paper-folding efforts at the weekend. Santas, samourai hats, butterflies, bells and what have you. Now Mad Cap, I know what it feels like!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Research (ahem!)

Tomorrow I'm off to the National Print Museum to do a bit of research... aka an origami workshop. The aim of this make-and-do adventure is not at all to have fun and get some deadly handmade xmas decorations, but to get a better understanding of the deeper being of Mad Cap, a heroine of mine which some of you will have heard of. Mad Cap, you see, is big into origami and well, one needs to know what one's creation is talking about, right?

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Something fun

That should bring in a bit of sunshine on this liquidy-wet Thursday...
The pics are by Raphaelle Laborde, a French illustrator with as much talent as sense of humour. Raphaelle recently did the pictures for my Sardine Tin Fairy. Since then, she's been working on a Bollywood adaptation of the Perrault tales! Here's Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Sari! Head over to her blogpost to see a couple more.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Here we go again!

It's official! This year again, I have the immense honour and pleasure to be invited at the Bisto Book of the Year Award's jury table. My co-judges this year are Jennifer Carpenter, Valerie Coghlan, Hannah Deacon (our ''young'' judge), Anne Fine (our ''international'' judge), Joe Kelly, Ríona Nic Congáil and Finian O’Shea. The chair is Keith O'Sullivan and the admin wonder is Aoiffe Murray (more detail on who we are here).
There's plenty to read, probably more than last year, with some very serious contenders already popping up in our heavy bags of books. Exciting!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Mo Willems talks to us

Well, not directly, but it's fascinating stuff so it should be shared by many. Thanks to Maeve who linked to the post on the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database.
Here's an introductory snippet, in case you haven't already rushed to read the whole thing:
"My job is to write incomprehensible books for illiterates." A literary rock star, Mo has published over thirty children's books receiving critical and commercial success. He spoke to the Children's Book Guild of Washington DC about his creative process, his views on writing and illustrating, and the importance of emotional truth in books.