Treat yourself to reading with an Irish children’s book this Christmas

For me, Christmas has always been a story of history. The magic of Dickens, the annoying grumpy man – crawling to the sofa after dinner with a thin pie and a new book is a sacred tradition in our house.

Once again the story of this Christmas is, if not new, at least a little uncertain. One thing we do know is that putting a good book under the tree is the perfect way to spread some positivity, creating a wave of support from Irish booksellers to publishers, authors and illustrators, and bringing an exciting new story. to a young reader who will cherish him for years to come.

Our new reading guide, Give the Joy of Reading, encourages you to do so. Deliver the Joy of Reading has over 140 new reviews to help you find the perfect children’s book, with a megaphone symbol guiding you to our 40 ‘new voices’ – from emerging and established authors and illustrators who started out for their kids in 2021. You can browse a few of them below, or bring us with you when you buy a gift by downloading the guide for free at

Happy shopping from all of us at Children’s Books Ireland, and a very Merry Christmas.

Elaine ryan
CEO, Children’s Books Ireland

Great Dance by Aoife Greenham
Child’s Play, £ 6.99
Pippa is both amazed and worried when she learns of the special moves her family and friends are preparing for the Big Dance. What if she didn’t? Before she realizes it, Pippa sulks, and it will take everyone’s understanding, patience and love to make her understand that dancing can only be “great” if she participates in it. The reflections of this charming debut on the individual and the collective are complemented by a riot of colors and shapes. (Age 2-4)

Christmas greetings from Evie by Siobhán Parkinson, illustrated by Sharon Bergin
Little Island Books, € 16.99
Born on Christmas Eve, Evie has a special relationship with Christmas, and like most children her age, she has wishes – lots of wishes! School plays, pantomimes, baking, decoration, Christmas carols – this little book perfectly captures the magnificence of the holiday season. The illustrations by first artist Sharon Bergin are fantastic – the magic of snow, twinkling lights, surprises, visitors and maybe, just maybe, wishes come true is overwhelming. (4-6 years old)

A Field Guide to Leaflings: Guardians of the Trees by Owen Churcher, illustrated by Niamh Sharkey
Templar Books, £ 12.99
This interactive picture book of famous Niamh Sharkey and newcomer Owen Churcher contains a wealth of knowledge about trees. Our guides, the leaves, invite us into their world where we discover the familiar oak and holly, and the perhaps lesser known and fascinating kapok or Huangshan pine. Illustrations, flip flaps, and text will keep busy readers entertained through many re-readings. It is a celebration of the majesty and beauty of trees and all who love and protect them. (4-8 years old)

Tree Dogs, Banshee Fingers and other Irish words for nature by Manchán Magan, illustrated by Steve Doogan
Gill Books, € 17.99
The only hint of color in this book is on the cover, which might sound odd for a nature book, but nothing could be further from the truth. The black-on-white linocuts along with the bronze graphic elements and the rich, visually descriptive text carry such dynamism that the result is breathtaking with its vibrancy. A glossary with helpful phonetic pronunciations puts an end to this absolute gem of a book. A love letter to our national language. (Non fiction, 5-7 years old, 8-12 years old)

Ceol na Sióg by Gráinne Holland maisithe ag Mr Ando
A tSnáthaid Mhór, £ 20
Nuair a bhíonn focail, íomhánna agus ceol ag obair as lámha a chéile, bíonn draíocht ann. Sa leabhar seo, a bhfuil dlúthdhiosca ag gabháil leis, tá dhá amhrán déag le Gráinne Holland. Tá léaráidí the Mr. Ando (Andrew Whitson) ag gabháil the gach amhrán agus tá siad á gcanadh go binn ag Seán Óg Graham ar an dlúthdhiosca, the tionlacan ó Niamh Dunne agus Brian Finnegan. Éiríonn go han-mhaith leis an gcomhshaothar seo, nó léirítear mistéir agus draíocht tharraingteach an dúlra leis an gceol agus an leabhar, agus déantar iad a cheiliúradh. (Aois 6-10)

The little squirrel who worried about Katie O’Donoghue
Gill Books, € 12.99
This book has all the feel of a classic, with color vignettes scattered throughout its chapters. Grounded in both the art and science of psychotherapy, the story of Little Squirrel, who worries about venturing outside to stock up for the winter, is a timely and recognizable story for young and old. We’ve all had amazing times, and this book gently teaches coping skills, the value of friendship and asking for help, and the importance of knowing we’re not alone. It would also work as a read aloud to a younger audience. (7-9 years old)

Titanic Rescue: A True Story of Quiet Bravery in the North Atlantic by Flora Delargy
Wide Eyed Editions, £ 14.99
In this remarkable debut film, writer-illustrator Delargy tells the story of a group of ordinary people who have become heroes in times of crisis, celebrating the best of humanity while sensitively acknowledging grief and suffering. of that fateful night. The action jumps between the incredibly large and luxurious Titanic and the modest and mundane Carpathia. Text flows seamlessly; the illustrations, a mix of bold double pages and small, highly detailed panels, are breathtaking. Vast scenes of panicked crowds and quiet little moments are captured with equal skill. (Non fiction, 8 years and over)

Breaking News: How To Tell What Is Real From What Is Waste By Nick Sheridan, Illustrated By David O’Connell
Simon & Schuster, £ 9.99
In this informative and hilarious first film for children, journalist Nick Sheridan offers readers an overview of the world of news, real and fake. A brief history of newspapers takes us from the Romans to the present day, while tips and workouts train the budding ‘newbies’ to ‘sniff the real poo’. Breaking News allows readers to cut through the noise, including tips for when it all gets too loud. A must read for all young news consumers. (Non-fiction, 9-11 years old)

The Great Irish Politics Book by David McCullough, illustrated by Graham Corcoran
Gill Books, € 22.99
In the introduction, politics is explained both as the big decisions made by government and the “small” decisions we make every day. All decisions have a cause and an effect. The historical context of Ireland’s journey towards a republic and democracy takes us from clans, through monarchy, to today’s political system, which is explained in detail. Taxes, elections, the constitution, referendums, rights and issues, media and Ireland’s place on the world stage are all covered. This book does a brilliant job of breaking politics for young readers. (Non fiction, 9-15 years old)

What Love Looks Like By Jarlath Gregory
The O’Brien press, € 9.99
Meet Ben, 17, gay and looking for love. Refreshingly honest, but at times naive, Ben has it all figured out – teacher training awaits him, family life is good. Her best friends, Chelsea and Soda, bring life tips and advice on the joys and dangers of love with their own compelling stories in Dublin’s contemporary LGBTQ + community. Navigating bullying, anti-LGBTQ + sentiment and the north / south vision of “coming out” in Ireland, Gregory gives a realistic and upbeat picture of the lives of Irish teenagers exploring their sexuality. (Young adult age)
Deliver the Joy of Reading is available for free in 39 bookstores across the island of Ireland and will be distributed by NI Libraries. The guide can also be downloaded from #DeliverJoy

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