Marian Finucane Saturday 14 December 2019
Elaina Ryan from Children's Books Ireland and her picks for books to buy kids this Christmas.
For early readers
Scúnc agus Smúirín by Muireann Ní Chíobháin, illustrated by Paddy Donnelly (0+) - A beautiful Irish picturebook.
Don’t Worry, Little Crab! by Chris Haughton (age 3+) Warmth and humour dominate this story about the mixed emotions of a little one experiencing new situations.
Tiny and Teeny by Chris Judge (age 3+) - themes of community spirit and kindness about. Perfect for kids who enjoyed the vibrant colour of the Trolls movie.
For children aged 4 – 8
Boot: Small Robot, Big Adventure by Shane Hegarty, illustrated by Ben Mantle - A small robot is on an adventure in this book - perfect for fans of Toy Story and Wall-E.
GIY’s Know-it-Allmanac: GIY’s Ultimate Family Guide to Growing and Cooking Food Through the Year, written by Michael Kelly and Muireann Ní Chíobháin, illustrated by Fatti Burke (family, age 5+) – A child’s almanac guide to growing and cooking food throughout the year.
Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story by Sean Taylor and Alex Morss, illustrated by Cinyee Chiu (age 4–7) - A cosy bedtime story where we follow a child and his grandma through a winter landscape and explore how the earth goes to sleep for winter. Perfect for the budding ecologist out there.
For children aged 9+
Dare to Dream: Irish People Who Took On The World (And Won!) written by SARAH WEBB AND ILLUSTRATED BY GRAHAM CORCORAN. - Non-fiction book featuring Irish adventurers, explorers, inventors and dreamers.
The Star Outside my Window by Onjali Q. Raúf - This is the same author who brought us The Boy at the Back of the Class. This time we meet 10-year-old Aniyah who is living in foster care. Themes include the impacts of domestic violence and the book celebrates the power of hope and resilience.
The Deepest Breath by Meg Grehan (age 10+) - This short book is a verse novel so great for children who are intimidated by very long books. Themes of sexuality are explored as the main character finds she might have a crush on a girl.
FOR YOUNG ADULTS
The M Word by Brian Conaghan (young adult) - The storytelling here is compelling with funny and on-point dialogue. There are elements of real darkness including themes around self-harm. Like a Nick Hornby book for teens – with a dark side!
Becoming Dinah by Kit de Waal (young adult) - This is a story featuring a road trip that reminds Elaina of the film Little Miss Sunshine. This novel features LGBTQI+ protagonists.
Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan (young adult) - This is a beautifully written book, unsettling, strange and original. It features 16-year-old twins Catlin and Madeline moving to a small, isolated Irish town. Missing teenagers, witchcraft and falling in love all feature as themes.
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