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Sarah Webb (Irish Independent) and Robert Dunbar (Irish Times): Review Round-Ups

Sarah Webb (Irish Independent) and Robert Dunbar (Irish Times): Review Round-Ups

As the festive buying begins so too do the media Best-of lists - and this year is no different.

Sarah Webb is in with the Irish Independent’s Round Up of books with a list that encompasses very early readers all the way up to teen fiction. (And a little more on illustrated fiction.)

Condensing a whole 12 months into a round-up that is useful for parents and other Christmas gift buyers is no easy matter. There is nothing better than reading a brilliant book aloud and I’ve included lots of great novels to share for that very reason. Happy reading! - Sarah Webb

And as if that wasn’t enough - Robert Dunbar’s column in the Irish Times encompasses diaries in their many formats - from I Capture the Castle to Natasha Farrant’s After Iris: The Diaries of Bluebell GadsbyMackenzie Crook’s The Lost Journal of Benjamin Tooth and Jeff Kinney‘s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck. 

It is difficult to resist a novel that begins with the sentence, “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink,” and continues with a succession of similarly quirky observations of sibling relationships, intimacies, rivalries and the pain and pleasure of first love. “I know all about the facts of life. And I don’t think much of them,” she informs us at one point.

Smith’s decision to use a diary format as her basic narrative device creates numerous opportunities for Cassandra to exhibit her perkiness, her understanding of irony, her perceptiveness and, it must be said, her occasional naivety. The prevailing tone is light-hearted, and there are interludes of high comedy. But in capturing the day-to-day existences of the Mortmains in the disintegrating Suffolk castle that is their home, Cassanda is also capable of sensing and recording the household’s more poignant moments. - Robert Dunbar (on I Capture the Castle

It’s beginning to feel a lot like… bah humbug.

Irish Book Awards: THE WINNERS

At last - it’s time to reveal the winners of the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards… with not one but TWO children’s books categories.

The Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year Jnr award goes to Benji Bennett.
A win that puts Benji in ahead of Mary Murphy, Chris Judge and Ann Carroll & Derry Dillon.

The Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year Snr award goes to the one and only Derek Landy!!
An incredible win that beats back stiff competition from John Boyne, Judi Curtin, debut Darragh Martin.

But wait, there’s more… LOTS more. Check out

2013 Costa Children’s Book Award

2013 Costa Children’s Book Award

As the Irish Book Awards announce their winners - the Costa Book of the Year hasn’t missed a beat with the announcement of their 2013 shortlist.

Hold onto your hats… the shortlist for the 2013 Costa Children’s Book Award is:

  • Ross Montgomery - Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door
  • Sarah Naughton - The Hanged Man Rises
  • Chris Riddell - Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse
  • Elizabeth Wein - Rose Under Fire


Illustrators Inc: What you missed

Illustrators Inc: What you missed

Earlier this month I snuck into Illustrators Inc. and spent an inspiring talking to illustrators, creatives, designers, publishers and a Laureate. If you missed out on the day itself - don’t miss out on the incredible presentations - from licensing, marketing all the way back to layout and design.

You can even relive the moment when Warren had everyone in the room design an app for kids…


Don’t believe me? Check out CBI’s site for that and a whole lot more!