Nelson Mandela

The death of Nelson Mandela has saddened the whole world. Having visited Robben Island, where he was imprisoned for many long years…you realise the dignity, spirit and strength of the man and his quest for human rights, peace and tolerance. Hearing that we were from Ireland, the guides congratulated us on Ireland’s anti- apartheid stance and the courage of the Dunne’s Stores strikers who had refused to handle South African goods at that time.
So it is wonderful to see Mary Manning and some of the other Dunne’s strikers taking part in Nelson Mandela’s Funeral and the Commemorations of the great man’s life in South Africa. As the world says goodbye to Madiba…it is important that his message of ‘togetherness’ is not forgotten.

Wonderful Shanghai Book Fair

Back from a busy week at the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair.It was my first visit to China and I was very honoured to talk at the Book Fair itself and also to get the chance to meet publishers, editors, translators along with Chinese writers and readers. Ireland Literature Exchange had a stand at the Book Fair and Sinead MacAodha certainly flew the flag for Irish writing and books. She also very kindly introduced my event at the Fair.
Along with some great Chinese children’s writers I was asked to read at a packed evening event at Changning District Library. It was lovely to meet so many young readers who had come along with their parents.
Visiting a busy Shanghai School in a city of 20 million people was a highlight. Being given the chance to tour the school and meet and talk to some of their students about my books and writing was very special. I had a wonderful translator Fei who ensured that there was no problem with communicating over the few days.
I have learned so much about China and found its people open and welcoming and interested in books and writing and most of all imagination…

China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair

I’m really excited getting packed and ready to go to the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair in China this week. Hope to meet lots of lovely readers as I will be talking at ‘The Fair’ and also in a local school about my books. Full of curiosity to discover the world of Chinese children’s books and writing and am looking forward to meeting some Chinese children’s writers.

Shanghai Banner

Happy Halloween

School’s out and I’ve had a wonderful time during Children’s Book Festival meeting lots of you in libraries and schools all over the country. But now it’s time to tell a few spooky stories! Read a few spooky books and have a great Halloween Trick or Treating with your friends!

Children’s Book Festival 2013

The big annual Children’s Book Festival kicks off for the month of October.

I’m going to be busy visiting libraries and schools and bookshops all over the country, talking about books and reading and writing with lots of great young readers from all over Ireland.

I will be in Tipperary and Laois and Northern Ireland along with a few Dublin visits too. It’s always fun meeting everyone to talk about books. There will be lots of brilliant events all around Ireland so check out your local library or school library to see what’s happening and join in all the fun of the Festival!