Despite the wet weather it was great on the eve of World Book Day to go along to Dubray Books on Dublin’s Grafton Street for the launch of Ryan Tubridy and P.J. Lynch’s new picture book Patrick and the President which is about US President J.F. Kennedy’s visit to Ireland during the summer of 1963.
President Kennedy had a rapturous reception in Dublin before travelling down to New Ross to see the family homestead. His great-great grandfather Patrick Kennedy and his family had fled from there to America during the Great Famine. Ryan has a huge interest in JFK and has written about him previously but decided to do a book for children about the visit.
It was great to meet my good friend and former head of the National Library of Ireland, Pat Donlon there and to discover that P.J. had used her grandson Paddy Kelly as the model for Patrick, the boy in the book. Young Paddy is absolutely delighted to be on the cover of a book.
I headed off to nearby Idelwild afterwards for the crowded launch by Michael O’Brien of The O’Brien Press’ spring list with a wonderful array of new books and some brand new authors.
After a quiet January and February it is lovely to greet the spring with everyone talking about new books and writing.