Mind Yourself

The Mind Yourself Resource Pack for Primary Schools This Mind Yourself Resource Pack is a companion publication to the Mind Yourself: The Mental Health and Wellbeing Reading Guide  which was produced in response to the pandemic in 2020. The guide was a ‘firstaid kit’ for worries, sadness, loneliness, anxiety and any number of feelings and hopefully a great many young readers found relief and solace in seeing their lives reflected on the page and gained an understanding of what others may be quietly going through.   For this resource, we have taken twenty-one of these titles and explored them further, creating a useful guide for ages 0–12, with questions, activities and other suggested resources. The age-ranges attached to each title are a suggested guideline, you will know your class or reading group better. Very often the suggested activities are suitable for all ages, even when the book itself is recommended for older or younger readers (and remember older children gain great benefits by reading picturebooks – so don’t be afraid to use all the titles for older groups). You could always run the activity ‘without’ the book, or use it to complement your exploration of an entirely different book altogether. The… Read More

Mind Yourself – the Mental Health and Wellbeing Reading Guide

The Covid-19 pandemic is a considerable source of worry for children and families, and young people are having to cope with big changes at home and at school. In response, Children’s Books Ireland, in partnership with Jigsaw and ISPCC Childline, has created Mind Yourself – the Mental Health and Wellbeing Reading Guide.

Featuring cover artwork by illustrator Tarsila Krüse, The Mind Yourself reading guide is a resource that can be used by adults – parents, guardians, caregivers, teachers – to support and educate young people in relation to mental health and wellbeing. The guide contains reviews and recommendations of over 400 books for children and young people from birth to age eighteen and is designed as a ‘first-aid kit’ for worries, sadness, loneliness, anxiety and any number of feelings that a young person may want to explore. Mind Yourself also contains mental health and wellbeing information from Jigsaw and ISPCC Childline, including tips and coping strategies for young people and advice for adults on supporting children to build resilience.

Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, said:
Mind Yourself was born in a pandemic and is published during an unprecedented time as children and young people return to school following a period of isolation. We want to recognise the very valid feelings that may arise during this time and to provide support for adults who may need a way to start a difficult conversation with a younger person, perhaps by reading a story aloud with them, by leaving a book on their bed with a note or by giving them this guide with a book token to find their own way through it. As always, we want our guides to enable children and young people – with the help of a family member, carer, teacher or librarian – to find the right book for them at a particular time, and if they’re struggling, to tóg sos le scéal or lighten the load with a book.

Mind Yourself

The Covid-19 pandemic is a considerable source of worry for children and families, and young people are having to cope with big changes at home and at school. In response, Children’s Books Ireland, in partnership with Jigsaw and ISPCC Childline, is launching Mind Yourself – the Mental Health and Wellbeing Reading Guide today (Monday, October 5th 2020). October 10th is World Mental Health Day – an international event that promotes mental health education and awareness. A recent UNICEF report found that children and young people in Ireland are struggling with their mental health, with Ireland placing 26th in the survey of 38 OECD countries when it comes to the mental wellbeing of children. As readers, we know the comfort books can provide during a difficult time and there is robust evidence to support this: reading for pleasure can have a positive effect on mental wellbeing, can build empathy in children and young people and is positively linked to better outcomes in later life. The Mind Yourself reading guide is a resource that can be used by adults – parents, guardians, caregivers, teachers – to support and educate young people in relation to mental health and wellbeing. The guide contains reviews… Read More

ESB Energy for Generations Fund supports Children’s Books Ireland to gift reading packs to summer camps for marginalised and disadvantaged children

Children’s Books Ireland is conscious of the profound impact of the pandemic and related school closures on children’s reading, as well as on their mental health and wellbeing, particularly for children from marginalised or disadvantaged communities or those living in difficult circumstances. We are pleased to announce that the ESB Energy for Generations Fund is supporting Children’s Books Ireland to gift specially-designed reading packs to summer camps and activities for children aged 5–12 from marginalised or disadvantaged communities nationwide. Thanks to ESB’s generous support, we are providing €10,000 worth of books and resources to groups and organisations that service and support children who are socio-economically disadvantaged, homeless, asylum seekers, members of the Traveller and Roma communities, or experiencing domestic abuse or other difficult circumstances. The books and resources have been carefully selected from our Mind Yourself project, produced in partnership with Jigsaw and ISPCC Childline, to promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. This July, a total of twenty-seven packs have been distributed nationwide to the following groups and organisations: – Aisling Project, Ballymun (Dublin 9) – COPE Galway (Galway) – Direct Provision centres (Donegal, Meath) – Every Child is Your Child (Direct Provision centres in Limerick, Galway, Cork, and Tipperary)… Read More

The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal with the Community Foundation for Ireland

Children’s Books Ireland was delighted to have been chosen as one of three charity partners for the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal with the Community Foundation for Ireland last November. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Irish public, €6.6 million was raised on the night and we are thrilled to receive €302,690 of that to bring us closer to our vision: Every Child A Reader. We would like to sincerely thank the Late Late Toy Show viewers for their generosity, and RTÉ and the Community Foundation for Ireland for selecting us as a charity partner. Children’s Books Ireland champions every child’s right to discover and develop a love of reading. We know that there are many children who do not have access to books at home, or do not have a culture of reading in the home. There are families where literacy or language issues may prevent a parent or guardian from nurturing a love of reading in a child. We choose to focus not just on promoting reading in families, but also on encouraging a positive culture around reading for enjoyment in schools, and working to overcome barriers that keep children and young people from accessing excellent books which… Read More

Ireland Reads on Today with Claire Byrne

Libraries Ireland is collaborating with writers, booksellers, publishers and others to lead a new national campaign, ‘Ireland Reads’, during the month of February. This is part of the government-backed KeepWell initiative. The campaign will encourage everyone to discover the joy of reading and will culminate in a national day of reading on Thursday, February 25th. It’s all about promoting the power of reading for enjoyment and wellbeing – combatting lockdown by encouraging people to get back into the habit of reading and regularly setting aside time to sit and read a book, a poem, a comic, a newspaper, an ebook or audiobook; whatever works for them. The website is now live and we are asking people to go and pledge their support for Ireland Reads – sign up and pledge to read for an hour, or half an hour, or whatever you can manage. Children’s Books Ireland is a supporting partner and we are encouraging readers of all ages to get involved. For the launch of Ireland Reads, which is all about dropping everything and reading just for the love of it, we’ve gathered together a selection of books that may help a child see themselves reflected on the page,… Read More

Christmas Reads on RTÉ Today

The One With the Waggly Tail by Sarah Webb and Steve McCarthy (age 2+) This is the third book from super-team Sarah Webb and Steve McCarthy, published by the O’Brien Press, each of them gathering well-loved rhymes from an Irish childhood. Some of the pieces included will be familiar to children in any part of the world (1,2,3,4,5, Once I caught a fish alive) and some are new, or more uniquely Irish (Connemara Cradle Song). Plenty of classic nursery rhymes can be found here and all are given a fresh lease of life with Steve McCarthy’s brilliant illustrations, tied together by the colour palette we see on the front cover. A hardback with a ribbon to hold your place, this is a perfect gift for young families and will suit children aged two to much older. MÍP le Máire Zepf agus Paddy Donnelly (age 3+) MÍP is blasted off to Mars to capture images of alien life there, but try as she might, there are no aliens to be found… or are there? When an storm happens and MÍP loses contact with earth, the scientists who made her are devastated. But with a little help, MÍP manages to reactivate. Based… Read More

Ardú chroí: Children’s Books Ireland’s 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us and for Children’s Books Ireland it’s been an extraordinarily rewarding one too. As the year draws to a close, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on all we’ve achieved over the past twelve months and to thank our members, donors, partners and funders for supporting us along the way. We recently published our new Strategic Plan for 2020–2023, which outlines the vision, mission, aims and objectives, and values of our organisation. Our first strategic aim is to inspire and enable more children and young people to become readers for life, and the crucial first step in achieving that is to provide access to books. This year, with the support of our partners, we gifted over 18,000 books to children and young people all over Ireland. Children’s Books Ireland champions every child’s right to discover and develop a love of reading and, through our book-gifting initiatives in 2020, we have provided that opportunity to children and young people in schools, homeless services, direct provision, the Travelling Community, hospitals, and to babies in mixed-catchment areas. Casting our minds back to a time before Covid-19, in February we launched Small Print:… Read More

Bookbag at St. Catherine’s Infant School

Bookbag 2020 Bookbag is a children’s book-gifting initiative established by picturebook maker and creator of the Henry Hugglemonster series, Niamh Sharkey, during her term as Laureate na nÓg (2012–2014). The project is delivered in partnership with Brown Bag Films and Children’s Books Ireland and aimed at schools in areas of disadvantage, which may not have the necessary resources to fund author or illustrator visits or books for a school library. The Bookbag project builds a buzz around reading and encourages a whole-school reading culture, which should be sustainable beyond the duration of the project. Bookbag ensures that every child in the school has access to at least one book in their home. The books gifted are chosen carefully: they are visually striking, entertaining, funny and engaging; the type of book that we hope will draw in a child who does not already think of themselves as a reader. This year, the winning school was St Catherine’s Infant School, a DEIS Band 1 school in Cabra. This small school of 138 students teaches children from junior infants to first class, as well as two Stars ASD classes. They told us of their need for brilliant new books to excite their pupils. Their enthusiasm was… Read More

The Robert Dunbar Memorial Libraries – open for applications

Four libraries of at least 300 books each to be donated to schools Children’s Books Ireland is proud to announce the fourth annual Robert Dunbar Memorial Libraries, named in memory of our former patron and long-time friend of the organisation. Robert was a critic, editor and teacher, a pioneer of the study of children’s literature in Ireland and a true champion for children’s books and their creators. Throughout his career as a secondary school teacher, he was instrumental in the establishment and running of school libraries, and later, as a lecturer in and commentator on children’s literature, he strongly supported schools in the inauguration and maintaining of collections of books which would enhance the lives of their students. After his death, his family suggested that instead of sending flowers, if wished, book tokens could be donated to local schools. As a way of honouring Robert’s significant contribution to our organisation and to children’s literature and reading in Ireland, Children’s Books Ireland will make an award of four libraries of books of at least 300 books each. Children’s Books Ireland invites applications from all schools, primary and secondary, in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Apply online now, closing date… Read More