Deliver the Joy of Reading reading guide 2021

Published in 2021, the Deliver the Joy of Reading reading guide highlights books by Irish authors, illustrators and publishers for children and young people
aged 0–18. Following on from the huge success of the Books Make Things Better reading guide produced in 2020, this guide was produced in response to the global Covid–19 pandemic as a support to Irish artists, publishers, libraries and bookshops in an effort to encourage the public to read, buy and share new titles by Irish creatives.

"The richness and diversity of the books produced here for children is remarkable, and we are confident that there is something for everyone in this bumper Christmas guide."

In an uncertain world, one thing is sure: buying an excellent Irish children’s book in your local bookshop creates waves of positivity. Not only does a young reader get absorbed in a brilliant book, but you're also supporting authors, illustrators, translators, publishers and booksellers in Ireland. Over the last eighteen months, the literature sector has weathered the storm, and readers have found comfort and escape in the pages of great books. Reading has been vital for so many, and through the innovation of our authors and illustrators our publishers and event organisers, many young readers attended online events and festivals, keeping the buzz around reading alive in their homes.

Many publications which were planned for 2020 were delayed, given the long bookshop closures and other restrictions. As a result 2021 is proving to be a bountiful year for children’s books from Ireland – we are seeing record numbers of début authors and illustrators, large numbers of creators from Northern Ireland and a hugely increased output in general: in this guide we review over 144 books (up from 108 last year), in English and Irish, for children and young people aged 0 to 18. In the pages that follow you’ll find ghost stories, Christmas tales, historical fiction, funny books, board books for babies, songbooks, nature themed non-fiction and romance for young adults. And that’s just for starters.


Cover illustration by Flora Delargy