From Malin Head to Mizen Head: Whole Wild World Bus Tour to set off on 1400km journey

February 2024
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Laureate na nÓg Patricia Forde has today announced the route and schedule of her upcoming, first-of-its-kind ‘Whole Wild World Bus Tour’, which will bring children’s writers and illustrators to schools, libraries, bookshops and cultural venues all along the west coast of Ireland this April.

Travelling on a multicolour, 30-seater coach, the tour begins at Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head in County Donegal, on Monday, 15th April and concludes at Kinsale Library in Cork on Sunday, 28th April. The tour will include stops at Easky, County Sligo; Furbo, County Galway; Ennistymon, County Clare; and Kilorglin in County Kerry, among others.

Forde will be accompanied by over thirty of Ireland’s favourite children’s authors and illustrators, visiting various points on the coastal roadshow to host workshops, readings and artist events for school groups, library groups and families.

The full line-up of artists and list of participating schools, bookshops, libraries and cultural venues can be found at the Laureate na nÓg website, below.

Speaking at the announcement of the route, Patricia Forde said: “I’m very excited at the prospect of meeting young readers and writers all the way from Malin to Mizen in April! This tour is about igniting imaginations and ensuring that Ireland will have another generation of great writers and illustrators, by bringing books and their creators to an audience that doesn’t often get a chance to meet them in their own local area. We will have so many exciting artists on board, hoping to inspire and to be inspired, to share stories and have lots of fun!”

Elaina Ryan, CEO of Children’s Books Ireland said: “It’s so important that our small towns, rural communities and more remote schools get access to really exciting and memorable experiences with Irish children’s books. Patricia Forde is our first Laureate na nÓg from the West of Ireland, and her goal with the Whole Wild World Bus Tour is to make sure that young readers all along the west coast get to meet some of our most talented writers and illustrators, and nurture the spark of creativity within themselves.”

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council said: “We are thrilled to support Patricia Forde’s ground-breaking ‘Whole Wild World Bus Tour’, a pioneering initiative that will bring the magic of Irish children’s literature to communities along the ‘wild’ west coast of Ireland. This innovative journey, set against the backdrop of some of Ireland’s most breathtaking landscapes, embodies the spirit of adventure and imagination that is at the heart of storytelling. Through workshops, readings, and artist events, children and families will have the unique opportunity to engage with their favourite authors and illustrators, which will hopefully nurture a love of literature and creativity for years to come. We commend Patricia Forde and all the participating authors and illustrators for their dedication to entertaining and inspiring young minds through the power of a story told well.”

Forde, who was announced as Laureate na nÓg in May 2023, is a native of Galway and has published over 20 titles for children of all ages, in Irish and English. As a former teacher, former director of the Galway Arts Festival, and co-founder of the Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, she is a long-standing advocate for children’s right to culture.

For more information, visit www.childrenslaureate.ie.

Don't forget, you can follow the journey on your favourite social media channels with the hashtag #WholeWildWorld