Books Make Things Better

An exciting campaign with the Arts Council of Ireland to give visibility to authors and illustrators.

2020 has been an extraordinarily difficult year for the Irish literature sector and in response Children’s Books Ireland – supported by the Arts Council – are launching the Books Make Things Better reading campaign in the week leading up to Culture Night on Friday, 18 September. The campaign supports and promotes the Irish children’s literature sector through the publication of the Books Make Things Better reading guide – a 32-page publication that highlights children’s books published in 2020 by Irish authors, illustrators, and publishers, with original cover artwork by Oliver Jeffers. The guide features:

    • snappy reviews of 108 children’s books, in both the English and Irish language, for 0–18-year-olds
    • 123 Irish authors, illustrators and translators
    • 13 Irish publishers

The Books Make Things Better campaign will give visibility to authors and illustrators who have lost the opportunity to publicise their new books through bookshop launches and events. It will raise awareness of Irish-published children’s books, drive footfall to Irish bookshops and help to create a sense of community and belonging by encouraging families to share a book at bedtime on Culture Night. An animated video and bilingual reading of To the Island/An t-Oileán Thiar by Patricia Forde and Nicola Bernardelli will go live on our YouTube channel at 5pm on Friday 18th – tune in and share a bedtime story on Culture Night!


The project will also see a gift of over 1,000 Irish-published illustrated books going to children in DEIS schools, family hubs and direct provision centres. The books being gifted are:

Special thanks to all the publishers, libraries and Bookselling Ireland for their support on this initiative. You can pick up a copy of the guide in participating libraries and bookshops nationwide.

The Books Make Things Better reading guide and book gifting project is a partnership initiative of Children’s Books Ireland and The Arts Council for Culture Night 2020.

Participating Bookshops

Alexander’s of Ballybofey, Donegal

An Siopa Leabhar, Baile Átha Cliath

Antonia’s Bookstore, Meath

Banner Books, Clare

Barker and Jones, Kildare

Book Centre, Waterford

Books At One, Mayo

Books Upstairs, Dublin

Bookstór, Contae Chorcaí

Bookworm Bookshop, Tipperary

Dubray Books, Blackrock, Dublin

Dubray Books, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

Dubray Books, Grafton Street, Dublin

Dubray Books, Liffey Valley, Dublin

Dubray Books, Rathmines, Dublin

Dubray Books, Stillorgan, Dublin

Dubray Books, Galway

Dubray Books, Wicklow

Fermoy Books, Cork

Fitzgerald’s Bookshop, Cork

Kinsale Bookshop, Cork

Liber, Sligo

Halfway up the Stairs, Wicklow

Hampton Books, Dublin

Hodges Figgis, Dublin

I E S Ltd., Kildare

Kenny’s Bookshop, Galway

Manor Books Ltd, Dublin

Sheelagh na Gig Bookshop, Tipperary

The Book Centre, Kilkenny

The Book Centre, Wexford

The Bookmark, Ashbourne

The BookShop, Dublin

The Carrigaline Bookshop, Cork

The Gutter Bookshop, Cow’s Lane, Dublin

The Gutter Bookshop, Dalkey, Dublin

The Maynooth Bookshop, Kildare

Vibes & Scribes, Cork

Waterstones, Antrim

Waterstones, Cork

Waterstones, Louth

Woulfes Bookshop, Kerry


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