Books Make Things Better

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

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

    • 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 gave visibility to authors and illustrators who had lost the opportunity to publicise their new books through bookshop launches and events. It raised awareness of Irish-published children’s books, drove footfall to Irish bookshops and helped to create a sense of community and belonging by encouraging families to share a book at bedtime.

In October 2020 when the project launched, over 1,000 Irish-published illustrated books were gifted to children in DEIS schools, family hubs and direct provision centres.

In December, Children’s Books Ireland gifted a bedtime story to children all over Ireland as they faced into a difficult Christmas. With the support of the Arts Council and KPMG, 6,000 Irish books were gifted to children and young people in centres of direct provision, hospitals and homeless services nationwide.

There are currently over 2,100 children in centres of direct provision and over 2,500 in homeless accommodation or accessing homeless services. With the help of charity partners – including Barnardos, Focus Ireland, Children In Hospital Ireland, and St Vincent De Paul – books were gifted to children and families across the country so that they could share a bedtime story at Christmas.

Last year Children’s Books Ireland, with the support of its partners, has donated over 16,000 books to children and young people in family hubs, schools, hospitals and homeless services across the country. We are championing every child’s right to experience the joy of reading, regardless of their circumstances, and with your support we can provide more children and young people with access to books. Donate €12 today to #GiftABook and help us bring the joy of reading into more young lives in 2021.

Books Make Things Better Xmas Edition

Hear from our featured artists

View the New Voices trailer

Participating Bookshops

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.

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 Glucksman University College Cork, 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

Woodbine Books, Kildare

Woulfes Bookshop, Kerry


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