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
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
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
Woodbine Books, Kildare
Woulfes Bookshop, Kerry