Clotty Malotty and All Her Friends

This collection of old and new rhymes is the result of a series of workshops conducted over a six-week period. It was compiled, illustrated, edited and designed by children from the Tuesday Reading Club in St Joseph’s Girls’ National School in Finglas West, who were supported by personnel from Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership and Barnardos/TESO (Traveller Education Support Options) project. The purpose of the book is outlined in the opening comments by Winnie McDonagh of Barnados/TESO, while its practical contribution to children in a modern intercultural Ireland is suggested by Victoria Ryle of Kids’ Own.

The rhymes, from the settled and Traveller community of north Dublin, have a warm and authentic feel, reflecting genuine experience and real lives. The varied collection includes interesting, quirky and occasionally irreverent rhymes, some of which will strike a familiar chord with adult readers. The brightly coloured cover, featuring Clotty Malotty and her friends, has instant appeal. The three-dimensional illustrations are worked in plasticine, a medium with which many young readers will identify. Vivid, lively and full of movement they contribute much to the overall success of the book. The use of different coloured backgrounds works well too. Readers who enjoy new words might appreciate a footnote to explain one or two unfamiliar ones in the first rhyme.