Watch out for Bold Girls in 2018!

BOLD GIRLS aims is to break down societal barriers and to instil confidence in girls and young women by showing them female characters in children’s books with agency, power and opinions, addressing at a young age some of the issues that stand in the way of women achieving their ambitions, whether that be in leadership, in government, in the arts. BOLD GIRLS will highlight and review books that feature strong, intelligent, self-possessed female protagonists in children’s books, as well as celebrating twenty female Irish authors and illustrators, both emerging and established, who have made an exceptional contribution to the canon of Irish children’s literature.

We’re delighted to be presenting Bold Girls with our partners Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, KPMG Families for Literacy Program, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University and the G-Book Project and the National Women’s Council of Ireland.

For the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland in 2018, Children’s Books Ireland’s BOLD GIRLS project celebrates strong, confident, intelligent, brave women and girls in children’s books, giving them much-needed visibility alongside their male counterparts. The project comprises:

·      The BOLD GIRLS Reading Guide, an 88-page publication reviewing 167 children’s books (in English and the Irish language) which feature strong women and girls, for readers aged 0–18.

·      Feature pages highlight 20 excellent Irish female children’s authors and illustrators, including former Laureates and award-winners.

·      BOLD GIRLS live literature events will take place in partnership with festivals and venues island-wide and internationally (including the Hay Festival in the UK and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair).

·      A school resource pack will be produced based on 20 books from the guide, catering for both primary and secondary schools and inviting students to engage with books and reading in creative ways, as well as asking important questions around gender, equality and stereotypes. The pack will be free to download from Children’s Books Ireland’s website from March 2018.

·      BOLD GIRLS school events will take place in the weeks around the launch, bringing the BOLD GIRLS theme to World Book Day in partnership with KPMG’s Families for Literacy.

·      A BOLD GIRLS exhibition in the Long Room at the Old Library, Trinity College Dublin, will place a number of texts on display to celebrate the achievements of Irish women writers and illustrators, from the 18th century to the present day. The exhibition will be curated by staff from the School of English, Dr Pádraic Whyte and Dr Jane Carroll, along with students from the master’s programme in children’s literature at Trinity College, and will run for three months. The exhibition will serve as a refreshing visual contrast to the all-male busts of writers and thinkers that currently line the Long Room.

·      BOLD GIRLS will launch on March 8th 2018: International Women’s Day, at the Old Library in Trinity College. We are grateful to our partners and funders, including Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, KPMG, Dublin City University and Trinity College Dublin.

CBI is delighted to be working with illustrator, designer and picturebook maker Kathi (Fatti) Burke who has created the BOLD GIRLS imagery and visual identity for the project.

Watch this space in the new year as we announce the 20 featured BOLD GIRLS artists throughout the month of January.