World Book Day Recommendations on Ireland AM

World Book Day is an annual celebration of books and reading observed in over 100 countries around the globe. To mark the occasion this year, Children’s Books Ireland is making a special gift of 1,100 books to children and young people in the Travelling Community. A variety of high-quality picturebooks and early readers will be gifted to families through outreach services around the country, including the Tipperary Rural Travellers Project, West Limerick Resources, the Donegal Travellers Project, Pavee Point and Involve Youth Services. The selection includes Why the Moon Travels – a collection of stories rooted in the oral tradition of the Irish Traveller Community – by Mincéir author Oein DeBhairduin and illustrated by Leanne McDonagh, a young Traveller woman. We are grateful to all those who donated to our Gift a Book campaign and to Walker Books and The O’Brien Press for additional support. Read more on that here.


Imagine! By Patricia Forde, illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa, age 3+

A little girl confides in her grandma about her fears: pirates, monsters, the big dog down the lane … Each time her grandma suggests a way to overcome her fear by imagining funny situations. Eventually the girl tells her biggest fear – that her grandma will go away and leave her forever. The grandma tells her that she will always live in her heart … and she can imagine her in a yellow polka dot bikini if she likes! There is a touching relationship at the heart of this book, and a humour that comes across so beautifully in the illustrations. Elīna Brasliņa’s images of pirates in party dresses and monsters in tutus are so expressive, and the colour throughout is vivid and lively.

Here Be Dragons by Susannah Lloyd, illustrated by Paddy Donnelly, age 4+

A hapless knight travels right to the spot marked ‘X’, past treasure, suspicious bones and many signs telling him to turn back. He wanders up and down a huge, spiky hill (the dragon’s back) shouts into a burrow (the dragon’s nose) and eventually walks into a cave (the dragon’s mouth), all the while moaning that there are no dragons to be seen. A picturebook that will make readers laugh, with the text telling one story – of a knight’s unsuccessful quest for a dragon – and Paddy Donnelly’s brilliant illustrations another, as a brave princess takes on the dragon and chases it out of town.

The Long Way Home by Corrinne Averiss, illustrated by Kristyna Litten, age 5–8

Otto the elephant and his Nanu are off on a climbing adventure – to the top of Lion Mountain! Otto is a born explorer, just like his grandma, who is brave and bold and can’t resist the urge for adventure. But Nanu is having a forgetting day. She forgets her backpack and the name of the mountain … and then she forgets the way home and leads them deep into the forest. Can Otto remember all the things Nanu taught him about being a great elephant explorer and guide the expedition home? Another warm grandmother/granddaughter relationship with gorgeous colour illustrations throughout.

Space Detectives by Mark Powers, illustrated by Dapo Adeola, age 7+

Dog lost in space? Grown an extra head and don’t know why? Pocket money stolen by a green blob? You need the Space Detectives! Connor and Ethan are spending their summer holidays aboard the world’s first orbiting city, Starville (basically Beverly Hills in space!). The amazing space station is bursting with celebrities and the mega-rich. But Connor and Ethan are too busy selling ice cream to see the sights. However, neither of our heroes can resist a mystery and when they discover the space station is hurtling on a collision course with the moon (eep!) they know they need to step in. Can Connor and Ethan find the culprit and save Starville from its impending doom? An action packed space adventure with lots of laughs.

Lily and the Lissadell Ghost by Judi Curtin – a World Book Day book, age 9+

Fans of Lily at Lissadell and Lily Steps Up will be delighted by this special, shorter World Book Day story about Lily and her friend Nellie, housemaids at Lissadell House. Working in such a big house keeps the girls busy, but they still find time for fun, and friendship Maeve, the madcap daughter of the famous Republican, Countess Marcievicz. So when strange things start to happen at Lissadell – odd noises, food going missing and rumours of a ghost – Sherlock Holmes-fan Maeve is determined to lead an investigation. Between them can the three girls solve the mystery of the Lissadell ghost? Friendship, history and mystery in early 20th century Ireland. NCBI Library Access Service is once again collaborating with The O’Brien Press to produce Lily and the Lissadell Ghost in Braille. Accessible digital versions will available through

Vi Spy by Maz Evans, age 9+

Divorce is tough for any kid. But when – like Vi’s parents – your mum is ex-secret service and your dad is a retired bad guy, ’till death do us part’ takes on a whole new meaning. And with her parents’ focus on each other, the real super-villains are having a field day. To save her family – and the world – from evil domination, Vi must turn spy … The first novel in a brand new spy series, this book is full of plot twists, supervillains and the odd life lesson. Perfect for fans of Artemis Fowl.

The Storm Keeper’s Battle by Catherine Doyle, age 9+

The third book in the Storm Keeper series is released this week: The Storm Keeper’s Battle follows The Storm Keeper’s Island and The Lost Tide Warriors and is as warm and unique as its predecessors, taking us back to Arranmore on the West coast of Ireland. Eleven-year-old Fionn Boyle first stumbles upon adventure and enchantment during a trip to Arranmore Island to visit his grandfather, and as well as being a story of friendship and family, the series is woven through with threads of Irish mythology and Celtic legends, great battles and magic that feels completely real. For an even more immersive experience, listen to the audiobook, read by the wonderful Patrick Moy. The first two in the series are available as eBooks on Borrowbox.

Click here for more book recommendations for children of all ages.