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children's choice

These are the best children's books in Ireland right now

The awards were presented at a ceremony in Smock Alley today.

Tarsila Brian + Book Brian Fitzgerald and Tarsila Krüse with the award-winning book Bliain na nAmhrán.

THE BEST CHILDREN’S books in Ireland have been named this afternoon at the 27th Children’s Books Ireland awards.

Book of the Year Award was given to picturebook maker Chris Haughton for his book Goodnight Everyone.

Chris was also the recipient of the Honour Award for Illustration for the same title.

CHRIS+HAUGHTON+NEW+(2) Author Chris Haughton.

The award judges said:

Chris Haughton’s vibrant illustrations combine perfectly with deceptively simple narrative in this mesmerising bedtime tale. Chronicling a series of animal yawns, the colour palette gradually darkens as the world of the forest is painted in sunset. Haughton’s use of cut-outs is particularly effective and the star maps in the endpapers add a mystic dimension to this captivating story.

At the ceremony, students from Scoil San Carlo, Leixlip and King’s Hospital School, Palmerstown presented author Peadar Ó Guilín with the Children’s Choice Award for his novel The Call.

This book was voted for by young readers from across the country, and was chosen by shadowing groups who read and judged the 10 shortlisted titles and voted for their favourite.

The Honour Award for Fiction was given to Deirdre Sullivan for Needlework, which the judges described as “a poetic and eloquent exploration of violation, abuse, neglect and advocacy of the transformative power of art”.

Starkly genuine and sincere, Sullivan’s powerful use of the metaphor of tattooing invites reflection about identity, difference, self-protection and self-invention. This searing yet delicate representation of adolescent experience will resonate deeply with teenagers and is a story that needs to be told and needs to be read.

Deirdre Sullivan Headshot copy Deirdre Sullivan

The Judges’ Special Award went to Tadhg Mac Dhonnagaín, Jennifer Farley, Brian Fitzpatrick, Tarsila Krüse and Christina O’Donovan for Bliain na nAmhrán.

“This sumptuous illustrated collection of songs in Irish invites young and old audiences to celebrate the seasons and the natural world,” said the judges. This is a multimedia collection, which is accompanied by a CD and illustrated by a team of accomplished illustrators.

The Eilís Dillon award for a first children’s book went to Paul Gamble for The Ministry of Strange, Unusual and Impossible Things. “Get ready for a rollercoaster of zaniness, adventure and hilarity,” said the judges of his debut novel, adding that it “skilfully juxtaposes the fantastical, thoughtful, comic and mundane”.

Previous CBI Book of the Year winners include Sarah Crossan for One, John Boyne for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; Sheena Wilkinson for Grounded, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick for There and Hagwitch and Oliver Jeffers for Once upon an Alphabet.

Dr Patricia Kennon, chair of the judging panel, said that this year’s winners and shortlist “celebrate the impressive talent, creativity and imaginative power of the best in Irish writing and illustration for young people across two languages and a diverse and rich range of formats, audiences and genres”.

Read: A Google AI beat the world’s best player at this ancient Chinese board game>

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