Family Time at Your Library artwork shows cartoon animals enjoying reading adventures

Children's Book Festival

The annual Children’s Book Festival helps spread the enjoyment of books and reading among children and families, authors and illustrators, teachers and librarians all over Ireland.

Library services have been organising Children's Book Festival events for many years, and in many authorities it is a central focus of their annual programming calendar. Events and speakers are hosted online and in libraries across the country in October, with something scheduled for readers of all ages and interests. Events include, but are not limited to: author visits, craft days, story time sessions, book clubs, movie days, and STEM days.  

In October 2023, children once again have the opportunity to meet some of their favourite authors and take part in fun events for the whole family. 

Contact your local library to find out more.

Aims of the National Children’s Book Festival:

  • to encourage children to enjoy the experience of reading and support their reading development
  • to provide activities and events in collaboration with writers/illustrators/storytellers
  • to promote children’s books and stories
  • to increase engagement with families and schools and to attract new audiences.

The further promotion and support of the Children's Book Festival is a central tenet of the Right to Read initiative and this programme will continue to be a central focus for library services to children for years to come.

Discover Irish Children’s Books

This year, Children’s Book Festival is delivered in collaboration with the Discover Irish Children’s Books campaign. The aim of Discover Irish Children’s Books is to highlight and celebrate Irish children’s books. It was set up by a team of Irish children’s writers and illustrators, including Sarah Webb, Patricia Forde, Alan Nolan and Sam Blake.

There are around 350 published Irish children’s authors and illustrators, including those living and working in Ireland. That’s a lot of children’s authors and illustrators! We have our own Laureate na nÓg, Patricia Forde who writes in both Irish and English. 24% of book sales in Ireland are children’s books.

Some of our children’s authors and illustrators enjoy huge international success. Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl book was a New York Times bestseller. John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas has been translated into around 56 different languages, Oliver Jeffers’ into over 50 different languages (with over 14 million sales worldwide!). The children’s books of Catherine Doyle, Judi Curtin, Roddy Doyle, Derek Landy and Mary Murphy are also widely translated.

On your next visit to the library, why not ask your librarian to recommend a book you might enjoy by an Irish author?

For more information see: