2020 was due to be a momentous year for children’s literature in Ireland. Not only is it the year of publication for the latest books by many beloved children’s writers and illustrators, but it also marked the debut titles of many writers and illustrators at the beginning of their career. The unforeseen circumstances that arose this year meant a lot of sacrifices were made in the way we celebrate new literature; launches were cancelled or moved online, school visits were digitalised, and signings were adapted to (beautifully designed!) bookplates. In light of all this, the team at WonderFest felt it was important to take the time to celebrate the wonderful children’s books published this year.
Founded by Sarah Webb and in association with Pavillion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, WonderFest is a brand new digital book festival taking place this weekend, the 20th-22nd November, boasting 28 events with over 60 artists – a wealth of Irish talent, including Eoin Colfer, Oliver Jeffers, Laureate na nÓg Áine Ní Ghlinn, Derek Landy, Paul Howard & Gordon D’Arcy, Judi Curtin, Chris Judge, Chris Haughton, Mary Murphy and many more.
All events are live (with some pre-recorded elements) – giving children all over Ireland (and the world!) the chance to interact with favourite writers and illustrators, and in particular to engage with new Irish children’s books published during 2020.
This innovative event will be Ireland’s first fully digital children’s book festival, and is being run by a crack team of children’s writers and illustrators, hand in hand with Irish publishers and bookshops and with the support of Children’s Books Ireland. A true team effort!
WonderFest will kick off with a full day of school events and workshops on Friday 20th November, followed by a fun-filled weekend for story-loving children aged 0-12 and their families Saturday 21st-Sunday 22nd November, packed with all kinds of creative events for the whole family to enjoy together from the comfort of their own homes.
We at WonderFest believe in the magic of books. Now, more than ever, it is important to connect with communities who love books just as much as we do. Just because we can’t be together in person doesn’t mean we can’t share our love for books and celebrate the fantastic new stories given to us this year.