Conaghan and Kenny shortlisted for Children’s Book Ireland awards

Conaghan and Kenny shortlisted for Children’s Book Ireland awards

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan (Bloomsbury) and Mucking About by John Chambers are among the books shortlisted for this year’s Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) Book of the Year Awards.

A total of 10 children’s books are on the shortlist, which was announced today (11th March) at the Belfast Children’s Festival.

To be in contention for the awards the books must be by authors or illustrators born or resident in Ireland, and this year six out of the 10 titles are published by Irish companies. Little Island Books, based in Dublin, has two titles on the shortlist: Dr Hibernica Finch’s Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals by Aga Grandowicz and Rob Maguire, as well as Chambers’ Mucking About.

The other Irish publications on the shortlist are Beag Bídeach by Sadhbh Devlin and Róisín Hahessy (Futa Fata), The Great Irish Weather Book by Joanna Donnelly and Fuchsia MacAree (Gill Books), Tuesdays Are Just So Bad by Cethan Leahy (Mercia Press) and The Pooka Party by Shona Shirley Macdonald (The O’Brien Press).

Rounding off the shortlist are Flying Tips for Flightless Birds by Kelly McCaughrain (Walker Books), Tin by Pádraig Kenny (Chicken House) and Between Tick and Tock by Louise Greig and Ashling Lindsay.

Five of the titles - The Great Irish Weather Book, Tin, Tuesdays Are Just So Bad, Dr Hibernica Finch’s Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals and Flying Tips for Flightless Birds - are debuts.

Elaina Ryan, director at CBI, said: “With our largest number of debuts ever, this year’s shortlist is remarkable, and it gives us great pride in the artists who are being deservedly honoured, as well as building our anticipation for the future of Irish writing and illustration. The majority of shortlisted titles are Irish-published, a tribute to an industry which is producing work of an exemplary standard. Our mission to make books central to every child’s life is made easier when we have such an extraordinary pool of talent to draw on here in Ireland.”

All of the shortlisted books will now be considered for six different awards, including the Children’s Choice Awards, the CBI Book of the Year and the Eilís Dillon award for a first children’s book.

The winners will be announced on 22nd May in Dublin.