Discover Irish Children’s Books?
A Reverse Poem by Olivia Hope
I am part of a hidden tribe.
And I no longer believe that
Irish children’s books can change a child’s world forever.
I realise this may be news to some, but
“Books made by Irish creators are worth more than by celebrities”
Is a lie, and
“Peppa Pig goes to Ireland is a bestseller for a good reason”
Readers will be able to see that.
Bookshops have their priorities straight because
An international big brand
Is more important than
A reader connecting with a quality book by an Irish talent
I can tell you this
‘Once upon a time…’
We were born to be a nation of storytellers in words and art
But this is not true.
Parents, teachers, booksellers and librarians don’t care what Irish children read
Some might say,
A child does not need to see themselves, their home, culture, national sports or voice in a book.
I do not concede that
I will see shiny stickers declaring ‘Bestseller’ on books written, drawn or made by folk from this island.
In the future,
Books with US and UK centric characters will be the only titles Irish children read.
No longer can it be said that
My fellow Irish writers, illustrators and publishers care about what Irish children read and imagine.
It is more than evident that
Irish creatives are less talented and deserve less space in bookshops, magazines or in Irish media.
It is foolish to presume that
There is hope.
But we can choose to reverse this.
Olivia Hope is a Killarney author. Her debut Be Wild, Little One (ill. Daniel Egnéus, Bloomsbury) was nominated for the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland award, the UK Literacy Award and the Carnegie award in 2023.
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