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Laugh Out Loud Book Awards Free Event for Schools.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”. – Dr. Seuss

Since 2016, the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards (the Lollies) have celebrated the best and funniest children’s picture books and chapter books from Ireland and the UK.

Now in its fifth year, and voted for by children, this year’s shortlist of books is among the funniest yet. With titles including “101 Bums” by Sam Harper and “Zombierella: Fairytales Gone Bad” by Joseph Coelho, everyone is sure to get a laugh from this year’s nominated books (CLICK HERE).

From Monday September 20th, schools can get in on the fun by taking part in a free weeklong online Lollies event, featuring writing activities, drawalongs and readings from the shortlisted authors and illustrators, as well as from the beloved children’s author and poet, Head Judge, Michael Rosen.

To register for a week of free Lollies fun click HERE.

For access to free resources and activity packs based on this year’s shortlisted books, click HERE.

To vote for your favourite shortlisted book visit HERE.


Semple Stadium – Fields of Legends.

‘Semple Stadium – Fields of Legends’ – by Author Liam Ó Donnchú.

Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co Tipperary, is truly “the home of hurling”.

This illustrated history of Semple Stadium begins in 1884, when the GAA was founded in Thurles and chronicles the story of ‘Thurles Sportsfield’, from its purchase in 1910, right up to the present day.

This truly major publication features all its great days; from the development of the stadium; major games that were played there; significant players and managers; broadcasting from the grounds; the work of the groundsmen, Féile-The Trip to Tipp and other events held at the stadium over the years.

It also contains personal recollections and accounts of this place where legends are made. The publication is also richly illustrated by archive photographs and ephemera.

The Author.

Liam Ó Donnchú is a native of Hollyford, County Tipperary and now resides at Ballymoreen, near Thurles.

Having spent over four decades as a primary school teacher; Liam, now retired, is director of Lár na Páirce, the museum of Gaelic Games in Thurles and for many years, PRO of Semple Stadium. He is a former player, secretary and chairman of Thurles Sarsfields GAA club and at present its vice-president.

Liam is author of such publications as: Thurles Sarsfields GAA Story Vol 1&2, Tom Semple and The Thurles Blues, Pouldine School-Inné agus Inniu, co-author of Tipperary’s GAA Ballads, Horse and Jockey- a pictorial record and has written numerous articles on Gaelic games.

His latest book, ‘Semple Stadium – Fields of Legends’ will be published this September by the O’Brien Press and is available to pre-order online at Eason [ Link https://bit.ly/3ztEhGL ]

The book, which we highly recommend to lovers of Gaelic sports, is published in hardback; contains 384 pages and costs €24.99.


Will Graham Norton Be Visiting Thurles & Templemore During Summer 2021 ?

Graham Norton’s book “Holding” to be adapted for television and filmed here in Ireland.

So will Mr Graham Norton be visiting Thurles & Templemore, Co. Tipperary, during the Summer of 2021 ?

County Cork born author and top television presenter has revealed that British television company ITV, has commissioned the adaptation of his novel ‘Holding’, to be made into a four-part TV series.

The book was Mr Norton’s first piece of fiction work, first published back in 2016.

The novel itself is set in the remote Irish, backwater village of Duneen, Co. Cork. Human remains, suspected to be those of local Tommy Burke, latter a former lover of two local women, are discovered on an old farm. The village’s dark past soon raises its ugly head, and it is up to the local Garda Sergeant, one Mr P.J. Collins, to solve a genuine murder case for the first time in his professional life. In doing so he manages to unearth a community’s wrath, their resentments, their secrets and regrets.

Our own much-loved town of Thurles, Co. Tipperary, gets a mention in his novel; same playing a part in bringing Garda Sgt. Collins to the remote town of Duneen, quote, “After Graduating from Templemore, he had been stationed in Thurles. He liked the job well enough. In Thurles he worked longer hours than anyone else and was always the first to volunteer for the shifts that nobody else wanted”.

The television series, ‘Holding’ will be directed by Kathy Burke and the award-winning Northern Ireland actor (two Laurence Olivier Awards and two Tony Award nominations), Conleth Hill (‘Lord Varys’ in Game of Thrones), will take on the leading role of Sergeant P.J. Collins.

The series will be filmed in Ireland this summer, with details of further casting to be released closer to the start of the production.

Holding” by Graham Norton is published by Hodder & Stoughton and is available to purchase online from Amazon.co.uk.


‘Class Reads’ For Children & Young People

Children’s Books Ireland is a national organisation that champions, through its many activities, a love of reading in children and young people. One of its most recent activities has been to research lists of ‘must read’ books for primary and secondary school pupils in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Children’s Books Ireland, like parents and teachers, love to hear children acclaim, ‘This book is class!’ and that’s why their latest resource is entitled ‘Class Reads’.

They have drawn together six lists of recommended reading for pupils from Junior Infants to Fourth Year. Titles include books by Irish authors and books in the Irish language. In addition, each of the six ‘Class Reads’ resources includes story summaries, guidance on quality questions to ask about picture books, tips for reading aloud, as well as links to other excellent reading resources.

We highly recommend that any parent or teacher looking for books that will inspire a love of reading should check out the ‘Class Reads’ resources and videos, all available to access HERE.
They really are ‘class’ resources!


Five Great Easter Books for Children.

If you are looking for some great books to read with children this Easter, here are some suggestions we are sure all children will enjoy.

Note: These books can be purchased in Easons, Thurles Shopping Centre, Thurles [Tel: (0504) 24588] and in Bookworm, Liberty Square, Thurles, [Tel: (0504) 22257], so do remember to shop local when you can.

The Easter Story by Russell Punter.
Given Easter’s religious significance, it is only fitting that the first book on our list is a retelling of the Easter Story for children.

Russell Punter’s retelling combines simple language with vibrant artwork in this beautiful picture book.

The Rabbit, the Dark and the Biscuit Tin by Nicola O’Byrne.

Easter is a time when we think of bunnies and this is a story about a bunny rabbit who is very reluctant to go to bed. Winner of the Oldhum’s Brilliant Book Awards 2014 and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2014, this hilarious story will be treasured by young and old and might even help get little ones to bed on time despite the bright evenings.

Peter Rabbit: A Fluffy Easter Tale by Beatrix Potter.
This gorgeous board book is the ideal gift for little ones and introduces children to Beatrix Potter’s classic character Peter Rabbit. With touch and feel elements on every page, this simple story is sure to delight your tiny tots this Easter.

The Guns of Easter by Gerard Whelan.
For older children, Gerard Whelan’s award winning novel tells the story of twelve year old Jimmy Conway who finds himself torn between the British army and rebels of the Easter Rising in the Dublin slums of 1916. First published in 1996, Whelan’s master storytelling continues to capture young readers interest in historical fiction.

Ten Women of the Easter Rising by Ann Carroll.
Another title suitable for older readers, “Ten Women of the Easter Rising” introduces children to the struggles and influences that shaped some of the 1916 Easter Rising’s leading female figures. It is one of sixteen titles that form part of the Poolbeg “In a Nutshell Heroes” series for children, which includes other titles relating to the Easter Rising and is well worth investing in for young historians (Click HERE).