Irish Children’s Book Releases to Look Forward to in the Coming Months


We hope you enjoyed last week’s spotlight on just some of the great Irish books for adults coming out in the next few months. Our family, children’s and schools’ programmes are such a big part of our festival that we couldn’t start the new year without also doing a little spotlight on just some of the great Irish published children’s books that young readers will be able to enjoy in the coming months.


Barney Goose: A Wild Atlantic Way Adventure by Carol Ann Treacy

This beautiful picturebook takes us on an uplifting journey along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic way as Barney Goose follows his urge to fly North. Tom the lighthouse keeper finds an egg washed up on the beach in West Cork. When it hatches, young Barney Goose lives happily with Tom, until he feels a need to fly! What will Barney find as as he travels the Wild Atlantic Way from West Cork all the way to Donegal? And why does he feel a need to fly there? 

Age 2+ 

New paperback edition published by The O’Brien Press in April




Na Trí Mhuicín by Aine Ghlinn, illustrated by Paddy Donnelly

I gcró na muc bhí trí mhuicín… Sna sála ar An Slipéar Gloine, tá an dara hathinsint véarsaíochta ar na síscéalta clasaiceacha ag teacht ó Futa Fata: Na Trí Mhuicín! Tá an greann go smior i véarsaí Áine Ní Ghlinn san athinsint fhileata cheolmhar seo, agus tá féasta eile do na súile cruthaithe ag Paddy Donnelly. 

I gcró na muc bhí trí mhuicín… Here comes the second book in Futa Fata’s series of verse retellings of classic fairytales and this time it’s the turn of The Three Little Pigs. Áine Ní Ghlinn’s rhyme and verse is hilarious, while Paddy Donnelly’s illustrations are a feast for the eyes. 

Age 5+

Published by Futa Fata in March


The Little Lamb Who Led by Katie O’Donoghue

Both a heartfelt story and an education into the wildlife on and around the Kerry mountains, this beautifully illustrated book is bound to inspire resilience and perseverance in young readers. Little Lamb has been separated from her mum, but she knows she’ll find her at the top of the mountain. The journey there scares her but, cheered on and encouraged by friendly animals along the way, she becomes more confident as she climbs, and even ends up helping others by taking the lead. Stories from the Kerry cow, a red grouse, hare, goat and an eagle, about learning confidence and independence, all help to encourage Little Lamb on her climb. Young readers will love this story of strength and courage set in the Irish countryside – as Little Lamb finds that helping others helps her feel stronger too.


Age 6 – 8

Published by Gill Books in March


Evil Duck and the Feather of Fortune by Chris Judge

A hilarious junior graphic novel by Irish favourite Chris Judge? We’re in! Twins Flo and Eddie are staying with their grandad while their mum travels for work and, while exploring his attic, they find a villainous-looking duck frozen inside a special, temperature-controlled chamber. Eddie accidentally presses the DEFROST button – and releases super-villain Evil Duck! It turns out that Grandad, AKA Fearless Frank, is a retired superhero duck who captured his nemesis Evil Duck many moons ago, saving society from his sinister schemes. But now Evil Duck has escaped, and Grandad is too old to recapture him alone, which is why Eddie and Flo are just going to have to step in and help him to save the day!

Age 6 – 8

Published by Gill Books in May


Milly McCarthy and the Sports Day Shambles by Leona Forde, illustrated by Karen Harte

We’re delighted to see Leona and Karen back with the third book in this much-loved series.

“It really wasn’t my fault that our FIRST ever sports day turned out to be our LAST ever sports day…”

When Muinteoir Emer is temporarily out of action, Milly’s class gets a substitute teacher, but Mr Wright is not like any teacher Milly has ever had. He’s convinced he’s always right (of course!), is super strict, and obsessed with PE. So much so, he convinces Mr Manley to reinstate the previously banned school sports day. Mr Wright’s competitive spirit rubs off on Milly and soon she’s taking part in the egg and spoon race, the three-legged race, and even a bit of archery… What could possibly go wrong? A rip-roaring new adventure for young readers exploring what disastrous escapades Milly gets up to next!

Age 7 – 11

Published by Gill Books in April


The Case of the Vanishing Painting by Brian Gallagher

A gripping story of siblings trying to clear their father’s name, while escaping the clutches of some powerful enemies! A valuable painting leaves the train station in Galway in a guarded carriage but when the train arrives in Dublin, the painting is gone! Suspicion immediately falls on Mr Kavanagh, the train’s guard, but Twins Deirdre and Tim know their father isn’t the thief, and they’re determined to find out who is. Along with their friend Joe, they race against time to track down the painting … but as they close in on the thief they find themselves in some serious trouble. Soon the children are battling not just to clear Mr Kavanagh’s name – but for their very lives!

Age 9+ 

Cover illustration by Dermot Flynn

Published by The O’Brien Press in February


The Tower Ghost: A Sycamore Hill Mystery by Natasha Mac a’Bháird

A potentially haunted tower, a mysterious death years before, and a bunch of friends determined to investigate! 

It’s 1963 in Sycamore Hill Boarding School, Donegal. Clare is excited to start her first term: new sports, new subjects, and new friends – chatty, confident Rose and quiet, nature-loving Molly. But something strange is going on. The girls see a face at the tower window and hear the sound of crying – could the school be haunted? And is it linked in any way to the mysterious death of a pupil years earlier? No one seems to want to answer their questions, but Clare and her friends are determined to investigate. Can they solve the mystery before a killer strikes again?


Age 9+ 

Cover illustration by Lauren O’Neill

Published by The O’Brien Press in April


The Weather Girls by Sarah Webb

A tale of bravery, adventure and a remarkable friendship, inspired by true events from World War II, this is another great book taking young readers back in time, this time a little further to 1944. Twelve-year-old Grace Devine lives at Blacksod Lighthouse and weather station in County Mayo with her parents and little brother. When a German plane crashes nearby, she and her best friend Sibby risk their lives to save the young pilot. Grace’s family take him in, but their neighbours are horrified at having an ‘enemy’ in their midst. Meanwhile, the Met Office in England suddenly asks Blacksod to send them weather reports every hour. But why? As the wind and rain howl outside, Grace begins to understand that something important is happening, something to do with the war – and she is right in the eye of the storm. A gripping story, as well as a spotlight on an important period in history.

Age 9+

Cover illustration by Charli Vince

Published by The O’Brien Press in May


And these are just some of the great Irish books for young readers being published over the coming months. Watch this space as we bring you more children’s books spotlights, including upcoming releases from our friends over at Little Island Books, as well as some YA spotlights, and don’t forget to follow your favourite publishers online to get their news as they have it!