Spring Celebration Family Day at 1WML


The rain last Saturday was torrential but this didn’t stop a large number of families from flocking to the beautiful surrounds of the Townhall at 1WML for our Spring Celebration Family Day of readings, storytelling, drawalongs, music, book swaps and more.

Author and illustrator Tarsila Krüse was first up, with a reading from her new book Little Love Lessons, published only this week by The O’Brien Press. The book is a heart-warming guide of the many ways in which parents and children can find little moments to connect, to listen to each other, and was a perfect way to kick off our family day. This was followed by a great interactive session where we all created a character together by shouting out what kind of head it should have, what its face should look like – this character was unanimously given a “cheesy grin” – and what kind of clothes it should wear, as Tarsila conjured up what became “Mr Tutu”. Inspired by our new skills in drawing, the session ended with a round of Exquisite Corpse, a classic favourite.


Next up was the indomitable Niall de Búrca with his immersive and high-energy storytelling, who had the children shrieking with laughter in no time, and all the room up on our feet and slapping our hands on our thighs to drive the stories along at great pace. 


Closing our sessions on the main stage was author and illustrator Alan Nolan, who led the room in a drawalong – the children loved waving their clipboards in the air to show Alan what they had produced! – followed by a great little quiz on some of the fantastical and spooky creatures from Irish mythology, from which I think we all learned something.


While all this was going on on the main stage, Emily at the Children’s Books Ireland Book Clinic was busy chatting to our young readers and doling out the prescriptions for their next reads.


Our young readers are such an important part of our main festival each November, so we loved seeing so many of you come down this early in the year to listen to the stories and roll the sleeves up for our drawing and craft sessions, and let me tell you there was some serious artistic talent in 1WML last weekend. The book swap also went down a treat, with everyone leaving with something new for the shelves at home.


Closing off our family day was the fantastic Music Generation Dublin City, who brought an array of instruments for the children and adults alike to enjoy, followed by a family sing-along of some old favourites that everyone knew, with a few newly composed tunes by our young musicians thrown in for good measure too.

Thank you to our fantastic authors, illustrators, storytellers, Book Doctor and musicians for such wonderful entertainment. Thank you to all of you who joined us, thank you to our wonderful volunteers Andy, Elaine and Natalie, and a big thank you to our partners Hibernia for allowing us to enjoy our day in such a beautiful space.