Summer Reads for Children


With the school holidays coming in, we think books are just one of the great ways for families to fill the summer months! We’ve rounded up a spotlight on 8 recently published Irish children’s books with something to suit all ages.


Little Irish Folklore Friends by Niamh Donnellan

In this charmingly illustrated collection of rhyming stories, everyone’s favourite creatures from Irish folklore are all using their powers in unexpected ways. Mischievous fairies, púcas and wisps learn to turn frowns upside down, and go from frightening to fun! Featuring the likes of Liam the Leprechaun, Betty the Banshee, Pádraig the Púca and Willow the Wisp, this new twist on Irish folk legends, told with humour and warmth, and inspired by the National Folklore Collection, will delight a whole new generation of young readers.




Illustrated by Brian Fitzgerald

Age guideline: 0 – 5

Published by Gill Books


Follow My Lead by Niall Breslin

When Dad and Sam are walking her dog Frank in the park after school, she tells Dad about feeling busy and a bit overwhelmed. He explains that she needs to calm her mind down, that her brain is a little bit like her dog, Frank’s: excited to explore lots of different things. Sometimes it gets too much, just like it does for Frank. When that happens, they give Frank a gentle tug on his lead to bring him back and calm him down. “That’s exactly what this breathing exercise does,” says Dad, “bring you back to yourself, making you stronger for another day!” The most recent in Breslin’s collection of books introducing practical mindfulness to young readers.

Illustrated by Emma Proctor

Age guideline: 0 – 5

Published by Gill Books


The Golden Hare by Paddy Donnelly

Grandad tells Meara about the mythical, shape-shifting Golden Hare that can jump to the moon in two-and-a-half leaps. And together they set out to find this magical creature. Along the way, they discover all sorts of wildlife wonders. A captivating story immersing us in magic and nature, full of Donnelly’s beautiful trademark illustrations.

Age guideline: 3+

Published by The O’Brien Press





Dinosaur Pie by Jen Wallace

Rory is having a weird week. A really weird week. He has been turned into a ridiculous, small, feathered dinosaur. Pretty awkward. Rory can’t use a human toilet. He can’t hold a video game controller in his little dino claws. His breath smells really bad. And his new carnivore body can’t stop craving sausages. Rory finally gets his friends to take his embarrassing situation seriously, and together they embark on Operation Make Rory Human Again. But it’s not easy. Will Rory be stuck as a dinosaur forever? A hilarious and heart-warming story about a boy with ADHD who is transformed into a dinosaur.

Illustrated by Alan O’Rourke

Age guideline: 4 – 8

Published by Little Island


Pony Camp Chaos by Nina Carberry

Grandad is running a summer pony camp at the stables for the first time, and Grace and Aaron are helping out. The pony club games soon get quite competitive, and siblings Leah and Ryan can’t stop causing trouble for each other – and the stables. But when one of the stables’ pregnant mares starts to give birth and the foal gets stuck, all the pony camp chaos pales into insignificance. The vet is called – but a furze fire is blocking the road! Grace and Aaron need to ride out and fetch her … but will they get back in time to save the foal? The latest in Carberry’s fun and action-packed series of adventures from Rowan Tree Stables.

Illustrated by Nuno Alexandre Vieira 

Age guideline: 5 – 8

Published by Gill Books


Legends of the Cliffs of Moher by Eithne Massey

Meet a secret mermaid and a grumpy saint, a greedy prince and the magical foals that became a famous wave. Beware slippery, slidey monsters and lovestruck hags! In these stories, you will find adventure laced with humour and enchantment. This beautifully illustrated collection of stories inspired by the Cliffs of Moher from long, long ago will bring you to a place where magic happens. Legends include: The Mermaid of Moher, The Hag, The Lost City, The Magic Foals, The Giant Eel of Kilmacreehy. 

Illustrated by Lisa Jackson

Age guideline: 7+

Published by The O’Brien Press


Into the Witchwood by Méabh McDonnell

‘Never, ever, set foot inside the Witchwood’

Surrounding Rowan’s home is the dark, dangerous Witchwood. At the heart of it, sitting at the bottom of an ancient well, is a powerful Witch. Six months ago, Rowan’s mother went into the woods – and never came back out. There’s magic lurking in the shadows. Watching her. Can Rowan enter the Witchwood and save her mum? After all, she’s a witch too…

Cover Illustration by Erin Brown

Age guideline: 9+

Published by The O’Brien Press



Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, translated by Eoin McEvoy

One for the older kids into teens, this is Irish language publisher Futa Fata’s first step into the teen market, with an Irish translation of the internationally beloved Heartstopper graphic novel, aimed at readers 12+.

Beirt bhuachaillí. Cairdeas. Ansin, grá. Scéal mór-ráchairte LADTA+ faoin saol, faoin ngrá agus faoi gach uile rud idir eatarthu. Tá Charlie agus Nick ag freastal ar an scoil chéanna, ach níl aon aithne acu ar a chéile… go dtí lá amháin nuair a chuirtear ina suí in aice lena chéile iad. Tá siad mór lena chéile láithreach agus ní fada go dtosaíonn Charlie ag titim i ngrá lena chara nua. Níl ach fadhb amháin ann – níl seans dá laghad ann go mbraitheann Nick an bealach céanna faoi Charlie… nó an mbraitheann?

Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A bestselling LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between. Charlie and Nick are in the same school, but they’ve never met… until one day when they’re made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.

Age guideline: 12+

Published by Futa Fata


Whatever your children are reading this summer, we wish them plenty of great reading time, and as it’s Independent Bookshop Week, we also encourage you to support the brilliant independent bookshops we have in this country, whether it’s buying a book, or simply giving them a follow or share online to help spread the word about great places selling great Irish books!



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