PAULINE DEVINE previews a selection of books written in Irish for the Christmas market


Tá eolas níos fear ag an bpobal ar fhoilsiú leabhair do pháisti I ngailge san lá atá inniu ann.
Children’s books ‘as Gaeilge’ are getting more attention nowadays. This is mainly because of their quality increasingly being regarded as of a high standard.

This year, for the first time, an Irish language officer has been appointed to Childrens Books Ireland (CBI). And next year, 2023, World Book Day (WBD) will include an Irish language element, with their website also having an Irish language input. All pointing towards due recognition.

A number of awards for children’s books ‘as gaeilge’, namely ‘An Gradam Reics Carlo’ and ‘Gradam De Bhaldraithe’, also give a well deserved platform.

Recently too the text in new children’s books has changed, becoming more user friendly to cater not only for young people, but those readers who would like to pursue learning Irish, perhaps for the second time round.
Broadening the gateway towards bilingualism could be seen by some as a dumbing down of saibhreas na teangan. On the other hand, a simplified text could encourage the reader to hopefully venture further.

Because of the tough conditions forced on them by Covid, a lot of publishers went online for the first time. This has opened up new markets through receiving better feedback from their suppliers, shops and of course, their readers.
In the last ten years, the number of people buying books as gaeilge for entertainment rather than for strictly educational purposes is growing. Reflecting this trend, children’s books are offering a wider range of social issues as well as different genres.

In addition, there are more translations from popular international authors on offer too, which ensures more shelf space in shops, and this helps sales by being more visible and instantly recognisable.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own