Sunday, November 30, 2014

Late Late Toy Show 2014

It's a very Irish institution - The Late Late Toy Show, where for many decades, a whole show is dedicated to Children.  There are lots of kid's performances, special guests and for one night the country accepts lots of product placement all in the name of fun!
The show is now watched be a worldwide audience with lots of Irish emigrants indulging in a night of nostalgia which traditionally signalled the start of the Christmas season in Ireland.
Each year, there is a section devoted to books.  It's often quite a short segment but the message gets through that books are still the most worthwhile presents which outlast various chunks of plastic, video games and all the many other big toys with massive marketing campaigns.
Here are the Walker Books titles featured on this year's show;

Pog Mar Seo by Mary Murphy

The Pigeon Needs A Bath by Mo Willems

Quest by Aaron Becker

Shh! We Have A Plan by Chris Haughton

The Night Before Christmas illus by Niroot Puttapipat

Monday, June 30, 2014

Dublin City and Council Councils Library Supply Tendering

Dublin City Council has joined the other three Dublin local authorities in a tender for the supply of library books.
 The 2012 tender for library book supply from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council awarded €595,000 of the total €800,000 to a UK multinational with a group turnover of £1.8 billion. The award criteria guaranteed 65% of the marks to the lowest price
The latest tender has a value of €7.5 million ( retail value €12million) and the same award criteria.

Up to now, library supply was spread among a number of suppliers and bookshops through smaller contracts.  The bundling of the contracts together into this larger tender, effectively elimates these Irish suppliers from the process as the successful applicant must prove they have previously handled a contract of this size.  You might say that this tender process could in effect, 'gift' the contract to one of two UK based wholesale library suppliers.
It should be noted that procurement followed the same route in th UK some years ago resulting in the closure of many businesses and now the UK lacks competition.

The cost saving (reletively small at that) argument is an easy one to win.  It's the quickest soundbite for media to grab however the bigger picture shows considerable damage will be done to the publishing industry.
The immediate effect of a move to UK supply will be the closure and job losses in Irish library supply businesses.  The next in line will be publishing employees and publishers' agencies in Ireland.  Irish indigenous publishing will then see their sales into Irish libraries decrease due to the removal of local interaction with libraries.
To illustrate this, an Irish publisher I represent used to supply Northern Ireland Libraries through a Belfast based supplier.  Due to the unsustainable discounts demanded by libraries, this supplier closed last year.  The same Irish publisher now does releatively little business with the UK supplier that subseqently won the contract.

Local Govenment procurement is required to consider local socio-economic factors when making decisions but I fear that the civil servants responsible are disconnected from the effect of many of their decisions.  Neither are they sensitive to the fact that in order for the economy to succeed, we all need to succeed.

So, is it really down to the 'them and us' argument between public and private sector? 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Become a Walker Books Reporter

Do you have a child, niece or nephew who might like to receive advance review copies of new new books from Walker?

Join our team of Walker Reporters and you’ll get:
➜ Free copies of our latest books to review before they’re published
➜ Free goodies, such as posters, bookmarks and stickers
➜ The chance for your reviews to appear on promotional material, like posters, adverts and websites

If you would like to become part of the success of some new authors and illustrators send your request to me at the following email address and I will email you an application form.
mail (at)

(at) = @ - (have to do this to stop the spammers!)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tubridy Show Childrens Book feature

Grainne Clear joined Ryan Tubridy this morning to discuss some of the best Children's books for Christmas 2013.  It was a great piece with lots of chat about how picturebooks with no text (Journey by Aaron Becker) can challenge both parents and children to really 'look' at art and allow lots of interactive storytelling.  Grainne spoke about The Powers which will be the Unesco/Dublin City Libraries 'One City One Book' for Children from January to March 2014.  John Greene's 'Fault in our Stars' met rave reviews (movie adaptation release date- June 2014) as did Patrick Ness' 'More Than This' - I've always said that this is a difficult book to review but Grainne nailed it when she insisted that it is essentially a beautiful story about relationships.
Here's the full list.

Journey  by Aaron Becker (this is getting so much review coverage)
The Dark by Jon Lassen and Lemony Snicket
The Powers by Kevin Stevens illustrated by Sheena Dempsey
Oliver and the Seawigs By Philip Reeves and Sarah McIntyre
The Boy Who Swan with Piranhas by David Almond, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
After Tomorrow by Gillan Cross
Prim Improper by Deirdre Sullivan
The Fault in our Stars by John Geene
More than This by Patrick Ness
The Dark Satanic Mills (Graphic Novel) by Marcus and Julian Sedgwick

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Walker Eireann on TV

The Walker Eireann picturebooks will very soon be featured on TG4.

Here are the transmission times although I'm sure they will be repeated.
Ar Strae Beagán (A bit Lost)- 20/12/2013 @ 15:30
Stiúcaí Stiúgtha (Ravenous Beast)- 13/12/2013 @ 15:30
Ulchabháin óga (Owl Babies) - 09/12/2013 @ 15:30
Tomhais méid mo ghrá duit (Guess how much I love you)- 05/12/2013 @ 15:30
Mící Meabhrach (Baby Brains)- 11/12/2013 @ 15:30

For the moment you can still listen to these stories read by Gabriel Rosenstock here