Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Towers and Tales Children’s Book Festival Returns to Lismore

Photograph: Patrick Browne

The Towers and Tales Children’s Book Festival team have announced the return of its in-person festival at the beautiful Lismore Castle in County Waterford on Saturday, April 30th 2022.

A celebration of books, stories and illustrations, designed to give young audiences unforgettable, creative and transformational experiences the event takes place in the historic town of Lismore.

Towers and Tales Children’s Book Festival features a line-up of Irish and international authors and illustrators and there will be lots of free activities for children of all ages throughout the day.

Authors and artists include illustrator, author and character designer Dapo Adeola who rocketed into the picture book world with his greatly acclaimed illustrator debut, Look Up!, written by Nathan Bryon (Puffin, 2019); Oein DeBhairduin, the award-winning author of Why the Moon Travels (illustrated by Leanne McDonagh) and former record-breaking athlete Olivia Hope with the author of soon-to-be-published picture book Be Wild, Little One (illustrated by Daniel Egnéus). 

This year the festival team are also welcoming David King, author of A Hug For You, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard and inspired by his son Adam. Adam has been the source of great joy and inspiration to children and adults all over Ireland with his now-famous virtual hug in 2020.

To complete the lineup, the festival will feature the work of  Áine Ní Ghlinn, Laureate na nÓg/the Children’s Literature Laureate, prolific children’s writer, poet and scriptwriter who has written 35 books; Nadia Shireen award-winning author and illustrator of Barbara Throws a Wobbler and Welcome to Grimwood, an official World Book Day book; plus Sarah Webb, winner of two Irish Book Awards whose latest book is The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street (illustrated by Rachel Corcoran).

Also included in the Towers and Tales festival this year is an exhibition of the work of Waterford-based illustrator, Shona Shirley McDonald, whose latest title, Cluasa Capaill ar an Rí, written by Bridget Bhreathnach, won the Gradam Réics Carló, was selected as a World Book Day book and is shortlisted for the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards.

The exhibition will be opened at The Vault Café on Friday 29th April and will remain in place for a period of two weeks following opening. 

A glimpse of what the festival was like back in 2015

Known for its carnival atmosphere, the Towers and Tales Children’s Festival Hub will bring the magic of the authors’ stories and illustrations to life through a range of activities and workshops designed to spark the imagination and create a day that reading enthusiasts will never forget.

This year the Festival Hub will offer Knock for a Story on the front porch of the castle, get a reading prescription from the Children’s Books Ireland Book Clinic, sketch and draw at The Inspiration Station with Lismore Castle Arts and participate in art workshops with Cork’s Glucksman Gallery.

Visitors to the festival can also doodle on the walls of the castle’s creepiest place in the castle for ‘Dungeon Doodle’ and Sketch and Stroll with illustrators Olivia Golden and Jennifer Farley around the magical Lismore Castle Gardens.

At the Childvision Camp, visitors can learn a new way of experiencing the world, take part in fun games where you can ‘crack the code’ using Braille, complete puzzles while in total darkness. There will also be Pop Up Poetry for Lil’ Peeps, a new multi-platform project presented by Branar along with a Super Star Circus Show and Disco and much more.

Festivalgoers can also enjoy a Book Swap with Waterford Library services and free library membership will be on offer all day. There will be food stalls too.

Towers and Tales Children’s Book Festival
Photograph: Patrick Browne

To ensure as many young people as possible experience the magic of Towers and Tales, the festival continues its partnership with Waterford City and County Library Services, taking authors and illustrators into schools, libraries and venues across the county on Friday, April 29for readings and meet the author opportunities.

In addition, Bookbag, the children’s book-gifting initiative established by Niamh Sharkey, one of the festival’s Artistic Directors, during her time as Laureate na nÓg, will place books into the hands of as many primary school children as possible.

This project was and is a joint initiative of Brown Bag Films and Children’s Books Ireland. In addition, one lucky school will receive a free library of books.

Further details and tickets for the 2022 festival are available here.

Images by Patrick Browne


I'm a freelance content creator, author, and journalist who has a strong desire to share interesting content about Irish people and things about Ireland at home and abroad. I am constantly curious.

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