Home Children's Riley’s round up—books for the young reader in your life

Riley’s round up—books for the young reader in your life

It’s the season of lists — and we have a few great round-ups of books coming your way! To start us off Riley Earle picks children’s books to keep young readers occupied on cold and rainy nights…


The Same but Different, by Emer O’Neill

Gill Books, €14.95

Irish/Nigerian author Emer O’Neill and Indonesian illustrator Debby Rahmalia team up for this autobiographical picture book about young Emer and her struggles with looking different than those around her. Emer soon learns not only that deep down we’re all the same, but that it’s okay to be different too, and life is better that way!

A Robin’s Tale, by Noelle Rock and Sasha Sakhnevich

Currach Books, €15.00

Chartered Psychologist Noelle Rock and talented illustrator Sasha Sakhnevich create a safe space to explore grief and loss in A Robin’s Tale, a story of one Robin’s journey to watch over those he loves. This book offers children and adults a starting point for healthy conversations about what happens when a loved one passes away.

Geansaí Ottó, by Sadhbh Devlin

Futa Fata, €10.95

Sadhbh Devlin keeps the Irish language alive in Geansaí Ottó, a sweet story about a stylish young boy and a not-so-stylish handmade sweater. Ottó soon learns that no matter how itchy the sweater feels, the most important thing is that Grandma made it with love.

A Galway Fairytale/Sisceal o Ghaillimh, by Caitriona Sweeney, Translated by Marcus Mac Conghail

O’Brien Press, €12.99

O’Brien Press released both Irish and English versions of A Galway Fairytale, a retelling of Hansel in Gretel. Discover what it would look like if the classic German fairytale took place in the familiar setting of modern-day Galway.

Ca bhfuil mo Mham? By Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Translated by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin

Futa Fata, €9.95

Internationally acclaimed duo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler return with translator Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin to introduce an Irish language version of the highly successful picture book Monkey Puzzle. Monkey has lost his mother in the jungle, but lucky for him, butterfly is happy to help him find her.

To the Island, by Patricia Forde

Little Island, €16.20

Patricia Forde’s new picture book brings the mythical island of Hy Brasil new life when young Fia walks across a moonbeam and embarks on a vibrant adventure of magic and dreams. Check out Galway composer Anna Mullarkey’s musical component as well!


Evie’s Christmas Wishes, by Siobhán Parkinson and Shannon Bergin

Little Island, €16.99

Ireland’s first children’s laureate Siobhán Parkinson invites us on a Christmas journey featuring Evie, a young girl galloping through her Christmas preparations while making a series of wishes. Along with Shannon Bergin’s magnificent illustrations, Evie’s Christmas Wishes perfectly captures the awe and magic of the holiday season.

A Dublin Christmas, by Nicola Colton

Gill Books, €14.99

Orla struggles to find the Christmas spirit when she finds out that Gran won’t be coming this year and Dublin is plunged into darkness. The holiday feels ruined until the fairy lights on her Christmas tree sparkle to life to show her that even when all seems lost, the Christmas spirit still shines on. Recreating familiar scenes such as Grafton Street and Stephen’s Green, Nicola Colton brings us a sweet story close to home.

BEGINNING READER (ages 6 to 8)

The Little Squirrel Who Worried, By Katie O’Donoghue

Gill Books, €12.99

Little Squirrel knows it’s time to gather nuts for winter, but he’s too worried to leave the comfort and safety of his nest. Luckily, the forest is full of friends who know just how to help. Katie O’Donoghue has crafted a story of mindfulness and understanding to assure readers that worrying is okay and surmountable when you lean on friends for support.

The Hound of Ulster, By Malachy Doyle and Erin Brown

Bloomsbury Publishing, €8.30

Malachy Doyle retells this traditional Irish legend about a boy destined to be the greatest warrior in ancient Ireland. Young readers will enjoy this new version enhanced by Erin Brown’s lively illustrations.


Tabitha Plimtock and the Edge of the World by Erika McGann

O’Brien Press, € 9.14

Erika McGann returns with another page-turning adventure filled with humour and heart. McGann’s colourful and peculiar (edge of the) world could be compared to Roald Dahl with its absurd characters, enticing mysteries, and gripping curiosity.

The New Girl, by Sinead Moriarty

Gill Books €13.00

Sinead Moriarty, known for her romance novels, shows us another edge to her talent with The New Girl, a story of friendship and self-discovery between outsider Ruby and new girl and refugee Safa.

The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street, by Sarah Webb

O’Brien Press, €13.00

When Eliza and her brother move to a tenement flat in the thick of Dublin, they didn’t expect to be swept up by an extraordinary circus. Shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Children’s Book of the year, Sarah Webb has yet again delivered a fantastic adventure of change, family, and friendship.

No Ordinary Joe, by Siobhán Daffy

Little Island, €8.39

A fictional story based on author Siobhán Daffy’s own lifeNo Ordinary Joe is a tender ode to her younger brother with special needs and a funny, empowering story of family. Life with Joe is hard, but fun and bursting with love too.


Baby Teeth, by Meg Grehan

Little Island, €11.50

Meg Grehan brings back the lovable vampire in her newest novel written in verse, capturing the triumphs and challenges of romance, desire, and self-exploration. Grehan has written two books prior for middle grade and YA, and is known for her raw poetry and positive narratives of LGBTQ relationships.

Banshee Rising, by Riley Cain

Currach Books, €12.99

Caitlyn McCabe sees ghosts, but she’s not happy about it. Her life of boys and bullies is hard enough as it is without spirits getting in the way. But then she meets Professor Sackimum Brody, a mysterious mentor who helps her understand her gift, but only to prepare her for a dark evil that lurks in the heart of Ireland, an evil Caitlyn can’t run away from.

Wildlord, by Philip Womack

Little Island, €9.99

16 year-old orphan Tom is eager to spend the holidays with an uncle he’s never met if it means he doesn’t have to stay at his boarding school. But he soon realizes his uncle’s farm harbours something menacing, something mighty. As Tom discovers the secret, he is faced with a sharp choice: power or freedom?


Girls Play Too Book 2, by Jacqui Hurley

Merrion Press, €14.95

Jacqui Hurley is back with another collection of interviews, stories, and victories of Irish women athletes. From Irish football stars to pioneering horse-racing jockeys, this book is a pocket of inspiration for girls and boys alike, athlete or no athlete. 

Jason Sherlock: Great Irish Sports Stars, by Donny Mahoney

O’Brien Press, €8.99

The newest release in the Great Irish Sports Stars series, Donny Mahoney records the story of Jason Sherlock and how he went from an athletic prodigy in the North side to a champion Gaelic football hero despite the cruel racial pushback. Sherlock’s story is one of embracing the strength in difference and determination to excel in what you love.

Don’t forget to show your Irish authors and publishers some love this holiday season—and if you can, why not support your local bookshop. Happy reading!