My Other Books for Children

Beyond the Stars

Beyond the Stars is a collection of twelve tales of adventure, magic and wonder from some of Ireland's greatest writers and illustrators. From Derek Landy and Roddy Doyle, to Judi Curtin and Eoin Colfer, P J Lynch, Niamh Sharkey, John Boyne, and Marita Conlon-McKenna. All the profits of the book are being donated to Fighting Words, the creative writing centre in Dublin.

It's a wonderful book and I'm very proud to have compiled it.

Beyond the Stars Launch
Beyond the Stars Launch

Sally Go Round the Stars: Rhymes from an Irish Childhood

A beautifully-illustrated collection of favourite nursery rhymes known and loved throughout Ireland. It includes favourite international, British and Irish rhymes as well as special Irish favourites.

Includes Sally Go Round the Moon; Diddly, Diddle, Dumpling; Two Little Dicky Birds; Are Ye Right There, Michael?; Half a Pound of Tuppeny Rice ; Adam and Eve and Pinch Me; and many, many more!

Edited by Sarah Webb and Claire Ranson, with illustrations by Steve McCarthy

Background to the Book (Website Exclusive)

I've always loved nursery rhymes and we have many different collections in our house, but none of them contain any Irish rhymes, apart from The Two Cats of Kilkenny. I thought this was a pity, so I decided to do something about it. I spent several years visiting the National Library, calling up books from libraries all over Ireland, and reading and re-reading dozens of nursery rhyme books, song books and poetry books, trying to find the best rhymes I could. Ably helped by Claire Ranson, a fellow children's literature fan and a very busy mum of three.

When I first saw Steve McCarthy's work, I knew he'd do a brilliant job of illustrating 'Sally' and he certainly has. It's a beautiful book, and I'm proud to have my name on the cover. All the proceeds go to cystic fibrosis research at the National Children's Hospital in Tallaght, a cause very dear to my heart.

Emma the Penguin

Emma the Penguin.cdr:CorelDRAW
Emma the Penguin.cdr:CorelDRAW

The class play is Noah's Ark. All the children want to be their favourite animal.

Emma wants to be a dog. But, oh no! She must be - a penguin!

Background to the Book (Website Exclusive)

I had such fun writing this book. I was asked to write a play for my daughter's primary school - Noah's Ark - so I did.

On the night of the performance I met a girl who was playing a penguin. She was brilliant, really funny! I told her how good she was and she shrugged and said 'I really wanted to be a dog, but being a penguin was actually OK.'

And that sparked the idea for the book!