Irish books of the year 2023

Little Wolf

We look back at our favourite Irish books of the year 2023.

  • Dare We Be Dragons?

    Author: Barry Falls
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 4-5

    A dad is putting his young daughter to bed, and as he tucks her in, they both start to imagine all of the adventures they could have together the next day. They could be dragons, or walk with giants in the woods, or fly to the moon and then swim with huge whales in the oceans. There are so many adventures that Dad and his little girl can have together – and,…

  • Bedtime Stories: Incredible Irish Tales from the Past

    Author: Rachel Pierce (and 11-year-old Lola-Mae McCormack) Illustrator: Donough O’Malley Erin Brown Eva Byrne Linda Fahrlin Lydia Hughes Róisín and Úna Woods (cover endpapers and border Jennifer Davison)
    Publisher: Scholastic Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    This entertaining and informative collection of illustrated short stories shines a light on key people and events from Irish history.

  • Wider than the Sea

    Author: Serena Molloy Illustrator: George Ermos
    Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Ró finds reading hard because the words jump around. She can’t tell anyone because her parents are unhappy and she doesn’t want to make it worse. A heart-felt, accessible book for all kinds of readers.  

  • The Wishkeeper’s Apprentice

    Author: Rachel Chivers Khoo Illustrator: Rachel Sanson
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Can Felix and his new friend the wishkeeper stop a monster from destroying everyone’s happiness? A delightfully charming and perfectly plotted adventure that packs a real emotional punch.

  • Dodos Are Not Extinct

    Author: Paddy Donnelly
    Publisher: O’Brien
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    The bird in this book has a big secret to tell - they are in fact not a bird at all, rather a dodo in disguise! But dodos are extinct, aren’t they? This dodo is here to prove otherwise…

    P'un a yw'n gosod pig ar ei hun i edrych fel aderyn neu'n gwisgo mewn siaced ginio i edrych fel un o'r pengwiniaid, mae dodos wedi dod o hyd i ffordd i fynd o gwmpas ac osgo…

  • The Time Tider

    Author: Sinéad O’Hart
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Someone is stealing Lost Time and Mara must stop them and find her missing father, before it’s too late. Full of twists and turns, this gripping page turner, set in the Republic of Ireland, is an exhilarating and imaginative read.

  • The Girl Who Fell To Earth

    Author: Patricia Forde
    Publisher: Little Island
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    A thought-provoking science fiction thriller that looks at Earth and humanity through alien eyes.

  • Welcome to Dead Town, Raven McKay

    Author: Eibhlís Carcione Illustrator: Ewa Beniak-Haremska
    Publisher: Everything with Words
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 10+

    When Raven’s parents mysteriously disappear, she is sent to live in the sinister town of Grave’s Pass, where the dead coexist with the living. As she is drawn deeper into the menacing world of ghost, ghouls and zombies, Raven is in danger of losing everything. This macabre tale, enhanced by atmospheric gothic illustrations, is a chilling read.

  • The Slug and the Snail

    Author: Oein DeBhairduin Illustrator: Olya Anima
    Publisher: Little Island
    Interest age: 4-5
    Reading age: 4+

    A story rooted in the oral tradition of the Irish Traveller community, this lyrical picture book tells the story of two slug brothers and their journey together exploring their identities.

  • Little Wolf

    Author: Peter Donnelly
    Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    Will little wolf cub find his inner howl in time for the big Howling Ceremony? Little Wolf is a heartfelt tale of courage, perseverance, family, friendship and proving that even the smallest voice can make the sweetest sound. 

  • The Silver Road

    Author: Sinéad O’Hart
    Publisher: Piccadilly
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Dealing with contemporary concerns such as climate change, yet steeped in ancient Irish myth, history and folklore, this thrilling fantasy crackles and fizzes like the magic within its pages.