Molly and the Shutdown launches in Irish, Welsh and English

Published on: 01 June 2020

Malachy Doyle, author of Molly and the Whale and Molly and the Stormy Sea, has written a new title during lockdown, Molly and the Shutdown.

Molly and the Shutdown

Malachy has written the book from the island where he lives in Donegal, and it tells the story of Molly’s experiences on the island when it is locked down. School is closed, Molly's dad is stuck on the mainland, Molly's mum volunteers to help Nurse Ellen look after those in need, and Molly has to be very brave, very helpful.

The books will be published on Tuesday 2nd June as a downloadable PDF, with illustrations by Andrew Whitsun. All the illustrations are in black and white so children can enjoy colouring in Molly’s experiences of lockdown.

Molly and the Shutdown will be published simultaneously in Irish, Welsh and English. Children will be able to listen to the book in the three languages as well as read it, and Malachy’s daughter, Naomi, will be reading the Welsh version.

Malachy says that he was prompted to write the book when...

‘I got to thinking about how she’d  be getting on, out there on her wee island in a time of lockdown. I knew she’d be brave. I knew she’d be helpful. I knew she’d find ways of making the best of it, because that’s what she’s like. But I knew she’d be missing things too, missing them badly – because we all are. So I just started writing, like I do…’  

Malachy lives on a small island himself, in the north west of Ireland. He says of his own lockdown experiences:

‘Apart from shopping once a week I’ve stayed on my island, walking, running, gardening, reading, writing and Zooming. It’s been a bit lonely, as my wife’s been in Wales  - but the dogs, cats and ducks have kept me company. And islanders all look out for one another.’

Reflecting on what he hopes children will get from the story, Malachy says:

‘Hopefully it helps to get across that even though it’s hard, not going to school, not being able to play with your friends and do lots of the things you like, not seeing some of the people you love – that it’s all for a very good reason. And it’s a reminder that it comes to an end. And that, if we care for the people around us, and maybe find some new ways of having fun, it can even be a good time, too.’

The book has been produced in partnership with Graffeg.

You can read Molly and the Shutdown, download the pictures to colour in and listen to the story in Welsh, Irish and English on the BookTrust HomeTime pages.

BookTrust HomeTime

Looking for something fun as a family? Enjoy storytime with our free online books and videos, play games, win prizes, test your knowledge in our book-themed quizzes, or even learn how to draw some of your favourite characters.

Go to the HomeTime hub