Last Updated on December 3, 2020
We have gathered the best of Irish children’s authors and made a selection for you that is going to knock your socks off. Each and every one of these books is made with so much love and attention to detail I am not even able to pick a favourite. They are ideal as a present for your children and grandchildren and they are fantastic as a souvenir. We added age recommendations to each of these books and our little review to make the choice a bit easier on you. The non-fiction Irish books we have selected are all about learning fun facts about Ireland in a playful way. In the fiction section, we just wanted to create a spotlight for all the Irish talent out there. Some of these books have stories that are set in Ireland and others are just made at such a high quality, we had to mention them to you.
123 Ireland by Aoife Dooley (Ages 0 – 3)
This adorable board book is going to get your little one to get to know all the numbers with cute illustrations all about Ireland. If you want a great educational book for toddlers to learn to count, this one is for you. In 2019, this book was the winner of the Junior Children’s Book Ireland of the Year award and it is such a great present for babies first birthday. The illustrations feature Irish dancers, hurling sticks and harps to make you and baby smile and learn how to count.
Dr Hibernica Finch’s Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals by Rob Maguire (All Ages)
This book shows some of the most interesting wild animals in Ireland in stunningly realistic illustrations. Find out astonishing facts about killer whales, seals, sharks and hedgehogs. This book shows the most interesting things to learn about these animals such as their size, home, diet and life on top of some new facts. A perfect gift for every animal-loving child.
Brian Boru – The Warrior King by John & Fatti Burke (Ages 6+)
Learn about Irish history in an exciting way with this storybook about one of the greatest Irish warriors of all time, Brian Boru. Brian grew up in County Clare in a big warrior family. Over time, Brian’s army became so powerful that he became High King of Ireland. To defend Ireland from the Viking invasion, Brian had to go into a fierce battle. If you want to bring your kids closer to Irish history this book is a great start to make them interested. It also includes a historical timeline at the end of the book to follow Brian on his historic trail.
Dare to Dream by Sarah Webb (Ages 5+)
We love to emphasize to our children that if you set out to do something, it will happen and this book has been a great help to inspire them. Dare to Dream features Irish people who have accomplished astonishing things because they followed their dreams. From some famous names like James Joyce to less famous Maude Delap, each of these stories are about striving to be the best version of yourself to make the world a better place. The author Sarah Webb more recently published a book about Irish Women Who Changed The World that is equally high-quality, educational and inspirational for young boys and girls.
Irelandopedia by Fatti & John Burke (All Ages)
The only Wikipedia Irish kids need. Travel through Ireland’s 32 counties in this picture book with lots of exciting facts about the greatest sports personalities and famous places to visit. Definitely a must-have on every Irish child’s bookshelf. John & Fatti Burke put an enormous amount of effort into every single book they create but this one is definitely their number one success.
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell (Ages 0 – 4)
Three little owls wake up one night to find their mummy is gone. They wait and get a little worried but then mummy returns and the owls are jumping of joy. A great story to remind children that mummy always comes back. The illustrations of this picture book are beautiful and detailed to capture your kids’ attention. It’s great as a bedtime story and also available in Gaeilge.
The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle (Ages 5+)
This story of Rover, the dog and his human friends is surreal and funny. Go on an adventure to save Mr Mack and get to know the Gigglers. If an adult is mean to children the Giggler Treatment is waiting for them and it is a big, sticky mess. This story is great for young primary school kids that want to have something to laugh to make reading more fun.
Don’t Ask Alice by Judi Curtin (Age 9-12)
Alice and Megan are best friends, follow along as they go through thick and thin in this great book series set in Ireland. Judi Curtin has a fantastic way to tell stories about everyday problems children face as they get older. This story focusses on the friends preparing for their confirmation and at the same time struggling with complicated family matters. It’s a lighthearted story that kids from 3rd class on will enjoy.
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (Age 9 – 15)
Listen up fans of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, this fantasy book series is for you. Ancient secrets are being revealed when twins Sophie and Josh end up working in a bookshop for 700-year-old Nicholas Flamel. They find out that the knowledge to eternal life and the destruction of the world lies within the pages of a book Nicholas is protecting. When pages of the book get stolen they have to do everything to get them back. Nicholas’ life depends on it. On their quest, they stumble into a world where stories about minotaurs and sphinx suddenly are no longer legends. A fantastic book for every fantasy enthusiast that covers many historical facts.
Arthur Quinn by Alan Early (Age 9 – 12)
Dive into the underground of Dublin city as Arthur and his friends discover a hidden Viking secret that does not mean anything good for the world. When Viking God Loki gets involved, Arthur knows they must act now to stop the world serpent from destroying the world. The thrilling adventure of trying to uncover the Vikings’ secret and prevent the end of the world is a great read for kids who like to read stories set in places they know.