Limerick poet recognised for outstanding contribution to children’s literature

Irish poet, author and translator Gabriel Rosenstock picks up national award for outstanding contribution to children's books.

A LIMERICK wordsmith was recently lauded for his outstanding contribution to the world of children’s books.

Gabriel Rosenstock, originally from Kilfinane in County Limerick, was named the 2023 recipient of the Children’s Books Ireland Award at an international conference held by Children’s Books Ireland this past weekend.

The Limerick poet, author, and translator was celebrated at the conference for his ability to provide Irish children with imagination-capturing stories in their native language.

CEO of Children’s Books Ireland, Elaina Ryan, said: “For years, Gabriel Rosenstock has been a vital force in Irish children’s publishing, working across languages and disciplines to share illuminating and spellbinding stories.”

“In 2015, his book ‘Haiku, Más é do thoil é! was recognised by the Children’s Books Ireland Awards for the Judges’ Special Award, and we are thrilled to present him today with this award on behalf of Children’s Books Ireland, and the wider Irish children’s books community, for his tireless work in bringing excellent literature to his readers.”

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The Kilfinane man has written several collections of poetry and stories for children in both Irish and English, including ‘Dánta Duitse’, ‘Púcaí Schmúcaí agus Dánta Eile’, ‘Fear na bPéistíní’, and ‘The Confessions of Henry Hooter the Third: Poems for Owlish Children’.

He has also worked extensively on translating popular books and television series for children into Irish, including ‘The Gruffalo’, ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, ‘Owl Babies’, ‘Watership Down’ and ‘The Muppet Show’.

Gabriel was nominated for the award by Jane Landy, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin, and Amanda Bell, who describe him as having “revolutionised Irish poetry for youngsters”.

Receiving his award, Gabriel said: “In a recent bilingual volume of poems ‘Garsún: Boy’, I reminisce on how the tales of Hans-Christian Andersen opened up my heart to the sufferings and the aspirations of others. This has been one of the guiding principles of my own original work for children, as well as countless translations and adaptations for such platforms as Léigh Leat and Free Kids Books, and it’s in this spirit that I accept the award, gratefully.”