A new children’s book that beautifully blends all generations in Ireland has been launched by Guaranteed Irish member, Johnny Magory Business. The book “Johnny Magory and the Forest Fleadh Cheoil” has animal characters named after actual Irish children following a competition in summer 2019. It is illustrated by the legendary Irish artist, Don Conroy; and it is based on the traditional much-loved rhyme of “Will I tell you a story about Johnny McGory? Will I begin it? That’s all that’s in it!”. A book to certainly capture the hearts of multiple generations in Ireland and beyond.
The fourth book in the Johnny Magory series aims to achieve two things for the children who read it; educate them on Irish traditional music in a fun way and encourage them to get outside and explore.
“This book is so special to me.” says Emma-Jane, a 33-year-old mother from county Kildare. “Having Don bring his magic to the illustrations brings me right back to my own childhood”.
“When we decided to leave the animal character names open for a number of lucky kids, I didn’t realise the diversity of names that now exists in Ireland. Beautiful, non-traditional names such as Thalia, Rihanna and Brayson feature alongside more traditional names such as Ben, Joey and Meabh. Having their photographs inside the cover will hopefully encourage children to read it and continue reading books.”
Almost all children during the eighties and nineties in Ireland were glued to RTÉ’s “The Den” after school. “Draw with Don” is an important piece of their memories of growing up in Ireland and Don is a childhood hero to many from that generation.
Don played a major role in developing Emma-Jane’s love for animals, art and writing. So, when his book “The owl who couldn’t give a hoot” randomly turned up in her house over two decades after she originally read it; the idea occurred to her to ask Don if he would work on her next story. Don agreed to work on a book with her it because of their shared values and interests in the outdoors and nature.
“I really enjoyed the process of illustrating this book which is all about exploring the outdoors and learning about Irish wildlife and music.” says Don Conroy continuing on to say “Well done Emma-Jane on a great story and concept. One all Irish children are sure to love.”
The resulting book is essentially a book of nostalgia for people who grew up in the seventies, eighties and nineties in Ireland, as well as being a fantastic story that will captivate children now.
The book retails at €10.00 and is available from www.JohnnyMagory.com