Siobhán Parkinson studied for her primary degree in English literature and German at Trinity College Dublin and graduated in 1976. She went on later to take a PhD in English literature (on the poetry of Dylan Thomas), awarded in 1982. 

She is a member of the Irish Society for Children’s Literature and the International Research Society on Children’s Literature; she contributes to conferences from time to time and publishes occasional essays and articles on children’s literature.

The Mark and the Void

Siobhán reviews Paul Murray's comic tour de force in the Dublin Review of Books, November 2015.

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Under no circumstances write (merely) what you know

Is the age-old adage of ‘Write what you know’ really the best advice to give to new writers? Siobhán shares her thoughts.

Posted on the Little Island blog page, 18 August 2015

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Children's literature: cool but undervalued?

This article by Siobhán on the state of children’s publishing in Ireland was published in Books Ireland, November/December 2014.

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Letter to the children of the world (International Children's Book Day 2014)

Every two years, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) selects a country to host International Children’s Book Day. The host country produces a poster by one of its illustrators and a message to the children of the world by one of its writers. 2014 was Ireland’s turn.

Siobhán wrote the message and Niamh Sharkey, who was laureate at the time, did the poster. 

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English that for me! Publishing children's books in translation

Siobhán's publishing house, Little Island, has a policy of publishing books in translation alongside books by new Irish writers. This essay is an account of how Little Island goes about doing this.

Published in Children’s Literature on the Move, edited by Nora Maguire and Beth Rogers (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013) 

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Irish Children's Literature - A Magical Gift

When Siobhán was laureate she was invited by Ireland Literature Exchange to write a brief account of Irish children’s literature to function as an introduction to our children’s literature for people from outside the country. This was in 2012. It is already out of date, but it does have quite a bit of information about Irish books for children up to that point. 

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The Smart Society

This essay is essentially a long review in The Dublin Review of Books of an issue of Irish-Germanic Studies, published by Wissenschaftler Verlag in Trier, which touches on Irish attitudes to language studies in Irish culture and education.

(Dublin Review of Books, 2012)

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Flying Kites and Chasing White Rabbits

Siobhán's inaugural speech as Irish Children’s Laureate, delivered shortly after her appointment to this position in 2010. 

It is a passionate defence of the imagination. 

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The Hunger Angel

This is a long review of Atemschaukel by Herta Müller, which appeared in The Dublin Review of Books in 2009 before the book was published in English; the review was republished in 2012 after the novel appeared under the title of The Hunger Angel.

(Dublin Review of Books, 2009)

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Real’ books: Keeping up with our multiliterate kids

This was a keynote address at the 33rd annual conference of the Reading Association of Ireland in 2009.

A slightly amended version was published in Literacy in the 21st Century, edited by Tara Concannon-Gibney, Aoibheann Kelly and Karen Willoughby (Dublin: Reading Association of Ireland, 2010).

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From Utopia to Weslandia: A Voyage inside your Head OR 'Island' Literature as Edenic Fantasy

This paper was delivered at the second conference of the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature (ISSCL).

Published in Treasure Islands, edited by Celia Keenan and Mary Shine Thompson (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2005)

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