Ahoy, bookworms young and old! Drop anchor there for a minute and listen till we tell you about Ireland’s smallest and coolest book island.
Little Island Books is an award-winning independent Irish publishing company. We publish only great books for children and young adults.
Yes, we did start life as an imprint of New Island Books, and yes, that’s where the ‘Island’ bit comes from. But then we grew up and left home and now we are a fully independent and totally separate company.
Little Island publishes eight to ten books a year for children and young adults. Most of our readers are between 4 and 16, but we don’t discriminate: anyone can read our books, and lots of adults do. We publish mostly novels for older readers (kids from about 9 to 12 and teenagers from 13 all the way up) as well as illustrated books for younger children.
Our books are mostly by emerging Irish authors (though some of our authors have emerged by this stage), but we also publish some books in translation – from languages as different as Brazilian Portuguese and Finnish. (Check out our International Books page on this website for more on our translated books for children and teenagers.)
We think our books are absolutely brilliant – but it’s not just us. Several of our books have won or been nominated for awards, including:
- Younger Readers Children’s Book Prize at the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020 The Deepest Breath by Meg Grehan (Shortlisted)
- YA Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2017 – Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan (Winner)
- YA Book of the Year at the Literacy Association of Ireland Awards 2017 – A Lonely Note by Kevin Stevens (Winner)
- Fiction Award at the Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2017 – Needlework by Deirdre Sullivan (Winner)
- Eilís Dillon Award at the Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2017 – The Ministry of SUITs by Paul Gamble (Winner)
- Beautiful Book Award at the Books Are My Bag Award – Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan (Shortlisted)
- Children’s Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2017 – Star by Star by Sheena Wilkinson and A Dangerous Crossing by Jane Mitchell (Shortlisted)
- Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award and Children’s Choice Award – Grounded by Sheena Wilkinson (Winner)
- Children’s Books Ireland Honour for Fiction and Children’s Choice Award – Taking Flight by Sheena Wilkinson (Winner)
- Children’s Books Ireland/Bisto Merit Awards – White Lies by Mark O’Sullivan; The Lantern Moon by Maeve Friel; Snobs, Dogs and Scobies by Elizabeth OHara (Winners)
- International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honours – Over the Wall by Renate Ahrens, translated by Siobhán Parkinson; Snobs, Dogs and Scobies by Elizabeth O’Hara; Taking Flight by Sheena Wilkinson; Mucking About by John Chambers
- White Ravens listings (by the International Youth Library in Munich) – Needlework by Deirdre Sullivan; The Wordsmith by Patricia Forde; The Ministry of SUITs by Paul Gamble; The Broomstick Bike by Veronica Bennett; Valentina by Kevin Mc Dermott; The Keeper by Darragh Martin; Bumpfizzle the Best on Planet Earth by Patricia Forde
And Little Island itself won the Irish Small Press of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2019 as well as the Reading Association of Ireland Award in 2011.
We are enthusiastic members of the Irish and international children’s books community, and you will meet us at Children’s Books Ireland conferences and seminars, at IBBY congresses around the world and IBBY Ireland events at home, at events organised by the Irish Society for the Study of Children’s Literature and the International Research Society on Children’s Literature. We and our authors attend and often participate in arts festivals, writers’ festivals and book festivals such as the Mountains to Sea Festival in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown, the Dublin Writers’ Festival and the Dublin Book Festival. Watch out for details on our website and social media.
Several of our writers who live in Ireland are members of the Writers-in-Schools scheme organised by Poetry Ireland and most of them are available for school and library visits. If you’d like to get in touch with any of them, do send us an email on the Contact Us form.
Little Island is a limited company with a voluntary board of six members and a small number of shareholders.
Our publishing programme is generously supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. We also get support for our books in translation from the countries of origin, and we are grateful to Culture Ireland for supporting our attendance at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair.