On the road in Laois – with a dragon!
Driving around Laois is a major treat for author Jane Landy and her Inner Dragon, Gringer the Whinger. So far the merry duo form North Dublin have gone on three road trips to our lovely county, visiting libraries in Portlaoise, Mountmellick, Abbeyleix, Mountrath and Portarlington plus the Holy Family Senior School in Portlaoise.
Gringer is the sort of dragon who simply had to be invented. And 22 years ago, he jumped out of Jane’s mind, following a visit to a library. He took on the role of chief whinger in the family, displacing Jane’s three year-old who had occupied that important position up until then.Three children later, Gringer was still at it, paying house calls when things became stressful and disagreeable. His whingy ripostes and mischievous cavorting kept children distracted and gave Jane a chance to release her Inner Dragon – while keeping her sane and calm … many a parent will relate to this.Jane’s child-rearing days are long behind her now and she and illustrator Sheena Dempsey, have recreated Gringer in the form of a picture book.
Sheena’s witty illustrations capture the chaos of life with small children and she has received an award from the Institute of Designers of Ireland for her drawings.These days Jane travels around the country running illustration, literacy and story-telling workshops based on “Gringer the Whinger”. Mum Sinéad Horan came to the Mountmellick workshop with her youngsters and said “it’s a great story – true to life. My kids love it…and Jane Landy is an amazing author with beautiful illustrations by Sheena Dempsey. Definitely one for the kids A++.”
Jane had a post workshop cup of coffee in to the lovely “Hare’s Corner” restaurant in Mountmellick and dropped off a copy of the book there, for younger customers to enjoy.The book is available from All Books, Lyster Square Portlaoise. For online suppliers and other stockists, see www.gringerthewhinger.com. It is printed by Turners of Longford, making it a 100% Irish production.See www.gringerthewhinger.com for the full back story plus the Gringer the Whinger Facebook page.