On an icy cold day in Dublin, a visit to an art gallery to take in some culture and enjoy a sneaky cup of hot chocolate is an ideal day out. With a two and four year old in tow this may seem like an ambitious outing, but not when said art gallery is IMMA during the Pictiúr exhibition. Pictiúr is a travelling exhibition of Irish children’s book illustrations and, needless to say, as the Theatre & Programming manager at Imaginosity and picture book FIEND I was beyond excited to view the work of my favourite illustrators under the same roof. I knew two little bookworms who would be just as interested in Pictiúr so off we trotted up the long avenue in Kilmainham which leads to The Irish Museum of Modern Art and a treasure trove of child friendly visual delights!


The exhibition features many well-known illustrators and straight away Megan and Erica (and the grown-ups!) were engaged in an impromptu guessing game, connecting familiar images with the books that sit on the shelves at home. I was personally most interested in seeing the work of my all-time favourite Oliver Jeffers (Lost & Found) and Imaginosity friends Chris Judge (The Lonely Beast), Tatyana Feeney (Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket) and Marie Louise Fitzpatrick (I’m a Tiger Too). There were also gorgeous prints by Michael Emberley (Miss Brooks Loves Books) and Anita Jerman (Guess How Much I Love You) among others.


The venue cleverly caters for families; there is a cosy area at the back where children can choose to curl up with a book illustrated by the featured artists, giant jigsaws to play with, and chalk boards and other art materials to test if they are the next Niamh Sharkey. My only small gripe would be the fact that due to the exhibition being largely located in the basement café in IMMA, it was difficult to appreciate all of the pieces without feeling like you were encroaching on others’ dining experience – but I guess that just gives me a good excuse to return. As for Megan and Erica – their reluctance to leave was indication enough that they enjoyed their trip to the art gallery. The exhibition runs until January 12th so be sure to pop it on your list of days out this Christmas!