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Jenny Bohan, General Manager, Imaginosity

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Posted by on in General

As we mark the lead up to our 7th Birthday celebrations, Imaginosity's General Manager Jenny Bohan takes a look back at Imaginosity's early days, while also taking a peak back at her own.

 

Growing up in the area, I fondly recall everlasting hot sticky days spent running along the old railway track picking blackberries to our hearts content. We would drift from a local estate in numbers and wander aimlessly exploring unchartered territory, well, as far as we were concerned anyway. But that was Sandyford then, many moons ago where the most exciting thing was a trip to the 'Tea Time Express' factory cake shop for a cream bun!

This is all hard to fathom when you view the heaving metropolis Sandyford has turned into. There's so much packed in its hard to find what you're looking for, even if you know what that is! Of course I am biased in saying the diamond in the rough has got to be Imaginosity, a stunningly beautiful building, developed by Landmark Enterprises and designed but Traynor O' Toole. But this gemstone is hidden, surrounded by towering buildings hitched up against the backdrop of the Dublin Mountains. Some are gleaming, flashy in the sunlight, some vast and void, unfinished memories of good and bad times. These beacon towers all stand sentry, watching as commuters spin past by car, on foot and light rail, but not oblivious to the memories or time flying by in the blink of an eye! Although the commuters do seem blissfully unaware of the cries of joy and screams of laughter experienced on a daily basis within this beautiful inspiring structure! If only they knew, the fun that can be had when you put your trust into the hands of a child.

I'm proud to say that I was involved in the development of this amazing and unique addition to Sandyford as a project Manager from early July 2006, and that all who were involved viewed it as a life's passion rather than a job. It was with children and community in mind that it was developed and continues to serve as a not for profit Charitable organisation. The concept gleams from the United States where the first children's museum was developed in Brooklyn in 1899, followed by Boston (1913), Detroit (1917) and Indianapolis (1925). Children's museums don't enforce strict schedules or agendas, they are places where children freely play and learn through their play. They house enhanced exciting environments that are specifically developed to allow for this non-directed play. These environments are powerful in their ability to engage children and stimulate curiosity, imagination, experimentation and role play. Children's museums celebrate children, but they also create quality experiences for families.

 

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Posted by on in General

'CBI FINAL FINAL Logo

The F Word: Failure' we all know it, we've all seen it, but what have we learned from it? Our good friends over in Children's Books Ireland (CBI) are hosting their 24th annual Children's Books Ireland conference on Saturday 24th–Sunday 25th May, in the Light House Cinema, Smithfield, where they take this very interesting topic and invite guest speakers to reflect on their careers where defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory!

For any of you out there who are not aware, Children's Books Ireland is the national children's book organisation of Ireland and they work diligently to raise awareness of the value of children's books, promoting, celebrating, and supporting books and reading initiatives for young people. This initiative is obviously very close to our hearts here at Imaginosity where we revel in sparking young imaginations. We were delighted to have been wowed by these young bright stars of the future in our (just completed) 2014 'What's the Story?' Competition. A huge success once again, with double the amount of imaginative, crazy and fun-filled entries as last year.

This year's very special CBI conference promises to be a jam packed two-day programme of stimulating and thought provoking discussion and debate which never fails to excite. Its weekend long celebration of the very best in children's books both at home and internationally, hosts a whole array of speakers who have been invited to discuss the numerous and innovative ways in which books and reading can be part of young people's lives every day.

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Posted by on in Staff reads

With a background in design I suppose it was inevitable that my passion for this kind of book would run amuck. I just can't get enough of them. What could be better than snuggling up with your children to get lost in an unfolding story, sometimes told solely through the art on the page?

So offering me the job of picking my favourite ten was virtually impossible. I have listed ten below (well twelve actually), but I could easily squash twenty into my top ten. Ten (or twelve) just isn't enough! Narrators of the world (Moms and Dads, Grans and Grandads) from here to eternity should be introduced to brilliant books, so if you've found one, don't be shy, shout about it from the rooftops, share the joy! Books are brilliant, deadly, full of excitement and fun and most importantly imagination and the little imaginators in our lives like nothing more than the hook of a good story or illustration, just like we do!

There are some obvious and some not so obvious ones listed below, but all are really brilliant, well I think so anyway. I have tried really hard to only make one offering from each author but this was the real toughie as these people are geniuses! Julia Donaldson who is so witty and engaging and rhyming!... Mo Willems who tickles the funny bone, even if you don't have one and of course Oliver Jeffers, yes who doesn't love to devour his books?

Although, on the serious side, picture books are a child's first introduction to reading and it's at this very important moment in time where we can instil a lifelong love of reading in our children. Children do 'judge a book by its cover', they initially interpret the story through its illustrations and so the pictures have huge importance. So an exploration of image as well as text is vital.

Its probably very selfish to say, but when I'm picking a picture book I always pick ones that entertain me too, then I really don't mind reading it over and over again, while I chuckle quietly to myself. So, with Christmas on the way, make sure you have added at least one book to the pressie bundle, otherwise the Elves will get you!!

And so without further ado and in no particular order.............

Veg Glue

Title: Vegetable Glue

Author: Susan Chandler

Illustrator: Elena Odriozola

Age: 3-6

We've been reading this book in our house for years! Vegetable Glue is an hilarious, quirky and quite absurd, fun for all the family type of book. It's light hearted, but with a moral- If you eat cake all the time and don't eat any vegetables, your body will fall apart! "When my right arm fell off, I knew what to do, I stuck it back on, with vegetable glue".

The beautifully illustrated little girl explains how she repeatedly sticks her body parts back on, her arm, her nose, even her head, with the giant vat of vegetable glue. Her amazingly fit and super active, veggie loving grandma bounds in to save the day with bags full of veggies to make more of this amazing Glue.

A super book for the veggie-dodgers in every family (and we all have them), full of whimsical fun and great entertainment, most especially when the little girls bum falls off! The story rhymes and jolly's a long, flowing easily from page to page. It's the perfect length for the little ones, who just love to guess which body part is next to hit the floor and which nose belongs to whom.

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Posted by on in Welcome

A very warm welcome to Blog-osity, a place to stimulate ideas, share your thoughts and devour masses of fabulous, entertaining and most importantly educational information. 

My name is Jennifer Bohan and I am the General Manager at Imaginosity. I am super excited to welcome you to our new adventure into blogging and hope you will support, engage and most importantly grow with your children through this incredible medium.

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