Want to read more in 2023?

Want to read more in 2023, but not really sure where to start?

Here are a few ideas and suggestions that might help


Reading Recommendations

Not sure what to read? Looking for recommendations? Try podcasts that discuss books. The Storytellers’s Podcast with Gary Raymond, talks to leading writers about their relationships with the art of storytelling, Graffeg’s Meet The Author podcast, features conversations with a range of their authors and illustrators, while Seren’s Poetry Podcast interviews leading poets and shares recordings of their work.

Or why not call by your local bookshop? Booksellers have a wealth of knowledge. From books by new authors just arrived on the shelves to old favourites by well-known authors, shop staff can advise you. Several shops also host events and readings that will no doubt fuel the desire to start reading a new book. Pop in!


Reading together

Reading doesn’t have to be something you do alone. Being a member of a Book Club is an opportunity to discuss specific books in detail, to share tips and exchange ideas – and a chance to put the world to rights over a cup or pint!

Cardiff Feminist Book Club and Swansea Feminist Book Club meet monthly, while book clubs also meet in libraries across Wales. No book club near you? Why not set one up? A chance to read, discuss books and socialise – what better?


Join your Local Library

Want to read something completely different but don’t want to buy the book until you’re absolutely sure you’ll enjoy it? Join your local library!  Not only can you borrow an amazing variety of books, both old and new, in Welsh and English, you can also take advantage of a host of other services. Borrow Box is an app for library members for lending e-books and audiobooks in both languages, while Libby gives access to a wide range of magazines electronically, free of charge.


Use Ffolio

It’s so easy for us to be sucked in by our phone, tempting us to scroll endlessly and directionlessly. Why not download a book to your phone via ffolio.wales instead? Ffolio sells Welsh e-books in both Welsh and English, while also supporting your choice of bookseller at no extra cost to you. New books such as Luke Upton’s Rugby’s Greatest Mavericks, or Jasmine Donahaye’s Birdsplaining, are available at your fingertips while waiting for the bus or eating your lunch.


Your choice

Instead of reading the books everyone claims you should read, read the ones that you want to read, that entice you. And if you don’t enjoy them, don’t feel like you have to read to the end, to the very last page. Life’s too short! This may not be the book for you, or it may not be the time to read this particular title – so try another book. There’s more than enough for everyone on the shelf!




2023 Judges

Every year, we’re fortunate to have a panel of judges who are plugged in to the world of children’s books in Wales and who relish the task of reading the books nominated for a Tir na n-Og Award.

We have one panel judging the Welsh-language titles in the primary and secondary age categories. Another panel judges evaluates the English-language books with an authentic Welsh background.


The five judges on the Welsh-language panel for 2023 are Morgan Dafydd (Chair), Sara Yassine, Francesca Sciarrillo, Sioned Dafydd and Siôn Edwards. It’s their task to select the shortlist and the final winner. Click on their photos below to find out more about them and scroll down to meet the English-language panel.

Morgan Dafydd
Sara Yassine


The work of the judging panels is extremely important. Not only do they choose the shortlist and eventual winners, they also provide valuable feedback on all the books to both publishers and authors. The Chair of the panel judging the English-language books with an authentic Welsh background in 2023 is Jannat Ahmed. She’s joined by Simon Fisher and Liz Kennedy. Click on their images below to find out more about our judges.

Beirniaid 2023

Bob blwyddyn, rydym yn ffodus o gael panel o feirniaid sydd â diddordeb mewn llyfrau plant yng Nghymru ac sy’n ymroi i’r dasg o ddarllen y llyfrau a enwebwyd ar gyfer Gwobrau Tir na n-Og.

Mae gennym un panel yn beirniadu’r teitlau Cymraeg yn y categorïau oedran cynradd ac uwchradd. Mae panel beirniaid arall yn gwerthuso’r llyfrau Saesneg sydd â chefndir Cymreig dilys.


Y pump beirniad ar y panel Cymraeg ar gyfer 2023 yw Morgan Dafydd  (cadeirydd), Sara Yassine, Francesca Sciarrillo, Sioned Dafydd a Siôn Edwards. Eu tasg nhw yw dewis y rhestr fer a’r enillydd terfynol. Cliciwch ar eu lluniau isod i gael gwybod mwy amdanynt a sgroliwch i lawr i gwrdd â’r panel Saesneg.

Morgan Dafydd
Sara Yassine


Mae gwaith y paneli beirniadu yn eithriadol o bwysig. Nid yn unig y maent yn dewis y rhestr fer a’r enillwyr yn y pen draw, maent hefyd yn rhoi adborth gwerthfawr ar yr holl lyfrau, i gyhoeddwyr ac awduron. Cadeirydd y panel sy’n beirniadu’r llyfrau Saesneg yw Jannat Ahmed a fydd Simon Fisher a Liz Kennedy yn ymuno â hi. Cliciwch ar eu delweddau isod i gael gwybod mwy am ein beirniaid.

Football World Cup

The Little Welsh Football Fan

by Mark Williams

The little Welsh fan has a chance to see Wales play in a major tournament! A perfect story 3–5-year-old football fans!

Alun the Bear and the Football Match

by Morgan Tomos

Alun has the opportunity to train with the Wales football team.  But he can’t play very well so he decides to be a referee instead.  But what kind of a referee will Alun be?

First Sticker Book – Football

An entertaining, bilingual sticker book portraying an exciting story about Llewod Llandre in two important football games, and on a hard day on the training field.

Stupendous Sports: Fantastic Football

by Robin Bennett

Hilarious, but factual too, Fantastic Football is as much about the spirit of the beautiful game as the rules. From the origins of football, when matches went on for days, to today’s fasicinating facts and amazing stories. Plus, a spotlight on what makes the greatest players so great.

Welsh Football Colouring Book

by Anne Cakebread

A fun colouring book for all Welsh football fans – children and adults alike! Dynamic outlines of memorable images of 21 key moments in Wales’s recent footballing recent history to colour and bring to life.

On the right track for a good story

Launching a free books scheme for Cambrian Line train passengers

Passengers traveling on the Cambrian Line will be invited to escape into a good book this autumn as the Books Council of Wales and Cambrian Railway Partnership join forces to offer free books to travellers and help the miles speed by.

This pilot programme with the Cambrian Railway Partnership, which will run throughout autumn and winter, celebrates the Books Council’s Quick Reads scheme, which offers a series of short, engaging books for readers of all tastes and reading abilities. Books will be available to collect at Aberystwyth and Machynlleth stations, for readers to either borrow and return either end of their journey, or to keep and continue reading at home.

Angharad Wyn Sinclair, Project Development Manager at the Books Council of Wales said:

‘We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Cambrian Railway Partnership on this exciting pilot, introducing the Quick Reads titles to passengers and enriching their journeys with a good read! Taking some time out with a book as you travel is a great way to explore the world from the comfort of your train seat.’

Stuart Williams, Chair of the Cambrian Railway Partnership said

‘We hope our customers will enjoy the books in the Quick Reads scheme, which can be easily picked up from displays in the ticket halls at both Aberystwyth and Machynlleth train stations, thanks to this new partnership with the Books Council.  Train journeys can provide an opportunity to switch off for a while and we hope that this scheme will help our passengers get more out of their train journeys.’

This year’s four new titles are available through the scheme, as well as titles from previous years.  The two new Welsh language titles are Dau Frawd, Dwy Gem: Stori’r Carabangos by Dylan Ebenezer, and Un Noson, by Llio Elain Madocks. The new English language titles are Return to the Sun by Tom Anderson, and The Replacement Centre by Fflur Dafydd.

The Quick Reads series is perfect for readers who may struggle to find the time for reading or who may be less confident in their reading abilities. Typically less than 100 pages long, the Quick Reads titles are designed to offer readers a short, engaging read – perfect for helping passengers make use of some downtime on their journey. Quick Reads is coordinated in Wales by the Books Council of Wales and supported by the Welsh Government. 

Season’s Greetings 2022

Season’s Greetings 2022

The Books Council and the Distribution Centre will be closed from Thursday afternoon, 22 December 2022 and will re-open after the holidays on Tuesday, 3 January 2023.

We wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas.


Reading Well for Teens

Reading Well for Teens

Reading Well for teens supports the mental health and wellbeing of young people between 13 and 18 years old, providing information, advice, and support to help them manage their feelings and cope with tough times.

The books have been chosen and recommended by leading health professionals and co-produced with young people.

The Reading Well scheme has been developed by The Reading Agency in partnership with public libraries across England and Wales, with the Books Council of Wales making a selection of books available in Welsh thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

Among the 20 titles translated into Welsh are Frankie’s World by Aoife Dooley, a graphic novel offering a unique perspective on Autism, told with humour and heart, and Anxiety is Really Strange by Steve Haines and Sophie Standing, an engaging and highly original graphic medicine book, with in-depth analysis of where anxiety comes from, what it means for your body, and how to turn it into something positive.
Chief Executive of the Books Council of Wales, Helgard Krause, said: “4 in 5 young people reported the pandemic made their mental health worse. Reading Well for teens suggests recommended reading to help young people understand their feelings and boost your confidence. What’s unique about the Reading Well scheme is that all the books have been selected and recommended by experts and that the list is co-created by teens. It’s essential that we ensure these valuable resources are also available in Welsh.”
There are currently four Reading Well lists available, children; common mental health conditions; dementia and young people.

Titles in the Reading Well Books on Prescription scheme are available to borrow from public libraries. Health or social care professionals can also recommend the books on prescription as part of an individual’s treatment, or they can be purchased through bookshops, gwales.com and other websites.


Newsquest and Books Council of Wales joint statement

Newsquest and Books Council of Wales joint statement

Newsquest and Books Council of Wales joint statement – Corgi Cymru

The Books Council of Wales and Newsquest have agreed to end the funding and provision of Welsh-language digital news service Corgi Cymru.

Both parties came to a mutual agreement to propose to close Corgi Cymru’s digital channels at the end of October and allow the service to be wound down over the following month.

One full-time and one part-time role are now at risk and a consultation will be held with affected Newsquest staff, starting today, 19 October.

Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Books Council, said: “After careful consideration and discussion, the Books Council and Newsquest have agreed that it is in the best interest of both parties to discontinue our funding agreement and close the Corgi Cymru digital news service at the end of October.

“We have been in regular contact with Newsquest over the last few weeks and we are sorry to see Corgi Cymru close, but we do understand that circumstances have changed since the grant was awarded, due to the very challenging current environment. Our thoughts are with the staff who are affected by this decision.”

Gavin Thompson, Regional Editor at Newsquest, said: “We are grateful to the Books Council for its support, which enabled the launch of Corgi Cymru earlier this year. Unfortunately, it became clear that even with Books Council support and given the challenging economic environment, building a new Welsh-language proposition at this time would not be economically sustainable.

“We have been engaged in constructive discussions over the future of the service in recent weeks, following the closure of The National Wales. We will begin a consultation process with affected staff, starting today.”

The Books Council of Wales will announce the process for re-tendering the remainder of the Welsh Language Digital News Service grant funding from 2023 onwards over the coming weeks.

Sporting Stories – Wales in the World Cup 2022

Sporting Stories – Wales in the World Cup 2022

Books Council of Wales joins Welsh Government campaign to ‘take Wales to the World’

As part of Welsh Government’s World Cup Partner Support Fund, the Books Council of Wales is one of 19 organisations getting behind the Wales team as they head for Qatar in November.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has announced the projects that will promote and celebrate Wales at the tournament. A total of £1.8 million will be shared among 19 projects which aim to project our nation’s values and work to secure a positive and lasting legacy for Wales and Welsh football.

The Books Council of Wales has been awarded funding to deliver free football-themed books to libraries and food banks across Wales, to bring the magic of football to readers and celebrate the Welsh team’s achievements.

Chief Executive of the Books Council, Helgard Krause, said: “We are delighted to be part of this exciting programme and to use the passion and celebration of Wales’ achievement in the World Cup to ignite a love of reading in young people and help them improve their literacy skills.

Both reading and physical activity have a huge role to play in our health and well-being and Sporting Stories brings both elements together. Whether it’s helping a football fan to discover books they’ll love, or providing some footballing inspiration to encourage participation in football, games and sport, children and young people will be able to choose from a wide selection of football-themed books to enjoy during the World Cup and celebrate Wales’ place in the tournament.”

The Books Council’s Sporting Stories project will provide a selection of recent football-themed books, in both Welsh and English, to local authority libraries and to foodbanks across Wales. The books will be available from the beginning of November and will include a wide range of titles for all reading abilities, from Foundation Phase to adult readers. More information will be available on the Books Council’s website.

In his statement, Vaughan Gething said: “The Welsh Government has established an ambitious and exciting range of activities to make the most of the unique opportunity offered by the Cymru men’s football team’s participation in the FIFA World Cup.

This is the most significant marketing and sports diplomacy opportunity ever presented to the Welsh Government given the profile of the event.

We are determined to capitalise on this historic achievement and deliver real benefits for people here in Wales.”​


Exploring the world

Albert Upside Down

by Ian Brown

Albert the pet tortoise has a problem: trying to reach a tasty treat, he has ended up on his shell, upside down and stuck! Can the other garden creatures overcome their rivalry, team up and help him get back on his feet?

The Quilt

by Valériane Leblond

A beautifully illustrated story about migration and homesickness. Around 1900, a family leaves Wales in search of a better life in the USA, where their homemade quilt proves a great comfort.

Fred and the Fantastic Tub-Tub

by Zeb Soanes 

Fred, a young girl, and her Grandpa travel to the island of Papa-Nupi to see, or rather hear, the mysterious Tub-Tub – a plant that flowers every 200 years and which ‘produces music so beautiful even the birds in the trees stop singing to hear it.’ But even if they can get there, can they manage to bring a recording back with them to prove what they’ve heard?

Libby and the Parisian Puzzle

by Jo Clarke 

Mystery-lover Libby is excited but nervous when sent to live with her aunt, while her mother is working abroad. Her aunt Agatha is headmistress of an extraordinary travelling school that moves from country to country. Libby joins it in Paris, when Agatha is arrested, accused of a daring jewel robbery. Can Libby and her new best friend Connie find the real thief and save her aunt?

My Name is River

by Emma Rea

When Dylan overhears his dad say that their farm has been sold to a global company, he decides he has to make them change their minds. In Brazil, things don’t go at all to plan. Only when Lucia, a street child armed with a puppy and a thesaurus, saves his life, do they start to uncover the shocking truth about what the company is up to, and Dylan’s home problems seem far away.