After the sobering choice of xenophobia* as the word of the year, what a brilliant burst of xenophilia** at iBbY Ireland’s Once upon a Folktale competition.

Pupils at St Patrick’s Primary School in Celbridge wowed the audience and judges with superb storytelling: confident, creative and celebrating their diverse nationalities. The novel props included a gushing river of blue sheets pulled by string, and cardboard hexagons for the Giant’s Causeway.

Judges from Celbridge Library, International Education Services and iBbY Ireland praised the artistry and articulacy of performers who swept their audience round the world from Ireland to India, Romania to Kenya, Lithuania to Mexico and back. A huge thank you to the Principal and staff of St Patrick’s who made the time and space for their pupils to shine.

*xenophobia: fear of strangers or guests

**xenophilia: love of strangers or guests