A mixture of speech and silence, words and pictures this week, with the chatter of Children’s Book Festival and the quiet of the Silent Books. Schoolchildren around Dublin learned how dragon DNA entered human gene history to create Aidan Mooney’s fire-breathing mum in My Secret Dragon.

And in Galway, teachers, librarians, home-school liaison workers and social inclusion staff explored how to use the Silent Books collection, pioneered by IBBY*, with the groups they work with.

With the school system’s emphasis on reading and writing, it’s great to be reminded of the many different ways of telling stories, from pictures and films to drama, music and mime.

As usual, the ancient Greeks are three thousand years behind and three steps ahead: the word ‘story’ comes from ‘historia’ meaning both ‘account’ and ‘picture’, and related to Greek words meaning to see and to know.

* http://www.ibbyireland.com/resources.html