O’Brien Press trumpeted this as: A new and contemporary collection of stories from Ireland’s foremost children’s authors, specially created for readers aged 10+. A mix of adventure, fantasy and incident, the stories focus on modern-day issues and are designed to be both exciting and thought provoking. The authors included are: Stephanie Dagg, Eoin Colfer, Siobhán Parkinson, Pat Boran, Gerard Whelan, Maeve Friel, Gregory Maguire, Carló Gebler, June Considine, Mark O’Sullivan and Frank Murphy.
We all got a rollicking from the editor, Robert Dunbar, along the way! Our first drafts were all too old for the age group in his opinion. We’d been asked to write for 8+ year-olds. However, finally the reader age for the book was adjusted upwards. The brief had been to deal with current issues, so that set a fairly advanced tone.
My story, ‘A Cardboard Box’, was inspired by some recent animal rescues we’d undertaken. We’d recently had a pigeon and a rabbit in a cardboard box, being cared for in the kitchen. In the story it’s a real baby that’s left in a cardboard box on the doorstep to be looked after. Hmm. Maybe that was a bit heavy for an 8-year-old! Actually, no. I dealt with it in appropriate language and there’s an element of humour. Quite proud of that story.
Here are some reviews for Skimming.
‘The story quality is superb. All are exciting and modern day and I defy anyone not to enjoy dipping into this great book.’ Fingal Independent
‘Some of (the stories) are poignant, some funny, some sad and some surreal but all of them have that quintessentially Irish ‘feel’ to them … All the stories are very different which makes this collection so appealing; there should be something to please everyone. A very enjoyable read.’ The School Librarian
‘Whatever story you choose, it will not disappoint … Definitely one to stick in your suitcase.’ Teenage reviewer Catherine O’Mahony, iQ magazine
‘Something for everyone.’ Kidstuff, The RTE Guide
‘Dunbar gathers together a dozen stories by top Irish authors and there isn’t a child anywhere who wouldn’t find something of interest here: fairies, animals, bullying, mystery, rivalries.’ Niall MacMonagle, The Irish Times