Olanna's Big Day by Natasha Mac a'Bhaird


Olanna's Big Day by Natasha Mac a'Bhaird

There's great excitement when the school band is chosen to march in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. Olanna practises really hard on her tin whistle. At last the big day arrives and they line up with the stilt-walkers, the bagpipers, the dancing leprechauns. Then disaster strikes. But Olanna - and her granny back in Nigeria - saves the day! This is a new series of books for modern, multi-cultural Ireland for children aged 6-8.


'distinctively illustrated by artists from the Cartoon Saloon'

'well-written, entertaining and enlightening stories for children'

'a handsome collection of full-colour picture books'

'particularly attractive ... for reading aloud in class'

'highly recommended'

'a timely series that will be invaluable both in the school and home environment ... these thought-provoking books will be of immense value to teachers, parents and of course children'

'a dramatic colour palette and quirky characters make for arresting illustrations, matched by a heart-warming and somewhat poignant storyline'

'particularly charming'

'Editor's Choice' 'attractive and important'

'innovative and exciting'

'appropriate and timely'

'aimed at age six and upwards, this excellent and enjoyable non-preachy series ... should be in every school'

'an excellent and thought-provoking new series of multicultural books from O'Brien'

'[Bridges] introduce us to some of the newer cultures in our island in warm and sympathetic fashion'

'captivating as well as educational'

's Way 'hopefully they are the first of many in that they ably reflect the ethnic mix that Ireland's population has now become. Inter-racial and inter-generational, they explore differences in culture and language, and celebrate communication'

'impressively designed, with bright coloured pictures, well-spaced text and a narrative that uses simple language but in its most effective way'

'four beautifully written and very colourfully illustrated books'

'could be used in the area of integration, geography and religious studies'

'the text is carefully graded in terms of language'

'merry and inventive'

About the Author

Natasha Mac a'Bhaird

Natasha Mac a'Bhaird is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of the bestselling wedding planning book, The Irish Bride's Survival Guide, a new edition of which was published in 2011. Her first children's book, Olanna's Big Day, was published in 2009. Olanna's Big Day was included in the White Ravens Collection 2010 and was shortlisted for the Reading Association of Ireland Award 2011. Natasha has written articles for the Evening Herald, Irish Examiner and Image magazine and is a regular book reviewer with Inis - Children's Books Ireland magazine and Book Fest.

Missing Ellen is her first book for older readers.

Q&A with Natasha Mac a’Bháird

Q. Did you ever go to a Drama Club?
A. I did speech and drama lessons which I loved. I was never in a club like Star Club, but I did have great fun putting on shows with my sister and brothers.

Q. Singing, dancing, acting – if you could only do one, which would it be?
A. Definitely acting! If I wasn’t a writer I would have loved to be an actress.

Q. What’s your favourite movie?
A. I think it would have to be The Sound of Music, it’s got so many of the things I love – the pre-war setting, family relationships, songs and dancing, and of course romance.

Q. Favourite song?
A. Anything by ABBA!

Q. Favourite book?
A. It’s incredibly difficult to pick one, but since you’re making me, I’ll go for Tom’s Midnight Garden by Phillippa Pearce. I’ve read it dozens of times and it still makes me cry.

Q. If you could meet any famous ‘star’, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I would love to meet J.K. Rowling. I would probably be too starstruck to say anything at all, but if I was able to speak, I’d just tell her how much I love her books.

Q. When did you start writing?
A. The first story I remember writing was when I was eight. I always loved writing stories as a child and wrote my first full-length book when I was twelve. Of course it was never published, but I think I still have it in a drawer somewhere!

Q. Do you have any advice for young writers?
A. Read as much as you can, and as many different types of books as you can! And write as much as you can too, whether that’s writing fiction, factual pieces or just writing in your diary – it all helps you develop those writing muscles!
Q. And finally, any advice for those who are too shy to step into the spotlight?
A. First of all remember that there’s nothing wrong with being shy. I was a very shy child and I found drama was a great way to come out of my shell a bit. It helps you develop confidence. So don’t be scared, don’t let your shyness stop you from making the most of opportunities – grab your courage with both hands and enjoy the moment!

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


32 pages
Interest Age: From 6


Natasha Mac a'Bhaird
More books by Natasha Mac a'Bhaird


Publication date

26th October 2009



Publisher Profile

O'Brien Press Ltd is an imprint of O'Brien


The O'Brien Press is Ireland's leading general publisher of both adult and children's books. Our list covers a huge range, including biography, humour, photography, history, art, fiction, politics, cookery, sport, music, memoir, true crime and travel and we are constantly expanding into new and exciting areas.

Publisher's Website


It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

You give me age appropriate ideas of books I can read and buy for the children and find out what other children their age think of them too.

Katie Lonsdale

It’s really exciting to read and review new books, thrilling to see my reviews online and I love finding the final published copies on sale.

Sam Harper – age 10

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

Lovereading 4 schools