We’ve all been friends for years ( Laura and Fionnuala since Rosemount Primary School ) and we worked together on all sorts of projects before becoming Dog Ears. We knew that we made a great team and that we wanted to do something that was fresh and new, and so in the summer of 2010 Dog Ears was born.
After stacks of post-it notes and debates, we decided on Dog Ears as our name. We don't just make books - we make stories for screens of all sizes - and our name reflects our hope that everything we produce will be well-thumbed, well-loved and a bit battered through repeated use.
Here are some of the things we've done lately...
We want our books to be the ones kids remember, the ones which they return to again and again. At Dog Ears HQ we lavish care and attention on every book we publish.
We're really excited by digital storytelling and the changing ways our children read. We make apps which surprise and delight, stimulate the imagination and the senses, and provide an immersive interactive experience.
Our stories and brands come to life on many platforms. This autumn we begin production on the first series of Puffin Rock, and open the doors of our new digital studio In Derry, where we'll be sharing animation duties with the crew at Cartoon Saloon, Kilkenny.
Dog Ears' Events offer kids in Northern Ireland access to the very best writers and illustrators. We organise reading events, stage shows and tours that bring stories to life and spread the reading bug. This year saw our first Humdinger! festival and we're already planning the sequel...
Humdinger! is a celebration of words, stories and imagination and our inaugural festival 2013 featured some of the biggest and best-loved names in children’s books, including: Julia Donaldson, Roddy Doyle, Meg Rosoff and Alex T. Smith. Families and kids enjoyed an amazing 27 events over 3 days attended by over 5,000 people.
We're now working on Humdinger! 2014 and our festival will showcase fun, family-friendly, innovative events in a range of venues across the city. Children will have the chance to meet their favourite authors and illustrators, experience beautiful music, take part in craft workshops, develop new skills and have their imaginations sparked left, right and centre.
Puffin Rock is a beautiful, wild Irish island inhabited by puffins. We focus on Oona, a charismatic and adventurous young puffling who lives in a burrow with Mama and Papa Puffin and her ever-curious little brother, Baba. Along with our partners Cartoon Saloon and Penguin, we're working towards a global roll-out of Puffin Rock as a multi-platform brand in 2014.
We kicked off production on the Puffin Rock cartoon in Autumn 2013, in Kilkenny and Derry.
The series will be broadcast by Nick Jr. in the UK and RTÉjr in Ireland, and will be narrated by Chris O'Dowd.
Fionnuala ran a publishing company for 12 years before following her dream to set up a children's media company. She's married to Michael and mum to Cormac. She loves Donegal in the sunshine with the fams, pyjama days, playing the piano, hanging around with friends, coming to work!
Prior to setting up Dog Ears, Laura worked in London for over 10 years as children’s book Editor at Macmillan Children’s Books, and subsequently in children’s TV, helping develop shows including Peppa Pig and Humf. Laura loves crazy plans that come together, post-bath kids, Tina Fey and songs you absolutely have to dance to.
Jackie worked in publishing for 8 years as a super saleswoman and marketeer - supplying bookshops and flying around doing deliveries among other things. She loves dinner in her mammys, walking the dog, balancing bank accounts, secretly singing in the car and shopping ( x 10 )
John was a designer working with graphics, code and sometimes watercolours for 12 years before joining Dog Ears to make books and build apps for kids. He loves music, making things, father-daughter dancing shoes, open fires and every Christmas.
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