Published 22.04.2021
by Kids’ Own

Kids’ Own invites you to the launch of Can’t Lose Cant

We are delighted to invite you to the launch of Can’t Lose Cant, a book that explores the Traveller language Cant through a colourful collection of drawings and illustrations. The online launch is co-hosted by Sligo Traveller Support Group and will be officially launched by Senator Eileen Flynn online on Thursday 29th of April at 4pm, on the Sligo Traveller Support Group’s Facebook page.

Our classic book Can’t Lose Cant has been a popular title since it was first published by Kids’ Own in 2003, as a result of a creative process with Traveller and settled children in County Kildare. It represents a truly unique and significant resource as a world first book about the Cant language, developed by young people, and we are delighted to have received funds from the Arts Council of Ireland to reprint it! The new edition includes a foreword by writer Oein De Bhairduin, who said the reprint gives “space and word to an age-old tongue, set alongside the beautiful creative creations, ideas, thoughts and art of children – children who continue to be custodians of our language to yet another rising generation”.

The online launch will also include a panel discussion, exploring the importance of this unique child-authored book, as well as a wider discussion about the need for a more inclusive curriculum and books and resources that promote inclusion and reflect children’s own voices and multiple modes of expression. The panel will include Mary Branley, Kids’ Own Associate Writer who has worked on dozens of Kids’ Own book projects with Traveller children; Oein De Bhairduin, author of Why the Moon Travels, “tales rooted in the oral tradition of the Irish Traveller community”; Annmarie Collins, teacher and creator of a Travelling Community Teaching Resource; and Bernadette Maughan, manager of Sligo Traveller Support Group.

Invite to launch of Can't Lose Cant republication

In the reprinting of this book, Kids’ Own has a vision to support the integration of Traveller culture into mainstream education; and through children’s voices and active participation, stimulate dialogue and teaching and learning processes that recognise, promote and celebrate Traveller culture and language.

Kids’ Own received funding from the Arts Council of Ireland to reprint and distribute Can’t Lose Cant, offering a welcome opportunity to engage in new conversations about Traveller culture and its importance, and to build new audiences for this wonderful book.

Jo Holmwood, Creative Director of Kids’ Own, has said, “This is a wonderful opportunity for Kids’ Own to reprint this classic book, which has always been such a popular title and well recognised as a really valuable resource which foregrounds the child’s voice, and is also so unique as a celebration of the Cant language, and a practical and accessible language-learning tool. At Kids’ Own, we really believe that books like this need to be in classrooms all across the country to offer teachers and children resources that reflect and promote the diversity of children’s lives and experiences in Ireland today.”

 Jamie Murphy from the Sligo Traveller Support Group said “We are delighted to be involved in this initiative with Kids’ Own. It is a wonderful opportunity to promote some of the rich history of Traveller language and identity which unfortunately for so long has been and continues to be marginalised in Irish society. The relaunch of Can’t Lose Cant will present a whole new generation of people from both the Traveller and settled communities, and people of all ages, with the chance to engage with the language and celebrate a rich and historical culture”

Writer Mary Branley, who was involved in the original book project said:Can’t Lose Cant is back, and every bit as quirky and delightful as the day it was first published in 2003. This reprint is important for many young Travellers, who have an expressed hope to bring Cant back to their communities.”