8/05/2012 by David Maybury · No Comments
Something big happens this morning. Something really BIG.
One of those moments where you know you will be talking about it for weeks at dinners, lunches, meetings, drinks, in blog posts and every time you see someone on the street who looks like they might be familiar. And, let's be honest, I will probably stop a stranger or two over the next few days to tell them too.
Todays announcement of Ireland's second Children's Laureate, Laureate Na nÓg will see Niamh Sharkey follow in the footsteps of Siobhán Parkinson, the formidable powerhouse of passion and intelligence, who held the position with an inspiring confidence, energy and zeal.
Parkinson - talking about the role has said that she tended to concentrate her energies as laureate "on events that allow me to reach people who might not normally form part of the audience for children’s literature. Addressing a gathering at a summer school,for example, allows Laureate na nÓg to bring children’s literature to a wider audience and to make it part of ‘the national conversation’ about literature. Raising the profile and the status of children’s literature will have beneficial effects not only for children but also for publishers and booksellers, for writers/illustrators and educators – in short, for the whole children’s books world."
It is a big ask for anyone to fill those, very lovely but never-the-less-large, shoes - but if there is anyone up to the task... Niamh is the one.
So, who is Niamh Sharkey? Best known as the award-winning illustrator and author (with the Mother Goose Award for the Best New Illustrator, two Bisto Book of the Year Awards and the 2010 Irish Book Awards Junior Book of the Year). She has designed sets, theatre costumes and a whole lot more - and is the creator and co-producer of The Happy Hugglemonsters - a pre-school series based on her book I’m a Happy Hugglewug in production with Oscar nominated Brown Bag Films, for Disney Worldwide.
Want to know more? Check this out.