New Laureate na nÓg Niamh Sharkey’s first official engagement as Laureate was to address a seminar organised by Bernardos on the topic of Literacy and Numeracy for Early Learners. The seminar took place at the Hilton Hotel in Kilmainham, Dublin, and was attended by educators, librarians and policy-makers in the Early Learning Sector. Niamh spoke about her own process as a picture-book maker, the impact that picture books had on children, as well as the influence that illustrators such as the late Maurice Sendack and Jim Henson had had on her work.
Archive for May, 2012
The new Laureate na nÓg Niamh Sharkey hit the headlines today with most of the main news media covering her appointment. Having appeared on RTE Six-One news last night and given interviews to BBC Radio Ulster’s Arts Extra programme, as well as the BBC World Service, there was more coverage in today’s papers.
You can read what the Irish Times said here:
And what the Irish Independent said here:
And RTE’s Entertainment Network reported it here:
Today, Tuesday 8th May 2012, President Michael D. Higgins announced author and illustrator Niamh Sharkey as Laureate na nÓg, Ireland’s laureate for children’s literature, presenting her with the Laureate na nÓg medal at a special event at the Arts Council.
Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council with the support of the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland, Poetry Ireland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The honour was been established to engage young people with high quality children’s literature and to underline the importance of children’s literature in our cultural and imaginative life.
Niamh Sharkey is an author and illustrator of children’s picture books, which have been translated into over twenty languages. Her books have won numerous awards including the prestigious Mother Goose Award and the Bisto Book of the Year. Niamh is the creator and associate producer of The Happy Hugglemonsters, a 52 episode pre-school animation series, based on her book The Hugglewugs, which will air on Disney Junior in over 150 countries in 2012.
Speaking about her appointment Niamh Sharkey said:
‘It is a great honor to be chosen as the next Laureate na nOg. I am a picture book maker so my focus as Laureate will certainly be visual as well as literary. I am going to get to do even more of what I love most – promoting quality children’s literature and encouraging children to read, write and draw. I have lots of ideas that I hope will inspire creativity in children of all ages. I’m very excited and can’t wait to get started’
Mags Walsh, Director of Children’s Books Ireland said: “In the two years since its establishment, the position of Laureate na nÓg has been able to highlight and celebrate the incredible talent and passion which exists in the Irish children’s books community. By bringing national and international attention to Irish children’s books, Laureate na nÓg has demonstrated the central role that books can play in every Irish childhood.”
The inaugural Laureate na nÓg was author Siobhán Parkinson, a champion of the cause of children’s literature. Siobhan’s projects whilst in the role have included the Laureate International Library, which comprises more than 100 Irish and international children’s books selected by the Laureate as representative of the quality of international children’s writing around the world, as well as Books Beyond Borders, which explored the topic of books and reading in multi-cultural societies.
In attendance at todays’ event were Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council; Orlaith Mac Bride, Arts Council Director; Liz Powell, Acting Head of Literature, the Arts Council; Mags Walsh, Children’s Books Ireland, Director; Jane O’Hanlon, Poetry Ireland; Bob Collins, Chairman, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and children aged 4-7, who conducted an interview with the new Laureate that morning.