PJ Lynch was Ireland’s fourth Laureate na nÓg. He was born in Belfast, and became interested in art at an early age. He has worked as a children’s book illustrator since leaving Brighton College of Art in England in 1984, and has illustrated over twenty books, including modern editions of classics such as Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
PJ has been awarded the Christopher Medal three times, and he also won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal on two occasions, first for The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, and again for When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest. His first illustrated book was A Bag of Moonshine by Alan Garner, a collection of folklore tales from England and Wales, which was published in 1986. For that work he won the Mother Goose Award given to the most exciting newcomer to British children’s book illustration. Since then folklore—traditional stories, legends, and fairy tales—have been a recurring subject of his work. PJ has been commissioned to design posters for Opera Ireland and the Abbey Theatre. Other book titles include Mysterious Traveler, and Once Upon a Place, a collection of short stories and poems compiled by Eoin Colfer as Laureate na nÓg, as well as The Boy who Fell off the Mayflower, which is the first book PJ has also written. PJ ‘s most recent book is called Patrick and the President, it’s set during the period when President Kennedy returned to his ancestral home in 1963. The text is written by Ryan Tubridy. PJ’s next project is a collaboration with fellow laureate Eoin Colfer.
PJ’s project as Laureate was a celebration of visual storytelling, exploring the universal power of pictures, beyond language and literacy, to tell a story. During his term, he engaged with thousands of children across the island of Ireland in creating giant picture walls for his Big Picture Project. This included six permanent murals on the walls of Gaelscoil Mhainistir na gCorann in Midleton. PJ also gave workshops and made video tutorials, he collaborated with Roddy Doyle and Fighting Words to publish a book written and illustrated by children north and south of the border, he even presented a radio show on Highland Radio!
Rugadh PJ Lynch i mBéal Feirste agus chuir sé suim san ealaín nuair a bhí sé an-óg. Tá sé ag obair mar mhaisitheoir do leabhair do pháistí ó d’fhág sé an Brighton College of Art i Sasana i 1984 agus tá os cionn scór leabhar maisithe aige, lena n-áirítear eagráin nua-aimseartha de leabhair chlasaiceacha ar nós A Christmas Carol le Charles Dickens agus The Snow Queen le Hans Christian Andersen.
Bronnadh an Christopher Medal ar PJ trí huaire agus bhain sé an gradam mór le rá, an Kate Greenaway Medal, faoi dhó – i dtosach báire as The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey le Susan Wojciechowski, agus arís as When Jessie Came Across the Sea le Amy Hest. Ba é A Bag of Moonshine by Alan Garner an chéad leabhar a mhaisigh Lynch. Ba chnuasach de scéalta béaloidis a bhí ann as Sasana agus as an mBreatain Bheag a foilsíodh i 1986. Bhain sé an Mother Goose Award as sin sa rannóg don duine nua is fearr i maisiú leabhar do pháistí sa Bhreatain. Ón am sin i leith tá an béaloideas – scéalta traidisiúnta, finscéalta agus síscéalta – ina ábhar arís is arís eile ina shaothar. Le blianta beaga anuas, iarradh ar PJ na póstaeir a dhearadh do Opera Ireland agus d’Amharclann an Mainistreach. I measc na leabhar is déanaí uaidh tá Mysterious Traveler, Once Upon a Place, a chuir Eoin Colfer le chéile mar Laureate na nÓg, agus The Boy who Fell off the Mayflower, an chéad leabhar atá scríofa chomh maith ag PJ. Is é maisiú an leabhair Patrick and the President an chéad tionscadal eile a mbeidh PJ ag tabhairt faoi. Tá an scéal bunaithe le linn na tréimhse ar thug an tUachtarán Kennedy cuairt ar a bhaile dúchais i 1963. Tá an téacs scríofa ag Ryan Tubridy.
Tá léachtaí tugtha ag P.J. Lynch ar a shaothar féin, agus ar an Ealaín agus ar Mhaisiú i nGailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann, i Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann agus i Músaem Náisiúnta Cló na hÉireann. Tá léachtaí tugtha aige freisin ag mórán comhdhálacha agus i mórán coláistí ar fud Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá.
Ceapadh PJ Lynch ina cheathrú Laureate na nÓg i mí na Bealtaine 2016.