Yesterday May 8th, President Michael D. Higgins announced the appointment of author and illustrator Niamh Sharkey as Ireland’s second Laureate na nÓg. Niamh commences her two-year term of office and succeeds Siobhán Parkinson, our inaugural Laureate na nÓg who has held the position for the past two years.

Niamh Sharkey is an award‐winning author and illustrator of children’s picture books. Her books have won numerous awards including the prestigious Mother Goose Award for the Best New Illustrator and The Bisto Book of the Year for her first two Picture Books; Tales of Wisdom and Wonder and The Gigantic Turnip. Her most recent picture book, On the Road with Mavis and Marge won the 2010 Junior Book of the Year award at The Irish Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Bisto Book of the Year Awards. Niamh is the Creator and Co‐Producer of The Happy Hugglemonsters ‐ a 52 episode pre‐school series, based on her book I’m a Happy Hugglewug developed in association with the Irish Film Board and currently in production with Oscar nominated Brown Bag Films, for Disney Worldwide. It will air in over 150 countries in 2013.

On her Blog, Niamh said that she was thrilled with her new appointment:

‘It is a great honor to be chosen as the next Laureate na nÓg. 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!’

Information from Niamh’s Blog, the Laureate na nÓg website and the Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) website. Photo taken from Niamh’s Blog.