Irish Publishing News reports that Siobhán Parkinson has been announced by President Mary McAleese as Ireland's first Laureate na nÓg. She will hold the position for two years.
Established by a combination of the Arts Council, the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland the Laureate will promote children’s literature and build engagement wit young readers. The role is also supported by Eason’s and by the Irish Times.
Parkinson writes for both children and young adults whose work has been translated in several languages. She has won the Bisto Book award as well as been shortlisted for that award and several others. Most recently she co- founded New Island’s children’s imprint, Little Island.
Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council, said, ‘The Arts Council is proud to initiate Ireland’s first laureate for children’s literature. Laureate na nÓg seeks to broaden and enrich young people’s imaginative worlds, to encourage a love of reading and to inculcate the value of literature among children and young people.’
The new laureate Siobhán Parkinson said, ‘I am thrilled and honoured to be chosen as the first Laureate na nÓg. I believe that children’s literature lays the foundations of the imaginative life of a people, and that every child deserves to have access to a reading haven — a well-stocked and well-run library in their school and in their community.’