Thursday, May 13, 2010

Award-winning Irish author and publisher Siobhán Parkinson becomes Ireland's first laureate for children's literature

 Alison Flood,, Tuesday 11 May 2010

Award-winning Irish author and publisher Siobhán Parkinson was named yesterday as Laureate na nÓg, Ireland's first laureate for children's literature, by Irish president Mary McAleese.

The children's author will work 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" in her role as laureate.

Parkinson is the author of more than 20 books for children and teenagers, publisher of a new children's imprint, Little Island, which launched its first books in March this year, and writer-in-residence at the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin. She won a major Irish children's book prize, the Bisto book of the year, for her tale of reluctant stepsisters, Sisters... no way!

The Dublin-based author said that one of her main aims as laureate would be to ensure that "every child in the country has access to a nice, bright, warm, cheerful, comfortable library, where they can go and find the books that will open their minds and bring them into wonderful imaginary places. That sense of excitement and joy about books I want every child to have, and not all children do get that".

"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,"
she added.
Alison Flood's full piece at The Guardian.

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