Monday 19 March 2018

Glass craic: President used for comic effect

Illustrations from ‘The President’s Glasses’
Illustrations from ‘The President’s Glasses’

Rachel Dugan

He is already a published poet and author, so it's no surprise that President Michael D Higgins will be appearing on bookshelves again this autumn - but this time it will be as a character in a new book.

'The President's Glasses', a children's picture book due to be published by Gill Books in October, tells the story of a President who forgets his spectacles and is reunited with them thanks to the efforts of a resourceful pigeon.


As the bird races toward Dublin Castle to give the President back his glasses, young readers get a bird's eye view of the city in a series of beautiful illustrations.

And the presidential pigeon certainly has a lot of exciting adventures as he tries to catch up with Michael D, including beating a Viking ship in a race on the River Liffey.

Michael D, who has been dubbed 'the poet President', is no stranger to the world of books. Last year, he published a collection of his speeches under the title 'When Ideas Matter'. The President is also the author of two other non-fiction works and has had four collections of his poetry published.

Illustrations from ‘The President’s Glasses’
Illustrations from ‘The President’s Glasses’

Author and illustrator Peter Donnelly said he decided to bring the President to life in his book, so that he could take young readers on a journey around the capital city.

"I've always wanted to illustrate a children's book inspired by Dublin city and which placed the city at the centre of the story. Writing the President and the pigeon into the story gave me the reason to bring an audience on that adventure," said Peter.

Director of Gill Books Nicki Howard is confident that the book will be an "instant classic".

"When Peter sent in his work, it was love at first sight and I knew instantly that I wanted to publish this charming, witty and stylish book.

Illustrations from ‘The President’s Glasses’
Illustrations from ‘The President’s Glasses’

"I hope that children all over the country will enjoy this hilarious caper through the capital city as the ever-faithful presidential pigeon tries to catch up with the President to deliver his glasses!

"We're pretty certain 'The President's Glasses' will be an instant classic," said Ms Howard.

A planned sequel to the picture book is already under way, according to the publisher.

'The President's Glasses' by Peter Donnelly will be published by Gill Books on October 6.

Irish Independent

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