Top children's author drawn in by Disney offer
FROM the written word to the moving image, the winner of this year's laureate for children's literature is also heading behind the camera to create an animation series for the Disney Channel.
Author and illustrator Niamh Sharkey from Swords, Dublin, was yesterday handed her silver medal as Ireland's laureate for children's literature -- Laureate na nOg -- by President Michael D Higgins at a special ceremony in Dublin.
Niamh, whose job will be to raise the profile of children's literature, is an award-winning author and illustrator of children's picture books which have been translated into more than 20 languages.
She is also branching out into the world of TV and is associate producer of a 52-episode animation series based on her book 'The Happy Hugglemonsters', which airs on Disney Junior in 150 countries this year.
"It was overwhelming to be even shortlisted but to actually win the laureate title is an incredible honour and a great privilege," she said.
"It's that bit extra special because this is the first year that it's a laureate between the Northern Ireland Arts Council and the Arts Council in the Republic.
"One of my books is being made into an animation for Disney Junior which will come out next year. We're making it in Dublin so I'm heavily involved in that at the moment," she added.
She stressed parents should instil a love of books in their children by reading to them from an early age.
Her award-winning books include 'The Ravenous Beast' and 'The Gigantic Turnip'.