ILF Dublin is proud to host this first public interview by the new Laureate na nÓg 2016-18, PJ Lynch. In this inaugural talk, PJ will offer a fascinating insight into his remarkable body of work and discusses the key themes of his laureateship.
Laureate na nÓg is a unique two-year honour designed to help young people engage with literature and to underline the importance of children’s literature in our cultural and imaginative life.
PJ Lynch was born in Belfast and became interested in art at an early age. He has worked as a children’s picturebook illustrator since leaving Brighton College of Art in England in 1984 and has illustrated over twenty books, including modern editions of classics such as Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen. PJ has been awarded the Christopher Medal three times and he also won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal on two occasions, first for The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski and again for
When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest. Lynch's first illustrated book was A Bag of Moonshine by Alan Garner, a collection of folklore tales from England and Wales, which was published in 1986 and which won the Mother Goose Award, given to the most exciting newcomer to British children's book illustration.
Since then, folklore - traditional stories, legends, and fairy tales - have been a recurring subject of his work. Recent titles he has illustrated include Mysterious Traveller, Once upon a Place, which was complied by previous Laureate na nÓg Eoin Colfer and The Boy who Fell off the Mayflower, which is the first book he has also written. It was shortlisted for numerous awards. In 2017, Patrick and the President, his collaboration with Ryan Tubridy about John F. Kennedy’s visit to Ireland, will be published.
Speaking about his appointment as Laureate na nÓg, PJ Lynch said: ‘Being named the new Laureate is one of the proudest moments of my career. I want to explore the magic that happens when words and pictures come together. My theme as Laureate na nÓg will be “The Big Picture” – I plan to do a regular podcast involving live drawing or demonstrating techniques and I’ll invite guests to talk about their drawing passions. I would also love to create a landmark image in a prominent place or places in Ireland as a permanent reminder of the power of pictures to incite the imagination.’
Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council with the support of The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland, Poetry Ireland and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Age: Suitable 10+ and Adults