Belfast author and illustrator PJ Lynch has said being named as the fourth Laureate na nÓg (Ireland's laureate for children's literature) is one of the "proudest moments" of his career.
He was named by President Michael D Higgins at a special event held at the Art Council's offices in Merrion Square on Wednesday morning.
Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council with the support of Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, Children’s Books Ireland and Poetry Ireland.
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.”
Lynch has illustrated more than 20 books since leaving Brighton College of Art in 1984. Among them are modern editions of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
The Laureate na nÓg honour was created in a bid to engage young people with high-quality children's literature.