Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers<br>La société canadienne des auteurs, illustrateurs et artistes pour enfants

Barbara Reid

Author, Illustrator


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Professional information

"I was born in 1957 in Toronto, Ontario, and have lived there ever since. I spent summers at my family cottage north of the city. As a child, my favorite things were animals, the outdoors, reading and drawing.

After winning a creative writing contest in grade six, I decided to become a writer when I grew up. But by the end of high school it was clear that although I enjoyed writing, I liked reading a lot more, and drawing best of all. I decided to attend art college.

At the Ontario College of Art and Design my focus was illustration, and it was for a class assignment that I first experimented with plasticine to make a dimensional picture. The project was a surprise success-everybody laughed! When I entered another plasticine picture in a calendar contest I was embarrassed to find out that one of the judges was the famous painter and Group of Seven member A.J. Casson. To my surprise and relief, he laughed! I won the contest. After that, I decided to take having fun more seriously, and include plasticine artwork in my portfolio. I graduated from OCAD in 1980 and began work as a freelance illustrator.

After working for a variety of clients, I was thrilled to illustrate my first picture book in plasticine. The New Baby Calf, by Edith Newlin Chase, was shortlisted for the Canada Council Prize for Illustration. More than twenty books later, other awards include the UNICEF Ezra Jack Keats Award, The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, the Mr. Christie's Book award, and the Elizabeth Cleaver Award. The Party, which I wrote and illustrated, won the Governor General's Award for Illustration; Fox Walked Alone was named to the IBBY International Honour List and was a Blue Spruce Award selection. Most recently, I received Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Award for Perfect Snow. My books have been published in Canada, The USA, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Finland, Norway, China, Germany, Brazil, Korea and Thailand.

I live in downtown Toronto with my husband Ian Crysler, we have two daughters. Ian, a professional photographer, photographs all my artwork for reproduction. While I like working with authors, and enjoy writing my own stories, I still love making pictures best of all."
Available For
School and Library visits, as well as conferences and keynotes.
Picture the Sky
Sing a Song of Bedtime
The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore
Welcome Baby
Picture a Tree
Perfect Snow
Fox Walked Alone
Read Me a Book
Peg and the Yeti, written by Kenneth Oppel
The Subway Mouse
Fox Walked Alone
The Zoe board books; Zoe's Year
The Golden Goose
The Party
Gifts, written by Jo Ellen Bogart
Two by Two
Effie, written by Bev Allinson
Sing a Song of Mother Goose
Have You Seen Birds?, written by Joanne Oppenheim
The New Baby Calf, written by Edith Chase
Governor General's Award for Illustration
Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
Ezra Jack Keats Award
Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Award
Sydney Taylor Notable Book
Vicky Metcalfe Award
Order of Ontario
Order of Canada
Other Memberships
The Writers' Union
IBBY Canada
The Canadian Children's Book Centre
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