Category: News

A new book!

I’ve been busy in the studio for many months, although my head was in the clouds as I worked on the illustrations for my new book Picture the Sky. The idea for the book began when I was working on the Picture a Tree because the more I looked at trees, the more I noticed the sky. The more I looked at the sky, the more I noticed about how it looks, as well as the feelings it can inspire and how it is reflected in art. I also noticed how often the sky is pictured in children’s artwork. The biggest challenge has been trying to fit all the ideas and pictures into the book!

Now all the artwork is finished, it has been photographed and is off to the printers. Picture the Sky will be published this September –  I can’t wait to see it!

Picture the Sky, by Barbara Reid. Published by Scholastic Canada.












Douglas, Reid & Leung – The Art of Parenting

The Art of Parenting show opened Friday, June 17 at the beautiful Carnegie Gallery in Dundas Ontario. It’s a great opportunity to see and buy original artwork by Canadian children’s illustrators Hilary Leung, Derek Douglas – and me! Opening night was a lively mix of long time friends, new friends and young readers.

The show continues through Saturday, June 24, when there will be a special free event for kids and parents from 11:30 am -2pm.  Meet and talk with the artists, and enjoy movies, art activities, book signing, snacks and juice. Hope you can join the fun!


Celebrating Canada with a baker’s dozen

Thirteen illustrators bring their talents to Heather Patterson’s text to celebrate Canada in the gorgeous picture books I Am Canada/ Le Canada c’est moi. I’m feeling lucky to be included in the baker’s dozen along with the brilliant Jeremy Tankard, Ruth Ohi, Jon Klassen, Marie-Louise Gay, Danielle Daniel, Ashley Spires, Geneviève Côté, Cale Atkinson, Doretta Groenendyk, Qin Leng, Eva Campbell, and Irene Luxbacher. I’m celebrating with a half dozen traditional Canadian treats. I will share, but hurry…










Clay Exhibition in Jaffa, or travels of a Wise Old Owl

Two original illustrations from Sing a Song of Bedtime have travelled to Jaffa, Israel to join in a group show of plasticine art at the Old Jaffa Museum. It is an honour to be part of this group of outstanding clay artists including Edgar Alvarez and Irma Gruenholz. I have enjoyed making connections with plasticine artists from around the world through social media, and been inspired by the range of art that can be created from this basic medium. I’m sorry that I can’t attend the show in person, but knowing some of my work is there brings me one degree closer to these artists and their work!

Curators Limor Margules and Sarah Jane describe the show as: “An extensive international exhibition that places the familiar and beloved raw material, CLAY, at it’s center.

Hundreds of colourful, sensational and inspirational works by leading Israeli and international artists created for this exhibition will be exhibited in the framework of the exhibition, which will take place from April 7-August 31, 2017.

PLASTALINA ART invites visitors to discover, thrill, visualize, create and enable Plasticine to give them wings to the areas of inspiration, imagination and creativity.

The exhibition presents works from various fields of activity that use the raw material of PLAYLINA-CLAY:

Illustrations for children’s books, TV series, animation films, film and photography, painting, sculpture, advertising and branding, social projects and unique plasticine stabilizers.”

As well as the originals for Diddle Diddle Dumpling, My Son John, and The Wise Old Owl, digital images from Picture a Tree will be displayed.


Lights, camera, action!

Preparations for the opening of Barbara Reid Public School in September 2017 included creating a video to share with the new school community. I was delighted to meet four future students for an interview and discussion. What a group! Bright, enthusiastic, articulate and fun, each one. I would have liked to chat all day. You can see for yourself by watching the resulting video here. We are off to a great start!








A Fabulous Family Literacy Day

Family Literacy Day 2017 was celebrated with hundreds of exciting events across the Canada. I was able to connect with readers and supporters of family literacy during a live tweet chat, and was honoured to have the Kenora Public Library create Storywalk® with my book Perfect Snow.   I had the pleasure to take part in storytelling and hands-on clay workshops at Toronto Public Library’s Cedarbrae and Goldhawk Park branches. Both libraries are lively community hubs, and I met kids, families and even a few teachers all excited to try their hands at plasticine artwork. As always, when I spend some time in a public library, the future looks brighter! I think the beautiful artwork samples and the smiles in this gallery tell the story best.  A BIG thank you to all the organizers and participants, I’m already looking forward to FLD 2018…


A New School and the Snowball Effect

I am honoured and delighted to announce that a new elementary school in Whitchurch-Stouffville will be named Barbara Reid Public School. The new school will open in September 2017.

Growing up in Toronto in the 1960’s, few of the books I found in my school and public library were written or illustrated by Canadians, or published in Canada. Books that inspired me were written by people from far away, or long ago.

Much has changed! Thanks to passionate creators, publishers, librarians, teachers, booksellers and support from organizations like The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, The National Reading Campaign and ABC Life Literacy (to name a few), bookshelves are filled with outstanding Canadian books that reflect our culture and diversity. Millions of school children have had the opportunity to meet and interact with real live authors and illustrators. Young readers find themselves in our stories and take part in award programs. Our books are winning awards at home and around the world, and reaching international audiences.

A snowball starts out small, but once it’s rolling it builds upon itself and grows in size and importance at a faster and faster rate. I am very grateful for the pioneers who started the process that has brought Canadian Children’s Literature to where it is today. I am proud to know there are schools named for Jean Little, Robert Munsch and Phoebe Gillman. I have had the good fortune to know and learn from each of these brilliant Canadian authors, and had the opportunity to visit students at the Phoebe Gilman School library. Most of all, I am thrilled to be part of the snowball effect and determined to keep the ball rolling!

Thanks to this vast community of supporters, and the York Region District School Board for their recognition and celebration of Canadian Children’s Literature. Imagine what today’s young readers will contribute!

The snowball effect; illustration from Perfect Snow

A bird in the library

It has been a busy spring! I have been visiting schools in and around Toronto. Each school was unique, but what they all had in common was a bustling library with a passionate librarian at the centre. The libraries have been filled with Forest of Reading displays, projects, art galleries, green screen stations, technology of all sorts being explored, clubs, readers, readers, readers and more. The formula is simple: School library + Librarian=enthusiastic, curious and engaged learners. The library ceiling at Dr. Eric Jackman features this cheery little bird taking flight. I think it perfectly illustrates the spirit of freedom and possibility that is found in a school library. And the fun!