|About Barbara Reid
"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, and our 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."