The USA edition of Picture a Tree (Albert Whitman and Company) has received these starred reviews:
"From striking double-page spreads to inviting endpapers, these delightful illustrations reward close attention with clever details. Recommended for tree-themed story hours, curriculum units, and art classes, here's a picture book for all seasons." STARRED REVIEW, Booklist
"The Plasticine is expressive, detailed and gestural, with emotions showing on each face and careful craft in even the tiniest leaf and twig. . . .Readers will marvel at the amazing details she includes on each human and animal form. . ." STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews
"The plasticine medium is both inviting and kinetic, inspiring readers to themselves roll, smear, layer, mix, scratch, and dimple. The premise here is original; the artistry, stunning. The forty value-added vignettes on the endpapers make us reluctant to close the book." STARRED REVIEW, The Horn Book Magazine.
As much fun as a pile of leaves!
Here is a wonderful blog review by Elizabeth Bird, New Your Public Library's Youth Materials Collections Specialist. Click here
January 2013: Welcome new book!
Welcome, Baby is Barbara's newest board book: a rhyming love letter to babies and their families with bright plasticine images of babies interacting with their families and the world around them. Celebrate by reading with someone new!
November 2012: Picture a Tree finalist - twice!
Picture a Tree was a finalist for both the Governor General's Award for Illustration and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!
October 2012: Picture a Tree Up for a GG!!
Picture a Tree is a finalist for the 2012 Governor Generals Award for Illustration, the winner will be announced November 13. Congratulations to all the finalists!
June 2012: Picture a Tree a Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award finalist!
The Canadian Children's Book Centre has announced the finalists for its seven major children's' book awards - hooray! Picture a Tree is a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. The winners will be announced at gala events in Toronto and Montreal later in the fall. Congratulations to all the nominees!
The Libris Awards recognize the best in the Canadian book industry and are nominated and voted on by members of the Canadian Booksellers Association. Picture a Tree won the 2012 Children's Picture Book of the Year.
Trees + Evergreen = Creative Play!
From April 17 to May 21, 40 small original artworks from Picture a Tree were on exhibit at the Young Welcome Centre at Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works. As part of the show Barbara gave a public reading and two school workshops. 25% of the proceeds from the sale of the art were donated to Evergreen. Evergreen is a national charity that makes cities more liveable by deepening the connection between people and nature.
All the events were a great success, with many books signed, dozens of plasticine masterpieces created by students, and 37 of the 40 illustrations sold! The contribution will be put towards funding Evergreen's free children's programs on site at Chimney Court. Always evolving, Chimney Court is designed to activate the imaginations of children - inviting them to engage in open - ended play. There, children have the freedom to be the architects of their environment, to invent and build their creativity and problem solving skills along with an appreciation for the natural world.
Thanks to Scholastic Canada for their support, and to the Evergreen team for their enthusiastic participation. Most of all, huge thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate trees, and for your generous support of Evergreen, books, and reading!
May 2012: Ruth, Amelia and the Canadian Children's Book Centre pick Picture a Tree!
Picture a Tree was shortlisted for both the Amelia Francis Howard Gibbon Award for illustration (a national award administered by the Canadian Association of Children's Librarians) and The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Picture Book Award (a national award administered by the Ontario Arts Council Foundation and the Canadian Booksellers Association).
Picture a Tree is a starred selection in The Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens, 2012
April 2012: Picture a shining Willow Tree!
Picture a Tree, has been nominated for SYRCA’s 2012 Shining Willow Award.
The Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Award (SYRCA), which promotes reading among Saskatchewan children and youth, has three awards. Ten books, written by Canadian authors, are nominated at each level. Picture a Tree is nominated for The Shining Willow Award, for books written for children from kindergarten to grade 3.
Students throughout Saskatchewan may vote in any category in which they have read the minimum number of books required. In 2010 over 12,350 children and young adults voted for their favourite book.
The Launch of the 2012 nominees will be held in the fall. Launch events take place at a variety of locations throughout the province. The annual Gala, where the award winners are announced and awards are presented, will be held in the spring of 2013. The Gala is traditionally hosted by a school and involves the participation of large numbers of students and their teachers. Happy reading!
Now all four seasons of the Zoe's Day series are collected into one board book. Windy, rainy, sunny snowy, you'll enjoy the year with Zoe!
Picture a Tree has been named to the Ontario Library AssociationBest Bets for Children, one of ten titles selected by members. Happy reading!
Earth Weekend at the ROM and plasticine trees at the Evergreen Brick Works!! Join Barbara Reid in April for some exciting events - complete details on the events page.
On Thursday, January 26, Barbara will be one of 27 recipients of the Order of Ontario. Created in 1986, the Order of Ontario is the province's highest honour and recognizes the highest level of individual excellence and achievement in any field.
"I am thrilled by this honour, which I feel is shared by the whole community of supporters of children's books and reading: creators, parents, teachers, librarians, organizations, and most of all, the readers. We are all connected, so cheers all around!"
"During October and November, author Jo Ellen Bogart and I toured Canada from coast to coast, in support of the 2011 Canadian Children's Book Centre TD Grade One Book Giveaway. Our book Gifts was the giveaway title, and over half a million copies were printed to be given to each grade one child in Canada. We weren't able to deliver all the books in person, but we did our best!
Starting in Halifax and stopping in Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Winnipeg, we met with enthusiastic young readers, librarians, teachers and parents. Closer to home we visited schools and libraries in London, Hamilton and Toronto Ontario.
In our presentations we discussed the process of creating the story and pictures for Gifts, followed by a reading of the book. The grade one students were a delight, with thoughtful questions and spontaneous comments. Many students shared their own artwork, writing and even singing with us.
The highlight of each presentation was the moment we handed out a signed copy of Gifts to each child, pointing out that there was a bookplate specially printed inside where they could sign their own name. It was always fun to watch the official photographers trying to get the kids attention after that. Everyone was too busy reading!
Every child deserves to be a reader, and every child deserves have a book of their very own. The Grade One Giveaway helps make that possible for every child and their families across the nation. It was heartwarming to be a part of this important program and to see the impact, joy and excitement first hand. Grandma would be proud! "
Visit the TeachingBooks.net to watch interviews with Barbara Reid & Jo Ellen Bogart - click here.
November 2011: Picture a Tree a First and Best Book
Picture a Tree has been named to the Toronto Public Library's First and Best Booklist, the top Canadian books for children from birth to age 5.
“As the world’s busiest urban public library system, the Toronto Public Library plays an important role in helping parents and caregivers build early literacy skills and the love of reading in their children,” says Lisa Heggum, Children and Youth Advocate for Library Services at Toronto Public Library. “Parents are going to love reading this year’s selection of books with their little ones, as they represent some of the best that Canadian children’s publishing has to offer.”
In addition to helping build reading readiness in preschool children, the library’s First and Best List also helps to promote Canadian children’s literature, and is highly anticipated by authors and publishers each year.
“[Being on the First & Best booklist is]… a stamp of approval from one of the most respected institutions around … and is invaluable for parents and caregivers looking to introduce quality books to their children,” says Brigitte Waisberg, Marketing Manager at Annick Press, one of the featured publishers on the list.
“It is excellent company to be in… I am honoured and delighted when one of my books is included in the library’s First and Best List. I know that the books selected for this list attract positive attention not only from parents and kids, but from other library associations, school boards and media both in Canada and
internationally,” says author Barbara Reid.
“Virtuoso Plasticine artist Barbara Reid has created another extraordinary book to delight readers of every age…This is a book to open the artist’s eye in any reader.” –Quill & Quire, starred review
“Reid's signature Plasticine style brings each line of text to life. The three dimensional nature of her artwork, coupled with vibrant colours, allows each illustration to burst off the page. Furthermore, Reid's artistic expertise is evident in her beautifully subtle depictions which are interspersed throughout.” – ****/4, highly recommended. Canadian Review of Materials
“From the opening flyleaves to the last page, Picture a Tree is a marvel of sharp observation, appreciation and playfulness…with colourful Plasticine art, Reid invites us to glory in variety — in trees and seasons, and in poetic language, perspective, and the manifold impressions the world offers the observant eye. Excellent.” – The Toronto Star
“Reid, long ago dubbed the Queen of Plasticine for a very valid reason, puts the brightly coloured modelling medium to astounding use…And Reid’s closing challenge – “Picture a tree. What do you see?” – is bound to have readers (and listeners) reaching for their own art supplies and modelling materials.” – The Montreal Gazette
“The books by Toronto writer and plasticine artist Barbara Reid never cease to amaze me. Her ability to sculpt the colourful ‘play dough’ of our childhoods, then display it on the beautifully detailed pages of the books she writes is truly phenomenal.” – The Guelph Mercury/The Waterloo Record
The USA edition of Perfect Snow (published Albert Whitman) has received excellent reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Hornbook and a starred review in Booklist. More about the book...
October 2011: Picture a NEW book!
Barbara's newest book Picture a Tree is now available, published by Scholastic Canada... Also available in French, Imagine un arbre, by Editions Scholastic.
Barbara will be touring across Canada during October and November, check Upcoming Events for information.
April 2011: Great "Gifts" Giveaway!
Gifts, written by Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrated by Barbara Reid has been selected as the TD Grade One Book Giveaway title for 2011. Since 2000, in cooperation with ministries of education, school boards and library organizations across Canada — the Canadian Children's Book Centre has given every Grade One student a free Canadian children’s book.
The book is to be taken home by each child to keep and to read with their parents. This far-reaching annual book giveaway program, which provides over 500,000 books to Grade One children across Canada, is fully funded by TD Bank Financial Group.
Jo Ellen's lyrical rhyme tells the story of travelling grandmother and the unusual gifts requested by her granddaughter. Barbara's plasticine illustrations follow Grandma around the world and back again as she shares "a roar from the jungle king", "an iceberg on a string" or "the smell of rain from a shady lane".
Gifts won the Amelia Francis Howard Gibbon Award and was named to the IBBY International Honour List. Both Jo Ellen and Barbara are thrilled that Grandma will be travelling once more, sharing her gifts with children all across Canada. Go Grandma!
Barbara will be touring across the Canada in the fall of 2011 in support of the program. Check Upcoming Events for tour information.
October 2010: Five times the fun!
Read Me a Story, Canadian Favourites is now in bookstores. Celebrate story time with this collection of great Canadian picture books. These stories are for sharing-perfect for story time, bedtime, anytime.
The anthology includes: The Party, by Barbara Reid; Henny Penny, by Werner Zimmerman; Sophie and the Sea Monster, by Don Gillmor and Michael Martchenko; A Second is a Hiccup, by Hazel Hutchins and Kady Macdonald Denton; Too Many Books, by Gilles Tibo and Bruno St. Aubin.
Perfect Snow a Blue Spruce Nominee
Snow and spruce trees-a perfect combination! Perfect Snow has been nominated as a Blue Spruce selection for 2011. Part of the Ontario Library Association "Forest of Reading" program, Blue Spruce awards are voted on by readers ages four to seven, from kindergarten to grade two.
The Toronto District School Board is thrilled to announce that three of Canada’s most well-known authors have joined us as Writers in Residence for the 2010-11 school year. Welcome Lawrence Hill, Barbara Reid and Eric Walters to the TDSB team.
Connecting with students throughout the year at school and system-wide literacy initiatives and events, our Writers in Residence will provide valuable insights into the creative process that promotes a strong foundation in literacy development and a life-long joy of reading and writing. Watch for announcements of the exciting events with our Writers in Residence throughout the school year.
We are excited to have the support of our Writers in Residence as we also launch Just Read It for the 2010-11 school year. Students, teachers, and the entire TDSB community are encouraged to share their love of reading by submitting books and recommendations online. These submissions will also help determine locations for visits and presentations from our TDSB Writers!
Whether you are signing out books at your school or local public library, reading at home or in the classroom, we want to hear from you – let’s see how many books we can read together! Visit Chris’s Place to learn more about Just Read It or to submit a book today!
Winners be chosen from the Just Read It website, randomly selected each month. The more your school reads and reports, the better your chances-happy reading!
June 2010: Project Sunshine
On June 17th The Project Sunshine arts and crafts program at The Hospital for Sick Children welcomed Barbara Reid as part of the bi-weekly arts and crafts show. Barbara read three of her popular children’s books to over 150 children, ages 3-12 years. Her visit was televised and fed live into rooms of patients that were in isolation. After reading Barbara instructed an art lesson teaching patients how to use plasticine for illustration. The young artists were a delight to meet, and created excellent work! Many thanks to the enthusiastic volunteers, staff, and families who run this outstanding program.
May 2010: "Perfect!" said Jim "Excellent!" said Scott
Perfect Snow has won the Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Illustrator's Award.
This award recognizes an illustrator of a noteworthy Canadian book, published in 2009, that appeals to children up to the age of 12 years.
From the jury citation: "In Perfect Snow Barbara Reid fully captures the experience of a Canadian schoolyard in winter. She uses her vibrant and detailed Plasticine art, here combined with ink and watercolour panels, to portray the energetic excitement that accompanies a perfect snowfall. Children will instantly recognize the setting and will delight in the characters’ enthusiasm. The Committee was impressed with Reid’s absolute command of her signature medium and also with her adept use of illustrated panels that serve to broaden the narrative. This is the third time that the internationally acclaimed Reid has won the Amelia Award."
May 2010: BIG fun in Cookstown
In May, Barbara gave presentations at the newly renovated Cookstown branch if the Innisfil Public Library and enjoyed signing the very BIG copy of Sing a Song of Mother Goose on display in the children's section. A videographer captured some of the visit for the library website....
Perfect Snow has been shortlisted for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award, Picture Book Category
The awards were established in honour of Ruth Schwartz, a Toronto bookseller, by her sister Sylvia, whose name was later included. The administration of the awards is shared with the Ontario Arts Council. The winners are chosen by student juries, this year from Huttonville Public School in Brampton, ON.
Other shortlisted titles are: When Stella Was Very Very Small; Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion; Scaredy Squirrel at Night; The Imaginary Garden.
Winners will be announced May 26.
Perfect Snow has been nominated as a CBA Libris Children's Picture Book of the Year.
The Libris Awards are voted on by members of the Canadian Booksellers Association. The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by CBC Radio's Shelagh Rogers, on May 29 during the CBA's National Conference.
Other finalists are: When Stella Was Very Very Small, by Marie- Louise Gay; and Bradley McGogg, The Very Fine Frog, by Tim Beiser, illustrated by Rachel Berman.
January 2010: That Clever Fox!
Fox Walked Alone has been named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Younger Readers. The Sydney Taylor Awards are administered by the Association of Jewish Libraries and "honour new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience". Click here for more information. Fox Walked Alone is
published in the U.S.A. by Albert Whitman & Company.
Something MOO!The New Baby Calf, the classic story by Edith Newlin Chase about the love between a mother and her new baby is now available in a sturdy board book edition. Also available in French: Quel beau petit!
November 2009: Snowing Indeed!!
Family Day at the National Gallery - Over 450 children and parents participated in a day of plasticine workshops given by Barbara in the Great Hall of the National Gallery in Ottawa. Much fun was had by all!
Panel Discussion of the art of the Picture Book - Panelists Diane Kerner, Director of Publishing, Scholastic Canada, Wallace Edwards, illustrator, Michele Lemieux, illustrator, and Barbara Reid, author/illustrator, held a lively discussion on both the creative and publishing processes of producing a great picture book. The well attended discussion was moderated by Josianne Polidori, Head, Children's Literature, Library and Archives Canada.
The workshops and panel events took place as part of an exhibition of picture book illustration at the National Gallery, and the "Take Home an Original: the Art of the Picture Book" auction to benefit the Canadian Children's Book Centre
Perfect Snow named as one of Quill and Quire's "15 Books That Mattered"
- Quill and Quire lists 15 books that have the biggest impact in 2009. Perfect Snow is one of five children's books included, along with The Uninvited, by Tim Wynne Jones; Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas by Cary Fagan; City Alphabet by Joanne Schwartz and Matt Beam; Scaredy Squirrel at Night, by Melanie Watt.
Perfect Snow has also been named to the Toronto Public Library First and Best List 2009. Books on the list are top picks for children from birth to age 5.
September 2009 Forecast Snow!!
Barbara's newest book Perfect Snow is now available, published by Scholastic Canada.. Also available in French, La neige parfaite, by Editions Scholastic.
Accompanying the book are new videos: you can view the Perfect Snow book trailer, author interview with Barbara Reid, or see the how-to plasticine demonstration video on Barb's new You Tube Channel
Barbara will be presenting her new book Perfect Snow at Word on the Street on Sunday, September 27. For more information visit the Word on the Street website.
November 2008: Classic Canadian Poster for Book Week
In honour of the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables, the theme for this year's TD Canadian Children's Book Week is "Classic Canadian Reading". Barbara's poster for the event features two children and a beaver reading together in a canoe. Both kids are wearing classic Canadian Tire rubber boots, the girl wears a Cowichan sweater and the canoe is patriotic red, as are the maple leaves in the water. Pretty Canadian, eh?
There are also references to several Canadian children's literature icons: the boy wears Rocket Richard's hockey sweater, the girl's pigtails are red like Anne's, and a baby mouse is wrapped in a bit of blue blanket from Phoebe Gillman's "Something From Nothing". Can you spot any others? (click on the image to enlarge)
TD Canadian Children's Book Week is November 15-22, 2008. For more information go to www.bookcentre.ca
September 2008: Wonderful Copenhagen!
In September the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) held their 31st World Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark. With assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, Barbara was able to travel to Denmark to receive an Honour List Diploma for her book "Fox Walked Alone". Queen Margrethe of Denmark attended the opening ceremonies of the congress and presented Hans Christian Anderson Awards to Jurg Schulbiger (author, Switzerland) and Roberto Innocenti (illustrator, Italy).
IBBY's mission is to promote international understanding through children's literature, and to give children everywhere the opportunity to have access to books with high literary and artistic standards. The goal is: "Every child a reader". "It was most inspiring to hear from many of the passionate people who are creating programs and working on projects in support of IBBY's goals. Attending the Congress also gave me an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues from around the world. The presentations by top international illustrators, authors, publishers and academics sparked my imagination and absolutely filled my head with inspiration and ideas for future projects.
The visit to Copenhagen also coincided with the publication of "Metromusen", the Danish edition of The Subway Mouse. I was able to meet with the publisher, and enjoy a studio visit and interview with Lillian Broegger, illustrator extraordinaire and Denmark's Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee. Of course, there was photo opportunity with Denmark's most famous storyteller, H. C. Anderson himself!
May 2008: BIG book opens at Toronto Public Library
The TPL opened the first of several planned KidStops, indoor literacy playgrounds, at the S. Walter Stewart library in East York. Features include a rocket ship to climb in, puppet theatre, toddler computers and a wall of blocks that spin to display letters of the alphabet and Mother Goose artwork by Toronto illustrators Heather Collins and Barbara Reid.
A giant version of Barbara's book "Read Me a Book" is mounted at kid-height on the wall. KidStops support the TPL's Ready for Reading program that promotes literacy development in children up to age five. Happy reading!
November 2007 The Queen of Plasticine and the First Lady of Mother Goose! Barb Reid & storyteller Sally Jaeger will celebrate the release of Sing a Song of Mother Goose this December at Mabel's Fables Bookstore with pictures, stories, rhymes, and songs. Visit the events page for more information.
Sing a Song of Mother Goose has been named to the Toronto Public Library's "First and Best Book List". Listed books are the top picks for building reading readiness in children from birth to age five. "First and Best" is part of the new "Ready for Reading" program that offers a comprehensive set of free, high quality programs, services and resources at the Toronto Public Library. The clown logo for the program was created by Barbara Reid.
Fox in the Forest! - Fox Walked Alone has been nominated for the 2008 Ontario Library Association Blue Spruce Award, part of the Forest of
Readings Program. In spring, readers ages 4 to 7 in kindergarten to
grade two will vote for their favorite books to determine the winners. For more information visit the OLA website.
September 2007 The Canadian National Section of IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People) has selected Fox Walked Alone for the IBBY Honour List, in the illustration category. The IBBY Honour List is a biennial selection of outstanding, recently published books for children, honouring writers, illustrators and translators from IBBY member countries around the world. Honour List selections are representative of the best in children's literature published in the past two years (in each country) and suitable for publication throughout the world.
The Honour List titles selected by each country will be displayed at the 31st IBBY World Congress to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 7-10, 2008; diplomas will be presented to the recipients. The Honour List is one of the most widespread and effective ways of furthering IBBY's objective of encouraging international understanding through children's literature. For more information visit the IBBY website.
Sing a Song of Mother Goose is published! A new board book edition
featuring 14 favourite Nursery Rhymes takes flight! Also available in French as Un, Deux, Trois, Voilà la Mère l'Oie! Visit the books section for more.
Fox Walked Alone shortlisted for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. The winner of the award is: When You Were Small, by Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstead. Visit the Canadian Book Centre website for more information about the award.
June 2007 Libris Awards - Barbara Reid has been named both Children's Author of the Year and Children's Illustrator of the Year. The Libris Awards are nominated and voted on by members of the Canadian book selling community and were presented at the Book Expo Convention in Toronto.
Fox Walked Alone has been named an Honour Book for the 2007 Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Award for Illustration.
May 2007 Fox Walked Alone shortlisted for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award in the Picture Book category. Winner of the award is Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt.
March 2007 Read Me a Book is now a board book! (Scholastic Canada Ltd.) The board book format is also available in French: "Lis-moi une histoire" (Éditions Scholastic).
• February 2013, Reading For The Love Of It
• May, 2013, Vancouver Island Children's Book Festival