The 2020 Claude Aubry Award

for distinguished service in children’s literature goes to Barbara Greenwood (English) and Robert Soulières (French)

Established in 1981, the award honours the late author, translator and director of the Ottawa Public Library. IBBY Canada presents the Claude Aubry Award biennially to two individuals who have made significant contributions to Canadian children’s literature, one each in English and in French. We were so pleased to present the awards at IBBY Canada’s AMM in March, where both Barbara and Robert were able to join the virtual meeting to accept and say a few words.

Barbara Greenwood is the award-winning author of a long list of historical fiction and nonfiction books for children. Her experience as a classroom teacher taught her well on how to bring Canadian history alive to her readers. As an editor, magazine columnist, and mentor, her work is extensive which speaks to her incredible contribution to Canadian children’s literature. Barbara has long been involved in a variety of organizations that involve writers, creators and promoting children’s literature, including CANSCAIP, the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Osborne Collection of Toronto Public Library, and IBBY Canada. All have benefited greatly from her time and energy. On hearing the Aubry news, Barbara expressed her total delight. She was also thrilled to learn Robert Soulières is the other recipient for le Prix Claude Aubry.

Robert Soulières, as he puts it, learned to write at school and hasn’t stopped since, except to eat, sleep and do other things. Robert studied literature and received a diploma in educational and occupational information at the Université du Québec à Montréal. A well-known editor, prolific author of books for young readers, collections director, mentor who supported the emergence of a whole generation of new authors, and director of the journal Lurelu for six years, Robert has been heavily involved in the field of children’s literature. In 1996, he founded the publishing house Soulières éditeur, which has more than 60 books and honours from organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, IBBY International, the Mr. Christie Book Awards, and le prix Reconnaissance de l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Robert has also been a member of Communication-Jeunesse and the Association des écrivains québécois pour la jeunesse. He was thrilled to hear about his nomination for the Aubry, and sincerely congratulates Barbara Greenwood as the other recipient.

IBBY Canada extends thanks to this year’s Claude Aubry Award co-chairs, Catherine Mitchell and Susane Duchesne.

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