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Bob Barton

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Bob Barton visits hundreds of school children each year telling stories,
talking about writing, reading from his books and teaching drama. He
has worked in radio, written for adults and he appears in the storytelling
festivals all over the world.

Bob was raised in Hamilton, Ontario and taught both elementary and secondary school before coming to Toronto to work for the Ministry
of Education. In 1989 he took early retirement in order to pursue his
love of writing and storytelling. Most days he is either in schools telling stories, at home writing, or rushing to catch a plane to make a presentation at a conference somewhere in the world.

Selected Publications

  • The Reindeer Herder and the Moon. Harlow, Essex, UK: Longman, 1990 illus. Wayne Anderson.
  • Tell me Another. Markham, Ont: Pembroke, 1986.
  • Stories in the Classroom Markham, Ont: Pembroke, 1990 with David Booth
    The Storm Wide, Quarry 1993

    Telling Stories Your Way: Storytelling & reading a loud in the classroom
    Pembroke Publishers

  • Mother Goose Goes to School, Pembroke, 1995

  • "Best and Dearest of All."
    Red Deer Press. 1997, $8.95
    Illustrator - Coral Nault

  • Performances:
    Mouth Music, The Poetry Show with Cathy Miyata through Prologue to the Performing Arts


    Ginn and Company Reading Award, 1985
    Fabian Lemieux Award re arts in Ontario Schools, 1989
    International Reading Association and Ontario Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award with David Booth, 1990.
    Jennie Mitchel Celebrate Literace Award (Ontario Reading Assoc) ,1990.

    Questions and Answers

    Where do you get your ideas? "Because I perform my stories I spend a great deal of
    time searching for old tales. Many of these stories form the basis for my books."

    How many books have you written? "Since 1969 when my first book was published, I have authored and co-authored sixteen books."

    How long does it take to write a book? "I tend to be a slow writer and several of my books (adult non-fiction) can take up to three years before going to a publisher. My children's books are often rehearsed out loud with young audiences for one to two years before I write them down. The actual writing might take two to four months."

    What advice can you offer young people interested in becoming writers? "I believe
    that you have to read a lot. You have to read everything that you can get your hands on in order to understand the kind of books and stories that appeal to you and that you want to write for yourself."

    Is writing hard? "I think that the important thing about writing is that you have to sit down and do it. The more I discipline myself to writing daily the more productive I seem to become."

    Who inspired you? "Without a doubt writers such as Charles Causley, a poet; Lucy Boston, a painter turned writer; Jill Paton-Walsh, a writer; and Kevin Crossley-Holland, a folk-lorist and poet and others have thrilled me with their skill with words. They made me want to do it too."

    Do you do a lot of research? "Absolutely. Sometimes the research part can take longer than the actual writing."

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