Carline Adderson will be speaking at our annual Illustrator’s Breakfast on November 16. This year’s theme is a tribute to the late Sheila Barry a highly regarded publisher at Groundwood Books and a beloved editor to all who worked with her. Her legacy includes many wonderful award-winning books for children.
What is your favourite memory of Sheila?
Once I brought a 400 word “manuscript” to lunch. I asked if I could share an idea. “Of course!” As I pulled it out of my purse, a look of horror crossed Sheila’s face. “Are you going to read that to me in a restaurant?” I said, “Yes!” I only got a couple of stanzas in, her eyes darting around for the exit, when the waiter approached. It was her chance to cut me off. Instead, her protective instinct kicked in. “Do you mind?” she told him. Then she bought the book.
What particular quality or ethic did Sheila bring to her editing work?
Humour! She was so very, very funny that even when she was telling you you had to write yet another draft, you didn’t mind prolonging the process.
What three qualities do you think a great picturebook possesses?
Great art (even more important than the text, in my opinion), a child-centred text, love.
What books did you work on with Sheila?
The first three Jasper John Dooley books, Norman Speak! and I Love You One to Ten.