Children's Books

Fan Choice Award winner Barbara Reid visits Black Walnut P.S. Grade 6 classroom

Black Walnut student Hamza Khan was randomly selected as the winner of the CBC's Fan Choice Contest, which meant a special author visit for his class.
The students in Andrea Chung's Grade 6 class show off the artwork they created with children's author Barbara Reid. (Ashly July)

Grade 6 students at Black Walnut P.S. in Markham, Ont were treated to a visit from award-winning children's author and plasticine artist Barbara Reid on Feb. 27, 2019.

Black Walnut student Hamza Khan was randomly selected as the winner of the CBC's Fan Choice Contest, which encouraged readers between the ages of five and 12 to vote for their favourite from among the books nominated for the 2018 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award

Reid's book Picture The Sky received the most votes and was awarded the creators' prize at the Oct. 29, 2018 Canadian Children's Literature Awards, which honoured children's book creators from across the country.

As the recipient of the participants' prize, 12-year-old Hamza Khan took home $500 spending money, was awarded a $2,000 donation for his school library and landed himself and his classmates a visit with Reid — as well as copies of her book. 

The students had a chance to hear about the creation of Picture The Sky and also had an opportunity to get their hands dirty and create plasticine artwork of their very own. 

Children's author Barbara Reid with TD Fan Choice Contest winner Hamza Khan. (Ashly July )

Khan said having Barbara Reid visit his class was extremely exciting.

"It feels really good meeting a really famous author and it's pretty fun," he said. "I like how she makes pictures out of plasticine and I learned that it takes a long time and requires a lot of effort."

I came to Canada on this day four years ago. So her coming here today makes me feel really happy.- Hamza Khan, Grade 6 student at Black Walnut P.S. 

Khan also says the day was made even more special for another reason. 

"I came to Canada on this day four years ago. So her coming here today makes me feel really happy."

An undersea scene created out of plasticine by 11-year-old Alexa, a student at Black Walnut P.S. (Ashly July)

Reid spoke about getting chance to work with the students and share some of her art techniques with the young readers. 

"It's so exciting for me to meet readers," she said. "It's really exciting to know that there's an active library in this school and that kids are reading. It really means a lot." 

Barbara Reid presents Hamza Khan and Black Walnut P.S. Librarian Deb Dias with a $2,000 donation to the school's library. (Ashly July)

Following the presentation and art session, Black Walnut librarian Deb Dias was presented with a $2,000 cheque from TD Canada to help support the school's library. 

Barbara Reid visits Black Walnut P.S. in Markham, Ont. and shares her creative process with the young students. 2:30

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