Return to the Island of Eyes
Barton has visited many schools of children each year telling
talking about writing, reading from his books and teaching
has worked in radio, written for adults and he appears in
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.
In Readings Bob focuses on traditional tales which are told orally. Bob discusses the role of the re-teller of tales and uses his books to illustrate how he has made a story his own. Bob also makes the connection between story retelling and the development of the students’ own writing.
In workshops Bob Uses stories from the oral tradition, Bob explores with students the process that goes into retelling and involve them in writing activities out of the story.
Poetry Goes to School with David Booth (Pembroke Publishers, 2004 )
The Bear Says North (Groundwood Books, 2003)
The Small Miracle (Tundra Books, 2003)
Telling Stories Your Way (Pembroke Publishers, 2000)
Mother Goose Goes To School (Pembroke Publishers , 1995
The Fleeing Pancake; Tiny Tales; Northern Lights; Wonder Tales from Myth and Legend through Prologue to the Performing Arts
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."
385 Brunswick Avenue, Apt. 409
contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Journey to Dodoland" Copyright and TM
1977. Della Burford, Dodoland in Cyberspace 1995-2017 Della Burford and Dale Bertrand.