Touring In: Newfoundland

Craft: illustrator (bilingual presenter)

Genre: picture books, beginning readers, early chapter books, junior fiction

Ideal Audience Size: 10-30

Maximum Audience Size: 60

Grades: Kindergarten-Grade 6

Special Equipment: Projector for PDF presentation (not essential, but preferred); flip-chart preferred, but could work with blackboard/whiteboard.


Winner of the 2015 Illustration Awards at le Salon du livre de Trois-Rivières
Winner of a 2013 Society of Illustrators New York Award

Presentation Information

Josée Bisaillon is an award-winning illustrator, working for both children and adult market. She will show you the wonderful world of illustration and will definitely bring some sparks in the eyes of children (and adults too !).

At first, she’ll present herself, how she became an illustrator, where she works and what inspires her. She will also show some different ways of being an illustrator: for newspapers, magazines, posters, etc. She’ll answer those difficult questions: Where do ideas come from ? Is it easy to draw a horse ? What do I do if I want to become an illustrator ? Can we actually make a living out of drawing !?! And many more.

She’ll then show you her colorful sketchbooks. She wants the children to see that she doesn’t come with a beautiful colored illustration at first. Sometimes, She does some bad drawings too! She puts the emphasis on how hard she works to do a ‘’good’’ drawing, and that it is not as easy for her as it looks. She wants kids to know that if they work hard, they can do it too !

She presents her travel sketchbooks, her ‘’playground sketchbooks’’ where she draws and paints everything that comes to her mind, and her ‘’picture book sketchbooks’ where the beginning of a picture book takes place. She then describes the steps she follows from start to the finish: from the thumbnails to final art. She uses a pdf presentation to show theses steps. (The pdf presentation helps to show the work to a larger audience, but if you don’t have a projector, she will have the material in hand to show you everything).

She also brings authentic sketches and original art to show the difference from real work to printed books.

The kids and teachers are welcome to have a look at the different sketchbooks and original art.

Then she shares some of the techniques and materials she uses (watercolor, pastels, pencils, cut paper, etc…there’s a lot!) and she performs an illustration in from of the audience while explaining her technique.

Finally, she’ll create an animal on a flip-chart, whiteboard or a blackboard with the help of the kids. Fun guaranteed!

Questions are welcome throughout the presentation in order to keep it fun and casual, and to make sure to keep the children’s attention.

Josée welcomes any special requests from teachers and librarians. If you would like something specific for the presentation, please do not hesitate to ask her!

Book List

Kalina et Ineka (Marchand de Feuilles, 2017)

Milo and Georgie (Owlkids Books, 2017)

The Snow Knows (Nimbus Publishing, 2016)

Mom, Dad, Our Books and Me (Owlkids Books, 2016)

The Blue Vase. Written by Katarina Jovanovic. (Tradewind Books, 2015)

Eat, Leo! Eat! Written by Caroline Adderson. (Kids Can Press, 2015)

Winter’s Coming. Wrtitten by Jan Thornhil. (Owlkids Books, 2014)

A Fish Named Glub. Written by Dan Bar-El. (Kids Can Press, 2014)

The Great Moon Hoax. Written by Steven Krensky. (Carolrhoda Books, 2011)

Bookspeak! Poems About Books. Written By Laura Purdie Salas. (Clarion Books, 2011)

My Diary: The Totally True Story of ME! Written by Gilles Tibo. (Magination Press, 2011)

Benno and the Night of Broken Glass. Written by Meg Wiviott. (Kar-Ben Publishing, 2010)

My Papa Lost His Lucky. Written by David Bouchard. (MTW publishers, 2009)

Monsieur Tralalère. Written by Nathalie Ferraris. (Fonfon, 2014)

Ça suffit Monsieur l’ogre! Written by Roxane Turcotte. (La Bagnole, 2014)

Papa, maman, nos livres et moi. Written by Danielle Marcotte. (Les 400 Coups, 2013)

Cabrioles et ritournelles. Written by Francine Allard. (Planète Rebelle, 2012)

J’ai un bouton sur le bout de la langue-Les chansons de la Bolduc (La Montagne Secrète, 2011)

Le Funambule, un conte sur Marc Chagall. Written by Marie-Danielle Croteau. (Les 400 coups, 2010)


Josée Bisaillon was born in 1982 in St-Hyacinthe, Canada. Little girl, she loved to draw cats and houses. She also cut out everything made of paper she could find around her.

After studies in computer graphics, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in graphic design in 2005. This is where she fell in love with illustration. Since then, she has illustrated more than 25 picture books and has done numerous editorial illustrations for magazines and newspapers in many different countries. She also enjoys giving workshops and presentations in classrooms, to share her passion for illustration and litterature.

Her work has received recognition from Applied Arts, American Illustration and Society of Illustrator NY, to name just a few. She was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Awards in 2008 and 2010, in Canada.

Josée lives in the suburbs of Montreal with her husband, their eight year-old dauther who loves reading, their six year-old son who always asks a lot of questions, their six year-old dauther (yes, twins !!) who likes to write stories, and their hairless cat!

Josée still loves drawing cats and cutting out everything made of paper she can find, now including her children’s drawings!

Facebook | Twitter: @joseebis | Instagram


Monsieur Tralalère

  • Winner of the 2015 Illustration Awards at le Salon du livre de Trois-Rivières

Cabrioles et Ritournelles

  • Winner of a 2013 Creative Quarterly 32 Awards (USA)
  • Selected for a 2013 American Illustration Award

J’ai un bouton sur le bout de la langue

  • Winner of a 2013 Society of Illustrators New York Award

Bookspeak ! Poems About Books

  • Winner of a 2012 Cybils Award (USA)
  • Selected by White Ravens in 2012 (Germany)
  • Winner of a 2012 Minnesota Book Award
  • Winner of a 2012 Notable Children’s Books in the English Language Arts by the Children’s Literature Assembly (USA)

The Great Moon Hoax

  • Winner of a 2012 Best Children’s Books of the Year by the Children’s Book Committee (USA)

Le Funambule

  • Shortlisted for the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Awards-illustration category
  • Winner of a 2010 Society of Illustrators New York Award

Benno and The Night of Broken Glass

  • Winner of a 2010 gold medal from the Moonbeam Children’s Book awards (USA)

Mon Papi/My Papa Lost His Lucky

  • Winner of the 2010 Illustration Awards at le Salon du livre de Trois-Rivières
  • Shortlisted for the 2011 Prix Chronos of Literature (France)

Le vrai de vrai journal de ma vie/My Diary: The Totally True Story of ME!

  • Selected for a 2009 American Illustration Award

The Emperor’s Second Hand Clothes

  • Shortlisted for the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Awards-illustration category
  • Winner of a 2008 Applied Arts Awards-Complete Book Illustration Series

The Vampire Who Drank Milk

  • Winner of a 2008 Applied Arts Awards-Complete Book Illustration Series

Praise for Josée Bisaillon

”Josée’s presentations are dynamic, very visual and involve audience participation. Josée is young, vibrant, personable and has a passion for sharing. Her international work, her adaptability and the niche that she has created in a rapidly changing economy has kept her in touch with the youth of today. Her visit to our school district was a huge success.”
—Isabelle Gervais, Vice-Principal, Bastion Elementary (Salmon Arm, BC)

“With her easy, friendly manner, Josée easily engaged the interest of the younger students as well as the older students in our school”
—Melisa Hunter, Teacher-Librarian, South Sahali Elementary (Kamloops, BC)

”Josée’s warm smile, sense of humour and her cheerful, approachable nature instantly put young audiences at ease, and children soon clamoured for her attention during the workshops. Josée responded to these requests with patience and encouragement, and made kids feel like they were brimming with artistic talent.”
—Jennifer Schmitt, Children and Youth Advocates Department, Toronto Public Library