Mathieu Lavoie is an author, illustrator and publisher of children’s books. He was creative director at La courte échelle before founding, in 2013, Comme des Géants, a publishing company of books for children. He left that company in 2018 and created, with author Marianne Dubuc, les éditions Album, where both publish their own works. His world is filled with wolves, foxes, crows and small earthworms. He likes to give a new twist to stories and to write tales of suspense. The books he’s written and illustrated have won him praise, nominations and the award “P’tits Mômes des Bibliothèques de Genève.”
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I was 9 years old and it was summer. The air was dry and the sun torrid. I was seated astride my black and orange BMX bike and was racing down Toulouse Street in Longueuil to get to my neighbourhood library. To my right I saw some children playing in the park opposite the apartment building where I was born. To my left, the other buildings that stretched out far as the eye could see formed the scenery of my childhood: the Grand Canyon of apartment buildings of the neighbourhood known as Désormeaux. When I arrived at the parking lot behind the shopping centre, I leaned my bike against the bike rack and penetrated the walls of my favourite enclosure: the library of the shopping mall. The roommate of Montaza, of Zellers and of Steinberg’s. The Désormeaux Public Library.
I was lucky to grow up very near to a library. I spent my youth learning to read, to observe and to dream. I also tended to accumulate enormous late fees, absorbed by understanding and patient parents. I’ve been going there for several years now with my own little family of book worms. Four subscriptions have led to a small, personalized library that’s portable and renewable. I love that system.
To create the book for this year’s edition of the programme “Une naissance, un livre” is for me an honour and a true delight. I hope that all children may have access to books as I had. And I hope that all the babies born in 2022 in Québec will become members of their local library.