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Digital Subscriptions > Quill & Quire > June 2018 > Kindred spirits

Kindred spirits

This fall, Montreal’s Geneviève Godbout illustrates two of kidlit’s most iconic characters, Anne Shirley and Mary Poppins

Geneviève Godbout still has the book she was obsessed with as a child: the French edition of Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever. But she didn’t exactly read it. “I wasn’t a big reader because I was drawing all the time,” Godbout says. “I would look at the book and draw.” Raised in Saint-Raphaël, a small town near Quebec City, she had only four or five children’s books growing up. Although her mother was a reader, Godbout lived with her father, who wasn’t. “But he always recounted fairy tales before bed,” she says. “He would make funny voices and I loved it.”

What her home lacked in printed matter it more than made up for in movies: she had VHS copies of all the Disney films. So it’s perhaps no surprise that Godbout set on a career in the visual arts. At 16, she moved to Montreal to attend the animation program at Cégep du Vieux Montréal and at 19 moved to Paris to continue her studies at the prestigious Gobelins animation school. She joined Disney Consumer Products in London and was put in charge of creating new licensing images of Winnie the Pooh and The Aristocats for Europe.

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Geneviève Godbout - The Montreal illustrator reimagines Anne Shirley and Mary Poppins. Kidlit Fall Preview - 90+ of the season’s top books for young readers.