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THE BIBLIO FILE is a podcast about "the book," and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by Nigel Beale it features wide ranging, long-form conversations with best practitioners inside the book trade and out - from writer to reader. Why listen? The hope is that it will help you to read, write, publish, edit, design, and collect better, and improve how you communicate serious, big, necessary, new, good ideas and stories...

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Oct 31, 2022

Earlier this year a tiny Quebec-based children's publishing house, Monsieur Ed, won the prize for Best Children’s Publishers of the Year in North America at the Bologna Book Fair. It won, judges said, for being at the forefront of innovation in the creative nature of its editorial choices during the past year.

I thought this was a big deal so I contacted publisher and creative director Valérie Picard. She told me (well, actually, it's written on the website), that Monsieur Ed "favors stories set in peculiar worlds where reality and fantasy coincide. He feeds on compelling tales with the power to transcend the ordinary, arouse laughter or bring tears. Universal stories that can inspire introspection and contemplation. Although fiction is at the heart of his publications, Monsieur Ed is also interested in documentaries, graphic novels, and even your favorite kind of tea."

Monsieur Ed lives in Montreal, Quebec, and so does Valerie, and, for the time being, so do I. So I went over to her place to interview her, and her little dog Benjamin, about the creative choices she's made over the past year, indeed the past five, and to get at the reasons she thinks explain why she won at Bologna.