Fueling the Imagination: Conversation with Qin Leng

Qin Leng is a designer and illustrator known for her illustrations of children’s books. She graduated from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and has received many awards for her animated short films and artwork. Throughout her career, Qin has illustrated over 30 picture books, magazines and book covers with publishers around the world. Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, written by Chieri Uegaki, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, and received the APALA Award for best picture book. She lives in Toronto, with her husband and her son.

Why do you work with First Book Canada?

I love the idea of spreading the love of books and literacy. To make reading more accessible to children who may not have the opportunity to buy books of their own.

How did you hear about First Book Canada?

I was contacted by my publicist regarding a school visit organized by First Book Canada.

Previously, I had been familiar with First Book Canada as I knew a few illustrators (such as Hilary Leung) who have participated in school visits with First Book Canada.

Books allow me to travel and go on adventures, they fueled my imagination and gave me the love of drawing as well.

How would you describe First Book Canada’s work to someone who had never heard of us?

First Book Canada is an organization focused on bringing equality in education, allowing children of all social profiles to have access to books.

What role did books play in your life when you were growing up?

They have always followed me everywhere I go. I remember my parents running errands and having to bring along my sister and me. They would drop us off at the library section of the store and we would stay there for hours without a fuss.

I remember reading well into the night, with a small flash light.

Qin Leng

Books allow me to travel and go on adventures, they fueled my imagination and gave me the love of drawing as well.

What has been your experience with giving your book to children to take home?

Children’s reactions are pure and honest. To see the excitement in their eyes and receiving hugs says everything about how much this small gesture means to them.

Thank you, Qin, for being an Author Champion and getting books to kids!


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Are you an author who has worked with First Book Canada and you want to share your experience? Contact our Communications Coordinator.