Born in London, England, and raised by two “devoutly metropolitan parents,” Kyo Maclear enjoyed a brief theatrical career in London’s West End in The King and I. Her one line — “I believe in snow” — proved prophetic; when she was four years old the family moved to Canada.
Her first children’s book, Spork, the story of a mixed kitchen utensil, was originally conceived with her husband to celebrate the birth of their first child. It was shortlisted for and won numerous awards including the Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities IBBY Award. Several more award-winning children’s books have followed as well as the adult novel The Letter Opener.
2017 has proved prolific for Kyo. She’s produced two children’s stories – The Fog, a whimsical tale of a bird-watching girl and a people-watching bird and their shared concern for their environment, and Yak and Dove – a story of unexpected friendship. She has also written a memoir, Birds, Art, Life: A Year of Observation. It recounts the stress of elder care, her struggle to find distraction in art and the unexpected peace she finds photographing birds. “I was feeling so squeezed and almost suffocated. I really wanted to wander… just be with the birds. So that was kind of the epiphany.”
Kyo lives in Toronto with singer and composer David Wall and their two children.