It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Aubrey Davis. Born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1949, Aubrey grew up loving to read Greek myths, Tom Sawyer, and Mad Magazine. Before he became an accomplished storyteller and author, he worked many different jobs, from construction labourer to retail salesman to an antique restorer. Aubrey’s passion for writing and telling stories eventually won out, however. As a young man, he travelled across Europe and North Africa and discovered traditional Teaching-Stories collected by the Afghan writer Idries Shah.
For 40 years he told traditional stories to people of all ages across North America. And he taught oral language for 17 years to primary and special needs students. “I taught them language through stories. They taught me how to tell simple, clear and dramatic tales. One day I was invited to tell a Chanukah story to a young audience. I couldn’t find one I liked, so I wrote Bone Button Borscht. The children loved it and so did the publisher, Kids Can Press.” Aubrey went on to write The Enormous Potato, Bagels from Benny, A Hen for Izzy Pippik, and more award-winning children’s books.
He spent almost 17 years working with adolescents in Toronto who identified as having special needs, and the primary method through which he educated them was by way of the telling of stories. Aubrey also worked extensively through the Institute for Cross-cultural Exchange and Books Without Borders to make Shah’s children’s books available to children who are less fortunate in emerging civilizations all over the world. Because of his efforts, a total of a quarter of a million books were given to children’s libraries in Canada, as well as in Afghanistan.
Aubrey has two surviving grown children and three granddaughters, as well as his storytelling wife, Sandra Carpenter-Davis.