Illustrated by :Dominique Leroux ,
Translated by :Shelley Tanaka
Imprint:Groundwood Books - Toronto
Form detail:Printed dust jacket
Audience:Juvenile: Age (years) 3 - 6, Grade (CAN) P - 1, Grade (US) P - 1
Dimensions:9.5in x 11 in | 496 gr
Page Count:40 pages
Illustrations:Full color throughout
Two children feel adrift between the separate worlds of their parents, until their close-knit coastal community helps to anchor them.
Two children feel adrift between the separate worlds of their parents …
With their father at the marina, and their mother in the workshop, Flo and Fée aren’t sure where they belong. But at least they can still have fun painting the treasures that wash up on the shore.
One day they hear a noise and see a stone trace an arc across the sky — it must be from Henri’s giant slingshot! They decide to go see him, but first stop at the café, where they chat with the piano player, then visit their artist-friend in her shop. When they finally reach Henri, he lifts them up onto ladders where they can see two islands that were once connected by an ice bridge. “Have the two islands separated? Like Maman and Papa?” Flo asks. But Henri tells them there’s a sand bridge underwater that links the islands, just as the girls still link their parents. Then he, like the piano player and artist, walks away with a brush and can of paint. Where can they all be going?
This richly nuanced story is inspired by the geography and close-knit coastal community of La Grave heritage site on Quebec’s Îles de la Madeleine. The French edition, Des couleurs sur la grave, won the prix Harry Black de l’album jeunesse.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
Winner of the prix Harry Black de l’album jeunesse (2020), honoring the best French-language Canadian picture book for children.
An original, nuanced treatment of children navigating their way through their parents’ separation.
The art is striking and unusual; painted scenes include collage of cut-out photos, torn paper and lace.
Provides a window into Quebec’s remote Îles de la Madeleine and the community that lives at La Grave heritage site.
MARIE-ANDRÉE ARSENAULT is a teacher and author of children’s books. Her publications include the novel Les souvenirs du sable, finalist for the prix Tamarac Express; the picture book Mingan les nuages, illustrated by Amélie Dubois, and a book of children’s poetry, Un chemin dans la mer, illustrated by Catherine Petit. Marie-Andrée lives in Montreal, Quebec.
DOMINIQUE LEROUX is a multidisciplinary artist and puppeteer who lives on Quebec’s Îles de la Madeleine, where she founded La Petite Théâtrerie, a space for puppetry and creative projects for young children. The illustrations for this book, her first, were inspired by the feeling of fall on the islands, and they are a tribute to the people who live there.
SHELLEY TANAKA is an award-winning author, translator and editor who has written and translated more than thirty books for children and young adults. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Shelley lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Appealing paint-and-collage illustrations … a lovely ode to La Grave.- Kirkus Reviews
This is a quiet and poetic picture book … an excellent selection for individual sharing and discussion with a child or very small group of children. Pebbles to the Sea would be particularly reassuring for children whose parents are undergoing a separation or divorce as it reinforces the stability of the bonds between parents and children, regardless of the family structure.- CM: Canadian Review of Materials
This book overflows with gorgeous Expressionism, collages of characters and scenes … [and] the story holds equal nuance and layers.- Telegram
The illustrations, multi-media created with paint and collage of photos, torn paper and lace, [seem] to be pervasively cool, as the girls might feel their circumstances may be, but brightened with colour and textures that cheer. … [Pebbles to the Sea reassures readers] that parental separation is not necessarily familial separation, and that family can go beyond the nuclear family.- CanLit for Little Canadians
Pebbles to the Sea takes us on a poetic voyage to a small corner … in the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Leroux’s illustrations fill the book’s pages with a collage of images and textures that invite us to contemplate every detail. Each element weaves itself seamlessly into the story … Pebbles to the Sea is a story about community and the people in our lives who are there for us, even when we may feel alone.- Montreal Review of Books
A triumphant tale of found family and community bonds.- Booklist
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