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Children's Fiction General

Albert's Quiet Quest

by (author) Isabelle Arsenault

Initial publish date
May 2019
General, Friendship, Imagination & Play
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2019
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3


Albert just wants to read his book in peace . . . why won't his friends give him some quiet? A delightful picture book about finding alone time from an internationally acclaimed illustrator.

There are so many distractions in Albert's Mile End neighborhood, what's a book-loving introvert to do? Desperate for a quiet place to read, Albert storms out to the alley behind his house where his friends and neighbors often meet to play. Lucky him -- not only is no one around today, but he finds an old painting of a beach scene that someone's left for the trash. The painting sparks Albert's imagination, spurring him on a zen-like quest for a quiet reading break on a sunset beach, a moment to unplug and find peace. And he almost does too, except for those meddling Mile End kids . . . who just want to have some fun, as LOUDLY as possible. Will Albert ever find a moment of quiet to enjoy his book? Or could his friends be looking for a book break of their own?

Readers will love this adorably relatable story of a quiet kid, his big imagination and bringing friends together through the magic of reading.

About the author

Isabelle Arsenault is a very talented Quebec illustrator who has won an impressive number of awards and has achieved international recognition. She has illustrated Migrant by Maxine Trottier, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award; Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, winner of the Governor General’s Award; Le coeur de monsieur Gauguin by Marie-Danielle Croteau, winner of the Governor General’s Award; and My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. She has also illustrated Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean Pendziwol and Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt, forthcoming from Groundwood. Isabelle has won the Grand Prix for illustration (Magazines du Québec) for six years running. She lives with her family in Montreal.

Isabelle Arsenault's profile page


  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards - Children's Literature - Illustration

Editorial Reviews

A Junior Library Guild selection
On Quill & Quire’s Kidlit Spring Preview 2019, Picture Books
One of CBC’s 29 Canadian Kids Books & YA to Look For in Spring 2019
One of the Globe and Mail's 100 Books That Shaped 2019
One of CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens 2019
PRAISE FOR Albert's Quiet Quest:
“With her elegant, effortlessly fascinating visual style, Arsenault makes it all look like joyous, communal fun.” --New York Times
“In Arsenault’s ideal neighborhood, independent children make their own decisions and form their own community, and they resolve their own conflicts, too.” --Publishers Weekly

"This accessible story will validate readers who relish their quiet time as well as their friends." --Kirkus Reviews

"A subtle portrait of the independent republic of childhood." --Horn Book Magazine

"The imaginative contrast between the beach scenes and the urban setting creates a humorous backdrop for this 'quiet' tale of kindness and friendship." --School Library Journal

"Each member of the beguiling ensemble cast is wholly engaging.” --Quill & Quire

“It is a joy to see Albert’s desire to unwind through his love of reading inspire the children around him to do the same." --Highly Recommended, Resource Links
“[Arsenault’s] masterful capture of motions and emotions with only a few lines is remarkable. . . . [The book] is a humorous and relatable take on navigating social interactions and the need for downtime as an introvert as well as being a loving ode to the quiet power of a good book.” --Highly Recommended, CM Reviews

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