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Children's Fiction General

In the Red Canoe

by (author) Leslie A. Davidson

illustrated by Laura Bifano

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2016
General, Multigenerational, Boats, Ships & Underwater Craft
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2016
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2020
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Sep 2017
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 5
  • Grade: p to k
  • Reading age: 3 to 5


Fish and herons, turtles and dragonflies, beaver lodges and lily pads—a multitude of wonders enchant both the child narrator and any other nature lovers along for the ride in this tender, beautifully illustrated picture book. Baby ducklings ride their mama’s back; an osprey rises with a silver fish clutched in her talons; a loon cries in a star-flecked night. Rhythmic, rhyming quatrains carry the story forward in clean paddle strokes of evocative imagery.

In the Red Canoe celebrates the bond between grandparent and grandchild and invites nature lovers of all ages along for the ride.

About the authors

Leslie A. Davidson a toujours &eacutecrit, mais ce n’est qu’&agrave la retraite qu’elle a enfin trouv&eacute le temps de mettre sur papier les histoires qui lui trottaient dans la t&ecircte toutes ces ann&eacutees o&ugrave elle enseignait et &eacutelevait ses enfants. Ses histoires traitent de ce qui compte le plus pour elle : la famille, l’amiti&eacute et la nature. Le canot rouge lui a &eacutet&eacute inspir&eacute par la passion de son mari pour le canot. Il r&ecircvait d’aller explorer lacs et rivi&egraveres aux eaux limpides avec ses petits-enfants, mais il n’a pas v&eacutecu assez longtemps pour r&eacutealiser son r&ecircve.

Leslie A. Davidson's profile page

Laura Bifano a grandi sur la c&ocircte nord-ouest du Pacifique, une r&eacutegion pluvieuse, o&ugrave elle passait ses journ&eacutees &agrave courir dans la for&ecirct et &agrave dessiner. Depuis qu’elle a obtenu son dipl&ocircme de l’Alberta College of Art and Design en 2008, elle partage son temps entre l’illustration, les beaux-arts et les dessins anim&eacutes. Elle vit &agrave Vancouver.

Laura Bifano's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books
  • Short-listed, Shining Willow Award

Editorial Reviews

“This book is perfect for sharing with young children during the late afternoon or evening when the weather is ripe for canoeing.”

Canadian Children's Book News

“A girl and her grandfather greet the magic of nature in the bow of their canoe in this delicate and elegant tale...Bifano's full-bleed gouache illustrations are vivid but also mirror the gentleness of the text with soft colors and flowing lines...A beautiful introduction to nature that will succeed in storytimes and one-on-one readings alike.”

School Library Journal

“Quiet, reflective, and steadily paced, this reads aloud well. The rhymes are smooth...and the rhythm steady, with a nice surprise at the end...A pleasant, peaceful reminder of the wonders that can be found in the natural world, just right for bedtime.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Told in gentle rhyming text, this is a loving account…of a serene canoe trip.”

The Horn Book Online

“A warm story of intergenerational companionship and nature's everyday delights.”

Publishers Weekly

“The two make lasting memories in this quietly satisfying portrayal of a day spent together on the lake.”


“This would be a perfect story to read before bedtime or a quiet time with its rhythmic, soothing language…The illustration and description made me feel as if I was there with them in the canoe. This story clearly depicts Canadian lake life and would be an excellent addition to a school library and for a read-aloud.”

Resource Links

Other titles by Leslie A. Davidson

Other titles by Laura Bifano

Related lists