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Children's Fiction Special Needs

Out into the Big Wide Lake

by (author) Paul Harbridge

illustrated by Josée Bisaillon

Initial publish date
May 2021
Special Needs, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Multigenerational
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3


An empowering and necessary picture book about a young girl with Down syndrome who gains confidence and independence through a visit to her grandparents.

It's Kate's first time visiting her grandparents on her own at their lakeside home. She's nervous but excited at the adventure ahead.

She helps her grandfather with his grocery deliveries by boat, where she meets all the neighbors, including a very grumpy old man named Walter. And she makes best friends with her grandparents' dog, Parbuckle.

Her grandmother even teaches her to pilot the boat all by herself!

When her grandfather takes ill suddenly, it's up to Kate -- but can she really make all those deliveries, even to grumpy old Walter? She has to try!

Based on the author's sister, Kate is a lovable, brave, smart and feisty character who will capture your heart in this gorgeous and moving story about facing fears and gaining independence.

About the authors

Paul Harbridge's profile page

Jos&eacutee Bisaillon a illustr&eacute plus de trente-cinq livres pour enfants et cr&eacute&eacute de nombreuses illustrations pour des magazines et des journaux. Elle a &eacutet&eacute finaliste au Prix litt&eacuteraire du Gouverneur g&eacuten&eacuteral &agrave deux reprises et a remport&eacute le prestigieux Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award pour The Snow Knows. Il s’agit du quatri&egraveme ouvrage de Jos&eacutee avec Orca, apr&egraves My Head in the Clouds et Bedtime 123 &eacutecrit par Eric Walters, un succ&egraves de librairie. Elle vit en banlieue de Montr&eacuteal avec sa famille.

Josée Bisaillon's profile page


  • Nominated, Shining Willow Award
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards - Children's Literature - Illustration
  • Winner, Ezra Jack Keats New Writer/Illustrator Award

Editorial Reviews

WINNER of the Ezra Jack Keats Best New Writer Award, 2021
Nominated for the 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for Young People’s Literature — Illustrated Books
One of CCBC’s Best Books for Kids and Teens, Fall 2021 — Starred Pick

“A heartening Canadian picture book with an emotionally resonant ending.” —STARRED REVIEW, Booklist
“For many readers, especially the adults reading this book to young listeners, Out Into the Big Wide Lake will probably bring back good memories of times spent over their summers.” CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Colourful mixed-media ilustrations add visual appeal to this heartwarming story, and manage to capture the outdoor joys of summer vacation." —PostMedia

“Josée Bisaillon’s artwork is swoonworthy. It wowed me right from the start.” —Library Matters

Out Into the Big Wide Lake is extraordinarily sensitive and beautiful, and Kate is an unforgettable character.” Imaginary Elevators

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