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Children's Fiction Marriage & Divorce

Pebbles to the Sea

by (author) Marie-Andrée Arsenault

illustrated by Dominique Leroux

translated by Shelley Tanaka

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
Marriage & Divorce, Emotions & Feelings, Imagination & Play
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 6
  • Grade: p to 1


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.

About the authors

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.


Marie-Andrée Arsenault's profile page

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.


Dominique Leroux's profile page

SHELLEY TANAKA is an award-winning author, translator and editor. She has written more than twenty books for children and young adults, winning the Orbis Pictus Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Science in Society Book Award and the Information Book Award, and she has twice been nominated for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Other honors include Texas Blue Bonnet runner-up, School Library Journal Best Books, ALA Notables and IRA Young Adults’ Choice. Her translation of Michel Noel’s Good for Nothing won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and was on the IBBY Honor List (Commended). Shelley teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts, in the MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.


Shelley Tanaka's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Appealing paint-and-collage illustrations … a lovely ode to La Grave.

Kirkus Reviews

Other titles by Shelley Tanaka