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Children's Fiction Environment

The Three Brothers

illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Environment, Imagination & Play, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: k to 3
  • Reading age: 4 to 8


From world-renowned author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay, a story about three brothers who set off in search of wild animals in a changing climate.

This gentle adventure story about the effects of climate change ends on a hopeful note.

Finn and his younger brothers, Leo and Ooley, love reading stories about animals living in forests, on mountains or in the arctic.

“When I grow up,” says Finn, “I want to be an explorer and travel around the world. I want to see wild animals and strange birds.”“Why wait?” asks Leo.

And so, the next morning, they wake up early and set out on a snowy expedition to search for wild animals. In their grandfather’s time, the forest was full of animals — but today the forest is quiet. Where have the animals gone?

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

About the author

MARIE-LOUISE GAY has achieved international acclaim as an author and illustrator of children’s books. She has won many awards, including two Governor General’s awards, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has also been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Marie-Louise’s very popular Stella and Sam series has been translated into more than fifteen languages and is loved by children all over the world. Her recent books include Any Questions? and Short Stories for Little Monsters. She lives in Montreal.

Marie-Louise Gay's profile page


  • Winner, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award
  • Commended, Bulletin Blue Ribbon

Editorial Reviews

There are no direct answers here about what the next steps in mitigating climate change can be, but the story offers a timely, gentle introduction to an increasingly complex and, for this generation, very concrete challenge.

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Each page spread is delightfully illustrated with Gay's signature mixed-media compositions of soft hues and bright details that draw the eye to moments in the brothers’ trek through the serene setting in search of wild animals.

School Library Journal

[A] simple, optimistic story that is beautifully illustrated. … Readers young and old will love the hope-filled, wordless final double-page spread.

CM Review of Materials

Gentle, humorous, and fun.

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