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Orca Book Publishers

What Matters
By (author): Alison Hughes Illustrated by: Holly Hatam
Alison Hughes ,

Illustrated by :

Holly Hatam


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Trade, Picture book
Paperback , Trade, Picture book


Juvenile: Age (years) 3 - 5, Grade (CAN) P - K, Grade (US) P - K, Reading age 3 - 5
May 12, 2020
Print Run: 3000
$12.95 CAD


9in x 9 x 0.13 in | 160 gr

Page Count:

32 pages


32 Colour illustrations
FSC certified – mixed sources C106973
Orca Book Publishers
JUVENILE FICTION / Recycling & Green Living
North America
R. Ross Annett Award for Children's Literature 2017, Short-listed Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award 2017, Commended CCBC Best Books starred selection 2017, Commended
  • Short Description
In this picture book, the ripple effect of one child's small action shows how we can all make a big environmental difference.
Small actions can have a big impact!

What happens when one small boy picks up one small piece of litter? He doesn't know it, but his tiny act has big consequences. From the miniscule to the universal, What Matters sensitively explores nature's connections and traces the ripple effects of one child’s good deed to show how we can all make a big difference.

Key Selling Points

  • What Matters is a wonderful introduction to environmental stewardship and how each person and each action can make a difference.
  • This vibrant picture book explores themes of the environment, recycling and conservation.
  • Readers will be uplifted and inspired by the simple yet powerful message that small actions have a big impact.
  • Alison Hughes's books have been nominated for the Governor General's, Silver Birch, Red Cedar, Diamond Willow, Hackmatack, Chocolate Lily and Alberta Literary Awards.

Alison Hughes is an award-winning author of many books for children and young adults, including The Silence Slips In, winner of the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature and Hit the Ground Running, a nominee for the Governor General's Literary Award. Alison is a university Writing Advisor, volunteers with children and literacy groups and gives frequent workshops and presentations at schools, libraries, festivals and conferences across Canada. She lives in Edmonton with her family.

Contributor Website

Holly Hatam is an illustrator and graphic designer whose work has been featured on greeting cards, prints, clothes and much more. Holly's other passions include snuggling with her hubby and son, spending time hugging trees, filling up her pantry with tea and sticking her nose in a book.

Marketing and Promotional Plans
  • Local and national media initiatives
  • Print and online advertising campaigns
  • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
  • Extensive ARC distribution
  • Author interview on blog and social media promotion

"A beguiling, environmental musing on how one small act can have far-reaching consequences." - Kirkus Reviews

"Hughes and Hatam make the powerful point that all children can help change the world...A charming addition that teaches about the interrelationships in nature and the importance of recycling." - School Library Journal

"What Matters is brought to life perfectly with Holly Hatam's simple earth coloured drawings...and will be certain to appeal to readers of any age...A very small book with a very large message...providing excellent opportunities for discussion with young listeners in a read-aloud situation. Highly recommended." - CM Magazine

"A perfect read-aloud picture book...In the simplest terms, Hughes and Hatam convey a positive and powerful message to young readers: you are not too young to make a difference." - Canadian Children's Book News

"The prose flows very nicely, and the progression of the far-reaching positive consequences of the boy's actions will be easy for even the youngest of children to follow. Illustrations are mixed media, presented in calming blues and greens, and incorporating an eclectic mix of watercolours, ink, and photographic elements." - Resource Links

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