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Orca Loan Stars Jr. through April 2020

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The Magic Boat
By (author): Kit Pearson By (author): Katherine Farris Illustrated by: Gabrielle Grimard
9781459814325 Hardcover, Picture book, Paper over boards, Printed dust jacket English Juvenile: Age (years) from 3 - 5, Grade (CAN) from P - K, Grade (US) from P - K, Reading age from 3 - 5 JUVENILE FICTION / Imagination & Play Mar 19, 2019
$19.95 CAD
Active 8.75 x 10.75 x 0.31 in | 480 gr 32 pages full color images FSC certified – mixed sources C106973 Orca Book Publishers
Victoria Book Prize Society Children's Book Prize 2019, Short-listed Blue Spruce Award 2020, Short-listed CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection 2019, Commended OLA Best Bets—Honorable Mention 2019, Commended Bank Street College of Education Best Books 2019, Commended
A new friend helps Ellie set her imagination free.

Every summer morning, Ellie and her Nonna go to the beach. They swim and build sandcastles, and while Nonna reads, Ellie watches the other children play. One day Ellie builds up the courage to approach an older girl playing on her own in a beached rowboat. Piper has a gift, an imagination so great that she whisks Ellie off on grand adventures, going high in the air, deep below the ocean and everywhere in between in their little blue boat, their magic boat. When Piper has to leave, Ellie discovers she has her own vivid imagination.

Kit Pearson was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and grew up there and in Vancouver, British Columbia. After attending the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia, Kit worked for ten years as a children's librarian in Ontario and BC. She became inspired to write for children after attending Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literature. Her books have been published in several different countries and have won many awards, including the Governor General's Award and the BC Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with partner Katherine Farris and their two dogs, Piper and Brio. For more information, visit

Katherine Farris was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and after university moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she worked at Toronto Life Magazine, Greey de Pencier Books and OWL Magazine, researching and editing a wide variety of projects, from rail guides to western and eastern Canada for Greey de Pencier to kids' question-and-answer books for OWL. During that time she began painting, and now, living in Victoria, British Columbia, her focus is primarily on art and playing the alto sax.

Gabrielle Grimard has been drawing since she was young. Her passion for drawing and painting led her to pursue studies in fine arts and arts education at Concordia University. After she had her first child, she began her career as an illustrator. She moved from Montreal to Waterville, Quebec, where she now lives with her two children, several chickens and her husband, who builds wooden boats. They share an old barn as their artists' studio. For more information, visit

Key Selling Points

A young child overcomes her shyness to make a new friend, and together they go on adventures in an abandoned blue boat on the beach.

Diverse characters (main character's friend is POC).

Themes include imagination, adventure, new friends, summer vacation.

Kit Pearson won the Governor General's Award for her book Awake and Dreaming (1996).

Also available in French: Le bateau magique.

Marketing and Promotional Plans

Print and online advertising campaigns

Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade

Extensive ARC distribution, including NetGalley

Blog and social media promotion

"Sensitive and imaginative...Grimard’s bright and exuberant illustrations give life to Pearson and Farris’s gentle text." - The Globe and Mail

"Can be used by parents and grandparents, teachers and caregivers to plant the idea in the minds of shy children that they can venture forth in life, because life is an adventure. Recommended" - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Pearson and Farris' prose moves seamlessly from the easy unhurriedness of summer play to the weightier awe of discovery. Grimard keeps visual pace with warm watercolors and pencil-sketched shading and lines that feel light but never fluffy, capturing the dynamic fluidity between real and pretend…Infectiously delightful." - Kirkus Reviews

“A beautiful voyage into the imagination…Schools and homes with pre-school children will find this to be a favorite read.”

- Must Read Literature: K thru YA

“Pearson and Farris’s text is engaging, moving us seamlessly between reality and imagination…Grimard’s pencil and watercolour illustrations are lovely.” - Canadian Children's Booknews

“The message of reaching out past one’s shyness works well.”

- Kiss the Book blog

“This heartwarming tale encapsulates the childlike happiness of being at the beach.”

- Eight Cousins Bookshop

The Magic Boat is a beautiful book with a special story…Grimard’s illustrations are full of colour and summer sunshine, which perfectly complement this beachy and magical story.” - Resource Links

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