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The Slippers' Keeper

Written by Ian Wallace

  • 36 Pages
  • 9781554984152
  • 7.875" x 9.8425 "
  • Reading age from 5 to 8
  • JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / General
  • JUVENILE NONFICTION / Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
  • JUVENILE NONFICTION / Nature / Flowers & Plants



Publication Date May 30, 2015

Born in 1914, Joe Purdon was one of North America’s early conservationists. After stumbling as a child upon a cluster of Showy Lady’s Slippers in bloom, Joe dedicated his life to protecting these rare orchids. In this picture book, award-winning author and illustrator Ian Wallace depicts how Joe Purdon became a steward of a fragile piece of land in Eastern Ontario. Thanks to his passion, diligence and generosity, the Purdon Conservation Area (now the Mississippi Valley Conservation Area) was established in 1982. It is home to one of the largest colonies of Showy Lady’s Slippers in North America.


Ian Wallace
Ian Wallace has had a distinguished career as an author and illustrator of picture books, publishing such classics as Chin Chiang and the Dragon’s Dance, Boy of the Deeps, The Huron Carol, Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot and Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. He has won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award. He has also been nominated for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Ian lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife, Deb.


"While kids today are sometimes exhorted to 'act locally' to help the environment, here’s an example of a boy who made his mark as naturalist by doing just that." Booklist

"This exquisitely illustrated picture book . . . introduces young readers to the concept of conservation and emphasizes that one person can make a difference." School Library Journal

"An exquisitely illustrated true story . . . The Slippers' Keeper honors this amazing legacy." Children's Bookwatch

"Ian Wallace is one of the grand masters on the Canadian picture book scene. . . . The text includes much detail about the Lady’s Slipper, itself, and about Purdon’s efforts to nurture its survival." CM Magazine