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Me and You and the Red Canoe

Written by Jean E. Pendziwol

Illustrated by Phil

  • 32 Pages
  • 9781554988471
  • 8.75" x 8.75"
  • from 5
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Nature & the Natural World (see also headings under Animals)



Publication Date August 01, 2017

In the stillness of a summer dawn, two siblings leave their campsite with fishing rods, tackle and bait, and push a red canoe into the lake. A perfect morning on the water unfolds, with thrilling glimpses of wildlife along the way.

The narrator describes the experience vividly. Trailing a lure through the blue-green depths, the siblings paddle around a point, spotting a moose in the shallows, a beaver swimming towards its home and an eagle returning to its nest. Suddenly there is a sharp tug and the rod bends to meet the water. A few heart-stopping moments later, the pair pull a silvery trout from the water, then paddle back to the campsite to fry up a delicious breakfast.

The poetic text is accompanied by stunningly beautiful paintings rendered on wood panels that give a nostalgic feeling to the story.

Selected for the Kirkus Best Picture Books 2017


Jean E. Pendziwol

Jean E. Pendziwol has published several highly acclaimed picture books, including Once Upon a Northern Night, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. She is also the author of Marja’s Skis, illustrated by Jirina Marton, and The Red Sash and Dawn Watch, illustrated by Nicolas Debon. Jean’s debut adult novel, The Lightkeeper’s Daughters, will be published in 2017 in more than ten languages. Jean finds inspiration in the rich history, culture and geography of Northwestern Ontario where she lives in the shadow of the Nor’Wester Mountains near Lake Superior.


Phil studied painting, printmaking, photography and design at the Alberta College of Art and the Ontario College of Art and Design. His paintings evoke memories as well as images and feelings from the past. This is his first picture book. He lives in Toronto.


Praise for Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol:

Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award (Text) and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, among others

“A beautiful, lyrical celebration of northern light and night.” Kirkus, starred review

“A reverent ode to the magic and wonder of an icy winter night.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This is a lovely wintry bedtime story, best for sharing one-on-one.” School Library Journal, starred review

“A sweet and lovely tale of the magic of waking up to a world transformed by winter.” Booklist, starred review


Star Review

"A true gem that invites contemplation and reflection in children, who are often too busy to notice the beauty of everyday life." School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Star Review

"Free-verse poetry full of sensory details, evocative language, and repetition pair with scratchy illustrations in the greens, browns, and blues of the natural world to capture a morning of fishing from a red canoe. … Evocative, lyrical, perfect." Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

"The calm, distempered pictures and cool prose of ME AND YOU AND THE RED CANOE seem to distill the essence of lakeside summertime." Wall Street Journal