________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 27. . . .March 16, 2018


Leon the Raccoon Explores the Arctic.

Lucie Papineau. Illustrated by Tommy Doyle. Translated by MaryChris Bradley.
Paris, FR: Auzou, 2017.
32 pp., hardcover, $14.95 (US).
ISBN 978-2-7338-5045-9.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Kelsey Sukich.

**** /4



Leon spots a gigantic polar bear swimming in the icy water.

“Hey, Mr. Big Bear,” calls the little raccoon who isn’t the least bit afraid. “Can you help us?”

“Indeed,” answers the friendly giant.


Go on an adventure with Leon the Raccoon as he explores the Arctic with his friend, Gaspard the fox, and Gaspard’s mom! During Leon’s adventure up north, readers will learn about the different animals that live in the Arctic, the shelters in which people live, and the Aurora Borealis. Themes of friendship, love, courage, and family are present throughout the book.

      The text is rich with adjectives that bring the landscape and animals to life. The variety of dialogue words (e.g., whispers, exclaims, begs, shout, crows, yells, announces, etc.) used makes this book an excellent example when introducing ways to include words other than “said” when writing. The text font is large and legible which makes it visible for children when reading the book aloud.

      Lucie Papineau, the author, is from Quebec and has 20 years of experience writing children’s books. Tommy Doyle, the illustrator, is originally from Montreal and currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. His illustrations are rich and vibrant in colour and use varying shades of colour which provide depth to the landscapes portrayed. Warm colours are used in the illustrations that include the sun and provide a sense of warmth and comfort whereas cooler colours are used on the illustrations portraying the cool, icy waters. Doyle’s illustrations of the animals clearly depict their emotions which helps evoke the same emotions in readers as they read through the exciting and worrisome moments, such as when the plane needs to make an emergency landing.

      Whether you are wanting to find a fun picture book about the Arctic, enjoy reading books with animals as the main characters, or find a book that is great for introducing the use of dialogue (and synonyms of “said”), then Leon the Raccoon Explores the Arctic is a must-have book for your collection!

Highly Recommended

Kelsey Sukich is a kindergarten French-immersion teacher at École Rivière-Rouge in Winnipeg, MB. She is an avid ice fisherwoman who loves adventure out in the beautiful, snowy outdoors.

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