Conquering Fear

Grandes Roues et petits Pois will be a starting point for discussions about fear, courage, determination and pride.

Grandes roues et petits pois
Christine Arbour, illustrated by Réjean Roy
Bouton d’or Acadie
(Ages 4 to 8)

Will today be the day Émilie rides her brand new bicycle for the first time? Right now she’s nervous. With no training wheels and no one to help, Émilie can barely bring herself to get up off the lawn, where she’s watching the clouds and daydreaming about being a champion cyclist.

Émilie feels small and frightened. She thinks of the big wheels on her bike turning like the water circling down the drain, the marbles rolling along the ground, the wind turbines where her father works and the hands on her watch counting off the seconds.

There’s no one to help her with the big challenge she’s facing or to witness her adventure. Her father’s at work, her brother’s off playing somewhere and her mother’s busy picking peas in the garden, unaware of the great event about to take place.

With the great care appropriate for this major feat, Émilie fills her water bottle, puts on her helmet, climbs on her bicycle…and she’s off! Her mother turns around just in time to see her big girl riding down the pebbly path.

This book is suitable for beginning readers as well as reading aloud. The bright and interesting illustrations, together with the simple but innovative text, express the complex emotions that accompany an accomplishment so important for young children. This book will be a starting point for discussions about fear, courage, determination and pride.

The author, Christine Arbour grew up on the Gaspé coast and now lives and works in Québec City. Grandes roues et petits pois is her first children’s book.

Written By

Jo-Anne Elder has translated more than 20 works of poetry, theatre, film, fiction and non-fiction from French to English and has been shortlisted for a GOvernor General's Literary Award for translation three times. She and her husband, Aboriginal artist Carlos Gomes, live with their large family in Fredericton.

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