Elaine Arsenault’s first picture book, published in 2004, was Le grand rêve de Passepoil / Doggie in the Window. It revealed her talent for inventing stories that are fun and charming—just the way children like them. Les petites bêtises de Passepoil, Le grand spectacle de Passepoil and La petite frousse de Passepoil soon followed. Her picture books have been translated into six languages and have been nominated for a number of prizes including the Prix TD in 2006, the 2005 Prix Tatoulu in France and the Willow Award in 2003.
In 2012, Elaine completed L'or des gitans, a six-part young adult saga which was listed as recommended reading by Communication-Jeunesse in its Sélection 2013–2014, and in 2013, she published a bilingual alphabet book about Québec entitled F comme Français / F is for French.
Elaine is the author of four episodes of the televised series Roll Play, which was nominated for the Gemini Award in 2007.
F is for French: a Quebec alphabet (Sleeping Bear Press, 2013)
“Doggie” series (Dominique et compagnie, 2003– )
“L’or des gitans” series (Dominique et compagnie, 2008– )
*These titles have been suggested by the author based on the activities that he/she proposes to students.
It is, however, up to teachers to verify whether the titles are appropriate for their groups (age and education level, specific context, etc.).
Teaching staff are invited to contact the author for clarification on this aspect and assistance in preparing their groups for his/her visit.
Using drafts of manuscripts, sketches, original illustrations and page layouts of Doggie in the Window and F is for French, Elaine explains the relationship between author and illustrator and the multiple stages of creating a book from inspiration to final publication.
The author reads Doggie in the Window and shows the other titles in the same series published in French and in other languages.
During the workshop, the children brainstorm a situation in which Doggie finds himself—taking a bath, for example. To help them understand plot development, we create a storyline by imagining what just happened that led up to the bath scene and what is about to happen. The children create a page in a book by drawing a picture of one of the scenes and finally transcribing the short text from the plot we just created.
This workshop teaches basic plot development and how each illustrator imagines the same scene in a unique way.
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