The Blue Pebble, by Anne-Gaëlle Balpe | Book Review
The Children’s Book Review | July 17, 2019
Written by Anne-Gaëlle Balpe
Illustrated by Eve Tharlet
Age Range: 4-9
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: minedition (May 1, 2019)
What to Expect: Life Lessons and Sentimental Value
The Blue Pebble is a beautiful and thoughtful picture book that should be viewed as a treasure. There is a magical aura to this book that can’t be explained with words.
The tale begins with Oli, a transcendent character who finds a strange blue pebble underneath a daisy. He is enamored by the pebble’s unique blue color and texture. Holding onto it tightly, he walks through the forest where he meets many friends; including a wild boar, a wolf, and elves. With each interaction, Oli is discouraged from keeping the blue pebble. The boar tells Oli, “It’s a waste of time carrying it around. Throw it away and start collecting roots and acorns for winter.” The wolf tells Oli, “Don’t waste time carrying it around. Throw it away and look for a good stone you can use to sharpen a stick.” The elves tease Oli for keeping the blue pebble. Each time he is told to throw away his pebble, Oli becomes determined to find a use for it because he believes it is special.
As Oli continues his walk through the forest, still holding his pebble, he meets a young girl who is sitting on a large rock sobbing. When Oli asks the girl “What’s the matter?” she replies with a gesture towards her doll that is missing an eye. “Everyone says I should throw it away.” Oli looks pensively at the doll and realizes that the pebble he is holding will fit perfectly into the eye socket. When the doll has both of her beautiful eyes again, the girl is delighted and thankful for Oli’s help and generosity. For a pensive finale, Oli then picks up a thread he has found and goes on his way as he says goodbye to the girl.
The Blue Pebble offers many valuable lessons: believing in yourself, helping others, and listening to your intuition—Oli never gave up on his instincts, even when others told him to discard the pebble. This story is a sweet reminder about the value of keeping small and sentimental treasures that may not have financial value or appear to have a specific purpose. As parents, many of us want to clear out items from our kids’ rooms and pockets in order to “organize” and “clean up”. While reading aloud to youngsters, this book will likely have adult readers pausing to think about the special treasures that their children may want to hold onto … just like Oli and his blue pebble.
Timeless, wonderful, and a true gem of a book,The Blue Pebble is destined to be treasured for a long time! Ideal for kids ages 4-9, it would make a fantastical addition to any home or school library. It will always have a place on my bookshelf!
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About the Author
Anne-Gaëlle Balpe lives and works in Paris. Writing novels is her passion and the books which fascinated her as a child are still her companions. She wishes to bring such fascination she experienced to children through her own stories. Eve Tharlet studied art in Strasbourg, and is the illustrator of A Promise is a Promise, Mr. Hollyberry’s Christmas Gift, Mr. Hollyberry’s Christmas Gift, Sweet Dreams Bruno, Will You Still Love Me, If . . . ?, Here She Is!, and Too Big, Too Small from minedition.
The Blue Pebble, written by Anne-Gaëlle Balpe and illustrated by Eve Tharlett, was reviewed by Rebecca Eisenberg. Discover more books like The Blue Pebble by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Life Lessons and Picture Book.