The Three Little Peas

Targeted Audience: Preschool, Lower Elementary (Ages 3-7)
Genre: Fiction-Picture Book
Author/Illustrator: Marine Rivoal
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Binding: Hardcover
Dimensions: 9.5″ x 7.5″
Printing: Full color
Length: 48 Pages
Retail: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1592701551

Two Peas on an Extraordinary Adventure
Every time I review an Enchanted Lion picture book, I say, “This book is so original, there can’t possibly be any new ideas left for future stories from this publisher.” Then I’m proven wrong, time and time again. The Three Little Peas is a story of a glorious garden in bloom, from which two little peas emerge from two separate pods and land on the dirt. Outside the protection of their pods they have nothing left to do but explore the rest of the garden. There they find adventure all around them. It’s all new and exciting and is both fun and a bit frightening at times. When danger lurks do these two little peas have the wherewithal to survive?  And where does the third little pea fit into the story? You’ve got to read it yourself to find out!

The Most Unique Illustrating Process
Author/Illustrator Marine Rivoal uses an old technique to create the illustrations for this book called etching. It’s a very involved, time consuming and fascinating process. She uses a zinc plate, covers part of the plate with tape and sketches on the tape with a scalpel. Then the plate receives an acid bath, and the areas of the plate not covered by tape erode. What results is a bas-relief. The taping and drawing are done in layers, followed by an inking process. The different depths of the etchings on the plate create the different shades of blacks and greys on the final printed piece. In the back of the book are photographs and a full explanation of this fascinating process.

These etchings create the most original illustrations with thick outlines that have a bit of a smudge-like quality to them that’s whimsical and gloriously child-like. The amount of work that went into creating each of these images is astounding. Marine’s lush garden scenes will delight children as they admire all the magical details. The bright little  green peas pop off the page, among the grey scale images.

Why You Should Buy This Book
If you have an appreciation for true, original art, The Three Little Peas is the perfect book for you and your child to enjoy.  The passion that went into creating this book in both words and pictures is what makes it shine. The story is so charming, and children will delight in the adventures these two peas take. As they follow them through the garden, readers discover the many plants and critters that live and thrive there and depend upon each other for survival. And the simple, sparse text is ideal for young children who are just starting to read. The end of the story is absolutely adorable and will teach children about the circle of life.

About the Author/Illustrator
After receiving her baccalauréat, Marine Rivoal went to art school, where she threw herself into learning everything she could about the art and craft of bookmaking. In 2008, she received her second degree, this time in graphic arts, from the Estienne Art School. Next, she went to the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, from which she graduated in 2011. There she deepened her skills and knowledge of engraving and began to experiment with different printing techniques. Today, Marine continues her experiments at a collective for printing and engraving on the outskirts of Paris.