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Paddle-to-the-Sea is a 1941 children's book, written and illustrated by American author/artist Holling C. Holling. It was recognized as a Caldecott Honor Book in 1942.

The film Paddle to the Sea, based on this book, was produced by the National Film Board of Canada in 1966, directed by Bill Mason. It was nominated for an Oscar.[1]

Plot summary

At Lake Nipigon, Canada, a native boy carves a wooden model of an Indian in a canoe and sets it free to travel the Great Lakes to the Atlantic ocean. The story follows the progress of the little wooden Indian on its journey through all five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, finally arriving at the Atlantic Ocean.

Each movement of the canoe is celebrated by a short chapter, suitable for reading aloud to a child and decorated with black-and-white sketches and at least one full-page watercolor. The sketches accompany the larger story and tell smaller narrative stories of their own: for example, one sketch demonstrates how a sawmill works by visually outlining the progress of a log of timber towards a mechanical saw.


  1. Wyndham Wise, ed. (2001-09-08). "Paddle to the Sea". Take One's Essential Guide to Canadian Film. University of Toronto Press. p. 159. ISBN 978-0802083982.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links