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The memory stone

TitleThe memory stone
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsMacDonald, Anne Louise, and Joanne Ouellet
ISBN Number0921556713
DescriptorsEnglish Language; Families; Nova Scotia; Picture Book; Prince Edward Island

Laura is homesick the first time she stays over at her aunt Patricia's house. In a fit of temper, she kicks a collection of stones off the porch. Her aunt scolds her because these are memory stones and important to her. Throughout the day, Laura attempts to discover what a memory stone is and to find one of her own. Eventually, she is too busy and has too much fun to be sad. When her mother comes to pick her up, she complains that Aunt Patricia will not tell her what a memory stone is, but discovers that she already knows. The author of this picture book which was published on Prince Edward Island is from Nova Scotia.


Nova Scotia

Age Range



The Memory Stone is a picture book intended for an audience between the ages of three and five. It tells the story of Laura, a little girl, and her first sleepover at her Aunt Pat’s house. Aunt Pat does many things differently from what Laura is used to, and at first this upsets Laura. Then Aunt Pat introduces Laura to her “memory stones,” stones that help Pat remember specific fond events in her past. By the time Laura’s mother comes to collect her, Laura has found her own memory stone to remember her time at Aunt Pat’s. The exact setting is unspecified, but resembles a small coastal town in Atlantic Canada. The narrative voice is third person limited from Laura’s point of view. Themes include family, memory, and growing up.
MacDonald’s text is accompanied by watercolor on canvas illustrations by Quebecois artist Joanne Ouellet. The illustrations are simple and stylized, and flow organically into the text. Ouellet’s work emphasizes bright colour, a sense of motion, and a connection to nature. The use of color and light in each frame reflects Laura’s emotional state.


“What’s a Memory Stone?” asked Laura.
“Find them and I’ll tell you,” her aunt said.
Laura searched the lawn and rummaged under the hedge until she found the two stones.
Aunt Pat ran her fingertips over the grey stone and sighed. “A spring day.”
She held the white stone up to the light and smiled. “A walk in the woods.”
She touched the reddish brown stone to her cheek and laughed. “My best friend.”
“That makes no sense,” Laura grumbled.
“Hmmm,” said Aunt Pat. “Then I’ll have to show you. Come with me.”