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Children's Fiction Art & Architecture

Seeing Orange

by (author) Sara Cassidy

illustrated by Amy Meissner

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Nov 2012
Art & Architecture, School & Education, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Recommended Age
6 to 8
Recommended Grade
1 to 3
Recommended Reading age
6 to 8
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2012
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Seven-year-old Leland has trouble writing, but he loves drawing. He so dislikes his teacher that he conjures up Delilah, an imaginary seeing-eye dog to help him into class each day. When a neighborhood painter recognizes Leland's gifts as an artist, Leland grows more confident about the world as he uniquely sees it. And when his family's cat goes missing, it is Leland's keen observation skills that lead to finding him. Leland's newfound confidence helps him both confront and sympathize with his teacher, who only wishes Leland could be a bit more focused.

About the authors

Les livres de Sara Cassidy ont &eacutet&eacute finalistes pour de nombreux prix : le Chocolate Lily Award pour Black Gold et Blackberry Juice ; le Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award pour A Boy Named Queen ; le Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize pour Skylark ainsi que le Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature. Deux de ses titres, A Boy Named Queen et Double Play, ont &eacutet&eacute s&eacutelectionn&eacutes par la Junior Library Guild. Sara Cassidy a publi&eacute de nombreux recueils de po&eacutesie, œuvres de fiction et ouvrages documentaires pour adultes. Elle vit &agrave Victoria en Colombie-Britannique.

Sara Cassidy's profile page

Amy Meissner currently lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska. Her two, bad orange cats keep her company in the studio all day long where she paints, draws, writes, cuts fabric and moves cats off the things they aren't supposed to sleep on. Creating art for children's books is Amy's favorite job, but she also illustrates for posters and articles. She recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing and has undergraduate degrees in both Art and Textiles.


Amy Meissner's profile page


  • Short-listed, Chocolate Lily Book Awards
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection

Editorial Reviews

"A wonderful little novel for beginning readers. This story is interesting enough to keep hesitant readers engaged, with very detailed and beautiful illustrations...With the final message of acceptance and doing one's best to improve, Seeing Orange makes for an effective classroom read."

Resource Links

"Cassidy does a fine job constructing sentences for learning readers while also modeling wonderful sentence structure and examples for learning writers. Full of vivid descriptions and emotion, this book will attract a wide range of readers. Multimedia b&w illustrations are engaging and quite detailed. Some readers may find the artwork as interesting as the story itself. This title comes with an online Teacher's Guide so the book can be used in literature circles or as classroom reads. Overall, this book makes a fine choice for both classroom and school libraries due to its wide reader appeal and early reading level."

Library Media Connection

"Offers a story that will appeal to boys as well as girls in the primary grades. Themes of loneliness, friendship, and perseverance are ones to which many students will relate. The vocabulary is manageable but still interesting, and Cassidy does a thorough job of describing her characters and settings. The ending is satisfying and uplifting, leaving readers with a good feeling about appreciating our abilities and facing challenges."

CM Magazine

Librarian Reviews

Seeing Orange

In this Orca Echoes early chapter book series, Leland’s imagination helps him create wonderful paintings but his daydreaming causes problems. He finds it very hard to put things down in writing and the resulting conflict with his Grade Two teacher makes him dread school. Fortunately, a neighbour realizes how talented he is. She teaches Leland to value how he looks at the world through an artist’s eyes. Leland learns not only how to be a better painter but also how to stand up for himself. This would be a good read aloud for later Primary classes both as a beginning novel and as a complement to the art curriculum. Here are clear lessons about art and life, written in a lively and engaging manner that avoids being didactic.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2013-2014.

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