Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

A Glass

Delessert, Étienne (Author/Illustrator)
Creative Editions 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781568462578 (hardcover)
9781566602990 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book
Book genre: Memoir

Text Elements:

language conventions, multimodal, stance

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This memoir begins with “a simple glass full of memories” and reads as an extended letter to Eglantine Besson, the woman the author considers to be his “real mom.” From Etienne’s earliest encounter, she fills his world with “stories about kingfishers, wild mushrooms, and roaring monsters.”

Told from an adult perspective, the narrative describes key scenes from his time with her. Soft warm-toned illustrations capture emotion and emphasize the cool-toned crystal glass. Both the glass and Etienne’s stepmother are depicted with soft edges, yet they maintain a solid presence, similar to their role in his life.

Colour contributes to meaning. A red font is used for a scene where the narrator and his stepmother argue and she throws the glass at him, though he “can’t even remember the reason for her anger.” The glass, the fantastical beasts from her stories, and other aspects from his time with her become part of his life and forever influence his life and work.

The glass “that now sits on (his) drawing table” reminds him that “she could be here, a presence looking over (his) shoulder.”

  •  

    The narrative memoir, told through image and text, is multilayered and encourages multiple readings. The illustrative style, figurative language and deep meaning make it suitable for modelling the response process and engaging readers in whole or small group discussions.

  •  

    What did you notice about this text (layout, image, voice, visual style, genre, etc.)? What might be the meaning (significance) of these elements?

  •  

    Following your initial reading and small group discussion, respond to the text. Explore the author’s use of language, story structure, point of view and other techniques that help make meaning.

  •  

    Make a list of objects that are important to you. Make a second list of objects you associate with members of your family. Listen to the story as it is read aloud.

  •  

    Discuss the story with a partner. How did it make you feel? What will you remember? Describe the stepmother using details from the story. How did the author feel about his stepmother and why?

  •  

    Write and illustrate a story about an object that is important in your life. Add details as in the book.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development