Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

A Is for Musk Ox

Cabatingan, Erin (Author)
Myers, Matthew (Illustrator)
Macmillan 2012. 36 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9781596436763 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, recurring patterns

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:

The bright, sturdy, hard cover of this zany ABC book has a large die-cut “bite” out of the letter A’s apple, revealing the image of a cartoonish musk ox on the page behind. Clearly this will not be a reverent alphabet book; readers of all ages and skill levels will feel compelled to look inside.

Throughout the book, an indignant zebra argues with the musk ox who maintains that A is for musk ox because “musk oxen are AWESOME! Plus, we live in the Arctic, which includes some of Alaska.” Each letter offers a traditional word as an example, but it’s always papered over with another—usually musk ox! This book is a lovely way to encourage laughter and language-play.

Funny illustrations are dense with lush, painterly strokes and colours. The featured letter is always made central to its short text, where it appears highlighted in bold print, for the edification of learning readers—musk oxen are brown, cool, daring, elegant, etc.

Sure to delight and surprise savvy young readers, this book surpasses the alphabet genre.

  •  

    Using the text as a model, write your own version, substituting your name in place of "musk ox."

  •  

    Find (five or more) adjectives in the book and use them in interesting sentences.

  •  

    Using the model found on the back endpaper, create a biography about a peer.

  •  

    Act out the conversation between the zebra and the musk ox (e.g. “A is for Apple.” “No! A is for awesome, Arctic and Alaska”).

  •  Write and illustrate a class alphabet book following the same style, but using two different animals as the characters.
  •  

    The musk ox and the zebra argue throughout the book. Find the expressions they use to argue and make a class chart. With a partner, create a short sketch using some of these expressions in your dialogue. Present it to the class.

  • To use creativity
  • To use information