Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Amy’s Three Best Things

Pearce, Philippa (Author)
Craig, Helen (Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2013. 36 pages
First published: 2003
ISBN: 9780763663148 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting

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

Description:

Amy is off to her grandmother’s for her first time sleeping away from home. Before leaving, she packs her “three best things for a visit.” These mysterious objects help Amy through bouts of homesickness and prove to be magical talismans, connecting her to her family. First, a rug turns into a flying carpet, then a wooden horse figurine grows tall and transports her to see what her family is up to without her. Finally, a toy boat carries her across stormy skies to her home, now dark and empty. Despairing, Amy soon finds that her mum, baby brother and dog Bonzo have come to see her early at Grandma’s house.

Enchanting illustrations are a combination of pastel watercolour and pencil sketching. The short-haired heroine in her yellow polka-dot pyjamas is appealing and easy to relate to. Magical scenes of flying through starry nights are sure to captivate young readers.

Text is dense but easy to comprehend and highly reassuring in its message and tone: “Around and around went the merry-go-round… and sometimes she saw her family and sometimes she didn’t. But they were always there.”

A beautiful story for overcoming fears and finding the courage to experience new things.

  •  

    Share personal experiences of being away from your parents. Have you ever felt homesick? What helped you feel better? As you read, make connections between your experiences with homesickness and Amy’s.

  •  With a partner, retell the story from the point of view of one of the magical objects Amy brings with her.
  •  

    What three special things would you bring on a trip away from home? Write a short text describing how you would get to your family using these magical objects. What would you see along the way?

  •  

    With a partner, discuss where you could go and what you need to bring for a three-day trip. Write a list and compare it with another group.

  •  

    Make a timeline of Amy’s activities on her visit. Compare Amy’s visit with one to your own grandmother. Add a second layer to the timeline that compares these visits.

  •  

    Discuss the emotions portrayed by Amy. How do you feel when visiting a relative? Compare your reactions to Amy’s.

  •  

    Which three special things would you bring for a similar visit? Write a short text describing how you would get to your family. What would your family be doing while you were away?

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To solve problems
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Physical Education and Health