Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Bad Bye, Good Bye

Bean, Jonathan (Illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780547928524 (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:

It’s moving day and that means leaving behind friends and familiarity. Who likes that? Certainly not the kids in this book that addresses the growing pains of change. A little boy and his sister throw temper tantrums, pouting and protesting as their toys are loaded into the moving van. The story unrolls in rhymes as the family piles into the car and drives off beneath angry rain, waving teary-eyed goodbyes to friends: “Bad truck/Bad guy/Bad wave/Bad bye.”

Simple, sparse text lists sightings along the way, reminiscent of the popular “I spy with my little eye” game. “Big hair/White deer/Road games/We’re here,” the children observe as the car approaches their new hometown.

Ink and coloured-pencil illustrations convey the typical uncertainty of such a day. Cool tones—blue-greys, washed-out reds, dirty yellows—suggest anxiety. There is a chaotic feel to these multi-layered cut-out style illustrations; backgrounds are sketchy and grey, like unfinished business, evoking a sense of vagueness and doubt over what’s coming next. Only once the family starts to settle in does this sketchiness ease up. A deeper, reassuring turquoise fills the night sky while friendship buds between the boy and his new neighbour.

As the children play catch beneath the fireflies—“New kid/Good throw/New bugs/Good glow”—readers understand that moving, with its opportunities for fresh friendships and adventures, isn’t all bad.

  •  

    What is it like to move to a new house? Discuss what happens and how it feels. Can there be good moves?

  •  

    Each page highlights words that describe other words: adjectives. Make a list of these adjectives in their order of appearance. Discuss how they change as you move through the story.

  •  

    Take a picture walk and pay attention to how the colours change according to the mood. Discuss what you notice.

  •  

    Draw two pictures of how life might be just before and just after a move. Write a few keywords as in the book.

  •  

    Have you ever moved to a new house? Under what circumstances? How did you feel?

  •  

    Go for a picture walk and notice the written words. How do they connect with the characters and the setting? What emotions do the characters express? What is the story in the background?

  •  

    Draw two pictures of how your life might be just before a move and then right after. Write a few keywords as modeled in the book.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Health and Well-Being