Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Bruno and Titch: The Tale of a Boy and His Guinea Pig

Dempsey, Sheena (Author/Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780763673161 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view, 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:

Titch’s dream comes true when Bruno adopts him from a pet shop; he had started to think that no one would. Bruno is an excitable boy with lots of ideas. He loves to play with Titch. The only problem is that Titch is a guinea pig and their ideas of “fun” are not quite the same.

The story is told from Titch’s perspective, so the language is simple with unique terms (“my very own Big Person”) and references to time: “I’ve been waiting three human weeks for a Big Person to come and bring me home. In guinea-pig time, that’s almost a year.” It is a humorous culture clash as the guinea pig tries to fit into the boy’s lifestyle. The lightly sketched and light-hued drawings are often chaotic to show Bruno’s creative energy. Details like the string, rulers, cardboard and kitchen accessories that Bruno uses to build his creations, along with pencils and drawings, are scattered everywhere.

One day, Bruno begins a new project. Titch is curious but can’t understand the plans. The reader can piece it together by Bruno’s notes: “Poo hut,” “guinea pigs sometimes need to rest.” When it’s ready, we see that Bruno has made Titch a guinea-pig palace, with a rest area, private poo area and a fruit buffet. This is a fun story about befriending animals, while respecting their specific needs.

  •  

    What is adoption? If you adopt a person or a pet, how much should you respect the needs of the other? How much should they follow your instructions?

  •  

    Before reading the book, read the note on the back cover. Is Titch’s request “too much to ask”?

  •  

    Write a journal entry from the point of view of a human orphan who, like Titch, is passed up for adoption because another is chosen.

  •  

    After reading, revisit the note on the back cover. What do you think now? Is Titch’s request “too much to ask”?

  •  

    Titch is lucky that Bruno studies his habits and needs, and adjusts his projects accordingly. Write about a pet you would like to adopt. What sorts of preparations would you make? Would you do research the way Bruno did?

  •  

    Discuss the book cover, especially the note on the back. What questions come to mind? What do you think “Is that too much to ask?” might mean?

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Identify and sort the objects that belong to Bruno, to the family and to Titch.

  •  

    Brainstorm and list what is needed to care for a guinea pig.

  •  

    Titch was fortunate that Bruno researched what he needed. Create a booklet to help Bruno care for Titch or to help you care for your own pet (or one you would like to own.)

  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To solve problems
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology