Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Buddy and Earl

Fergus, Maureen (Author)
Sookocheff, Carey (Illustrator)
Groundwood Books 2015. 32 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9781554987122 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue

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:

Buddy, the dog, has never seen anything like Earl before, so Earl has fun pretending he’s all sorts of different things. Clear language revels in repetition and the animals’ banter: “You look like a sea urchin, Earl, but I do not think you are a sea urchin.… You see, sea urchins are underwater creatures and the living room is not underwater.” The contrast in characters is well-drawn between the quick-witted hedgehog and Buddy’s more plodding nature.

Minimal line drawings stylishly depict floppy-eared Buddy, bristly Earl and the living room setting. A limited palette of pastel tones recalls commercial artwork of the 1950s. Images depict the animals morphing into false identities, as Earl alternately pretends to be someone else and makes outrageous guesses about Buddy. By the end, the entire living room is transformed into a stormy ocean scene.

Their new friendship is sealed when Buddy gets in trouble with Mom and Earl tries to come to his defence. The final scene shows Earl safely back in his box, nose-to-nose with Buddy. “I think I know what you are Earl … I think you are a friend.”

  •  As you read, make predictions throughout the story, starting with the cover page. Reflect on and revise your predictions as you gain new information from reading.
  •  Use a Venn diagram to compare Buddy and Earl.
  •  Write a list of “rules for friendship” based on Buddy and Earl. Use examples of their actions in the story.
  •  

    Put an object in a shoe box or a bag. Have a partner describe it by touch alone. Switch roles.

  •  

    Discuss how Earl and Buddy try to become friends. What are the qualities of friendship? Refer to the story in your answer.

  •  

    Put a picture of an object or person on a partner’s forehead. Have your partner ask questions to determine what it is, as in the story.

  •  

    Use a variety of picture cards, such as from a memory game. With a partner, practise circumlocution by describing the object on the card without naming it (a hedgehog: an animal that looks like a brush).

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Citizenship and Community Life