Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Caramba

Gay, Marie-Louise (Author/Illustrator)
Groundwood Books 2013. 40 pages
First published: 2005
ISBN: 9781554983902 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, point of view

Awards

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award – 2006
Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award – 2006

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:

Caramba doesn’t “leap off cliffs and soar over the ocean” like all the other cats, but secretly, he keeps trying. The refined rhythms in the language make this a great story for reading aloud. It’s also rich with gentle humour: Caramba hides his humiliating face-plants with excuses that will tickle young readers. “‘I’m looking for caterpillars,’ mumbled Caramba, his mouth full of grass. ‘For my caterpillar collection.’” And “‘I’m admiring your slippers,’ muttered Caramba. ‘They’re very nice.’”

Both lovely and cute, illustrations in delicate line and ebullient watercolour effects are alive with whirling, gusting movements that beautifully reflect the theme of flight. White-capped waves toss under billowing clouds as Caramba’s friends convince him to accept a flying lesson from them. Skilled flicks of the pen show Caramba’s nervous expression as he dangles between his friends, high over the countryside. When Caramba drops into the ocean, the movement shifts into flowing lines of current, seaweed and underwater creatures. Sea and sky seem to meld in the final images, as every creature—fish, birds, cats (and pig)—enjoys his or her unique abilities and passions.

  •  

    List or draw a symbol for the activities/sports that you are good at. How many other people in your class like the same things as you? Graph the results.

  •  

    Use a Venn diagram to compare yourself to a friend. Highlight things that are the same.

  •  

    Would you rather swim or fly? Why? Write the reasons in your journal.

  •  

    Discuss how Caramba is similar to or different from the other cats.

  •  

    Compare yourself with Caramba in the things you can or can’t do. Compare yourself with some of your classmates.

  •  

    This book offers great opportunities to practise and distinguish between I can and I can’t, I like and I don’t like, I like and I’m like.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Visual Arts