Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Chester

Watt, Mélanie (Author/Illustrator)
Kids Can Press 2009. 32 pages
First published: 2007
ISBN: 9781554534609 (paperback)
9781554531400 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

dialogue, point of view, structures and features

Awards

Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award – 2008
The Forest of Reading – The Blue Spruce Award Winner – 2009

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
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Chester is the star of this post-modern picture book which focuses on the power struggle between Mélanie Watt, the book’s author and illustrator, and a feisty but pushy cat named Chester, who continuously sabotages her efforts to write a story about a country mouse by cutting in on her with his red marker and “editing” her words. But Chester gets more than he bargained for when Mélanie retaliates with her own revisions, which involve dressing him in an embarrassing pink tutu. Just when it looks like defeat, Chester gets the last word by defacing Mélanie’s author photo.

Cheerful watercolour-and-pencil illustrations accompany the text, which appears in black font when Mélanie writes, and bright red marker when Chester horns in.

The emphasis on the back-and-forth antics of a battling pair of writer-illustrators and the sassy voice make it a prime choice for reading aloud. Knowledge of blurbs, dedications and author bios are necessary to see the humour in Chester’s vehement cross-outs and revised narrative that keeps the spotlight on him, providing teachers with an excellent opportunity to identify and discuss these elements.

  •  

    Discuss the different points of view featured in the text. Why does Chester make the changes he does?

  •  

    Write a letter to Mélanie Watt (author and illustrator) and ask about the making of this book.

  •  Write an acrostic poem based on your name just like Chester does in the book.
  •  Identify Chester and Mélanie’s feelings throughout the story as it is read aloud.
  •  

    Comment on Chester’s antics from the point of view of one of the characters in the story.

  •  

    Select a book with a partner and practise thinking aloud, using text-to-self connections, just like Melanie and Chester did.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • To use information