Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Cuckoo!

Roberton, Fiona (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2014. 36 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9780399164972 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

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:

When a little bird named Cuckoo hatches, he doesn’t resemble his siblings and he doesn’t speak the same language, so he decides to fly off into the world to find others who can understand him. Cuckoo meets other animals, but alas, his efforts to communicate with their moos, oinks, hisses and baas are unsuccessful.

Brightly coloured, sweetly detailed illustrations add a touch of humour to the story: when Cuckoo finds a herd of cows, they are sitting at a coffee bar enjoying lattes. The text explains how Cuckoo feels as he searches for a place where he fits in; his loneliness and feelings of isolation lending substance to the lighthearted visuals.

The extensive use of text bubbles and various fonts create the impression that different languages are being spoken, creating opportunities to discuss diversity and cross-cultural understanding. Themes of self-acceptance and belonging could also encourage reflection.

Readers will share in Cuckoo’s joy when he finds a friend who really understands him.

  •  

    Examine the endpapers, taking note of the speech bubbles. Make predictions about the story based on the illustrations.

  •  

    Notice the use of different fonts and colours in the speech bubbles. Discuss the possible purpose of this design choice. Experiment with writing your name in different fonts.

  •  

    What is Cuckoo's problem? Using a graphic organizer, write or draw to show a text-to-text or text-to-self connection.

  •  

    In small groups, act out different scenes from the story. Retell the story by presenting the scenes in order.

  •  

    Examine the endpapers, taking note of the speech bubbles. Make predictions about the story based on the illustrations.

  •  

    What is Cuckoo’s problem? Using a graphic organizer, write or draw to show a text-to-text or text-to-self connection.

  •  

    Explore and list Cuckoo's various solutions to his communication problem. Discuss how these solutions can help a language learner.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being