Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Elliot

Pearson, Julie (Author)
Gauthier, Manon (Illustrator)
Pajama Press 2016. 32 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781927485859 (hardcover)
Original language: French
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, recurring patterns

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:

Elliot is a little rabbit who lives with his parents, who don’t know how to care for him: “When Elliot cried, his mother and his father did not understand why.” Thomas, a social worker, sends him to live with another family, where “When Elliot cried, they understood he was hungry.” When a return to his parents’ home fails, he is taken to still another family and is eventually adopted into his “forever home.”

Repetitive language and story structure help make a complex issue easier to understand. Readers can feel Elliot’s confusion, fear and sadness at leaving his parents, but also his relief at being taken care of.

Paper cut-out illustrations have a child-like quality, aptly capturing Elliot’s perspective, while a limited palette of muted colours underscores the seriousness of the subject. His large rabbit eyes convey his surprise, sadness and joy.

The delicate subject matter is treated with sensitivity and understanding. Parental love is emphasized, even as it is poorly expressed, and the tale is ultimately reassuring to readers living through similar experiences, fostering empathy in those who haven’t.

  •  

    Brainstorm the ways a parent should care for his or her child. What jobs do you think are easy or hard about being a parent?

  •  

    There are many different family compositions. Draw different groups of people that can make up a family.

  •  Discuss why Elliot’s family looks for a new family for him. Was it his fault that his parents couldn’t care for him?
  •  

    As you read, discuss what you would say to Elliot if you could talk to him.

  •  

    Brainstorm different family compositions. Discuss the role of each family member and how it may differ depending on the family structure.

  •  

    Brainstorm the roles of parents and children. Use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast them.

  •  

    Discuss and list feelings and reactions you have experienced. Research other related words and add them to the list. How do you deal with these situations? Sort them into happy, neutral, angry, sad or frightening.

  •  Discuss Elliot’s situation. Why is Thomas looking for a new family for him? Do you think it is Elliot’s fault that his parents can’t care for him?
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Health and Well-Being