Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Gifts

Bogart, Jo Ellen (Author)
Reid, Barbara (Illustrator)
Scholastic Canada 1996. 31 pages
First published: 1994
ISBN: 9780590249355 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, recurring patterns, setting

Awards

Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award – 1995
IBBY Honour List – 1996

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:

“My grandma went a-travelling,/said: What would you have me bring?/Not much, said I,/Just a piece of the sky,/and a hundred songs I can sing.” So begins this read-aloud about a travelling grandmother and all the wonderful gifts she brings back for her granddaughter, including a baobab seed from Africa, a didgeridoo from Australia, a rainbow from Hawaii and a polar bear’s hair from the Arctic.

The lighthearted rhyme, in question-and-answer format, is accompanied by stunning artwork that features Plasticine bas-reliefs brightened with glaze and paint. Children will enjoy the intricate details in these images, the folds and textures of the clothing, the gentle lines of plain and sea. Each illustration depicts the exotic setting and the particular gift or treasure hailing from there, but also captures the march of time as the grandmother and granddaughter gradually grow older.

In the final scene, in a poignant nod to the circle of life, the exuberant granddaughter, now a mother, shares the gifts with her child in a different way. This book could be used to introduce a unit on distant lands and cultures.

  •  

    Locate the countries mentioned using a globe, map or interactive board.

  •  

    List the countries that you and your classmates have visited. Bring in a souvenir from a trip and present it.

  •  

    Try your hand at Plasticine art, using a clear CD case as the base for a simple scene. Write a story to accompany the scene and glue it onto the back of the case.

  •  

    In small groups, compile a list of what you would pack in your suitcase for a trip around the world. Share your list.

  •  

    Write a cloze story using the format in the book. Use rhyming words at the end of each sentence.

  •  

    Discuss the illustrations in the book. What do you notice?

  •  

    On a map, pinpoint the places that the grandmother visits. 

  •  

    Describe a present the grandmother might bring back if she were to visit Québec. 

  •  

    Write about a special relative. What makes this person so special to you? If possible, include a photo with your writing. 

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Visual Arts