Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Homer Henry Hudson’s Curio Museum

Rock, Zack (Author/Illustrator)
Creative Editions 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781568462608 (hardcover)
9781566604963 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, layout, multigenre, point of view

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:

Our narrator and guide to the Homer Henry Hudson Curio Museum is a bulldog dressed in a somewhat stodgy outfit of breeches, coat and vest, diamond socks and leather shoes, with a gnarled walking stick to match. The canine caretaker tells us his job is to keep the place “spick-and-span,” and he fills us in on the details over his sushi dinner.

Realistic and detailed sepia-toned watercolours give the reader something to explore on every page, revealing more with each repeated reading. In one corner of a crowded museum room sits a miniature Taj Mahal inside a glass bottle, an emerald-studded gauntlet and a doll with a platypus head.

With a glassy blue eye and toothy overbite, our articulate pooch tells the story of some of his favourite objects. “Everything has a story; the dullest clam may hold the brightest pearl.” There is the “Fragment of a colossal, ornate stone head. Significance unknown.” Or item #3414, the “Humble Willow Root Cane.” (The personal notes of the collector explain that he used it after recovering from a plane crash.)

The language is as rich as the imagery. This is a book to spend time with. Even the endpapers are filled with unclassified objects. Ultimately a story about storytelling itself, this wonderful tale will delight any budding archaeologist, collector or dreamer. We are left suspecting that the caretaker may in fact be the curator, thinly disguised.

  •  

    Examine the endpapers. What do you think each item might be? Hunt for these items as you read.

  •  

    One of the artifacts in the museum, the “Manneken Mort,” represents a story about a person’s life. Draw and annotate your own Manneken Mort.

  •  

    Create a character map of Homer Hudson, based on the descriptions of his artifacts and how he acquired them. Do you think he is a hero or a villain?

  •  

    As a group, tell the story of Hudson’s adventure. Incorporate information you learned from reading about the artifacts. Share your story with the other groups.

  •  

    What artifact might be added to the museum after the narrator’s latest journey? Draw and write about such an object in the same style as the book.

  •  

    Examine the cover and the endpapers. What do you think each item might be? Hunt for these items as you go for a picture walk.

  •  Go for a picture walk. Who is Homer Henry Hudson and what does he collect?
  •  

    As the book is read aloud, identify words and expressions that make the artifacts seem much more interesting than usual objects. Note these words on a class list.

  •  

    Using your own treasures, create a class curio museum, complete with description cards for your objects. Use words and expressions from the class list or incorporate other interesting words. Once the exhibition is ready, invite other classes to share your eccentric exhibits. Be ready to answer their questions.

  •  

    Brainstorm different kinds of museums. Think about your local museums, city museums, famous Canadian museums, and world renowned museums. What do they have in common? Collaborate to construct a class definition for the word museum.

  •  Scan the pages of the book and note ten words for which you would like to know their meaning. Working with a partner, guess their meaning using contextual cues before writing the dictionary definitions in your notes.
  •  

    Select an object to share for your “Curio Classroom.” Use the book as a model for your presentation: the object itself, a picture from where it might have originated, a card with facts as well as a personal note. Answer questions about your object from your peers.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Visual Arts