Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Into the Woods

Torres, J. (Author)
Hicks, Faith Erin (Illustrator)
Kids Can Press 2012. 100 pages
First published: 2012
Series: Bigfoot Boy
ISBN: 9781554537129 (paperback)
9781554537112 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Graphic Text
Book genre: Adventure

Text Elements:

figurative language

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:

When 10-year-old Rufus goes to his grandmother’s for the weekend, he’s quickly bored with the soap operas and prune juice. A walk in the forest not only leads him to meet Penny, the girl next door, but he finds a magic Q’achi totem that turns him into a sasquatch.

The story clips along quickly with small panels, humorous scenarios and constant action. Dialogue between Rufus and Penny is stifled at first: “You’re in my forest” she tells him. “You can leave now.” The illustrations are cartoony, with earthy tones of green, brown and yellow.

When Rufus unwittingly activates the totem and becomes a sasquatch, two pages of small panels are devoted to his transformation, with swirling abstract shapes and words like HHWOOOOOO, SHRRIP, and KRAKOOM, followed by a full-page illustration of a bewildered, red-haired sasquatch. He discovers he can speak to animals and befriends Sydney, a flying squirrel who helps him return to his boy form and even steals a sheet from Penny’s clothesline for Rufus to cover his naked body.

When Penny goes missing, Rufus and Sydney find her held captive by the wolves, who are desperate for the Q’achi totem. Transforming himself into a sasquatch, with Sydney’s help, Rufus is able to rescue Penny, fight off the wolves and keep the totem. The storyline is simple but fun in this first of three volumes, and the quick-paced panels keep the pages flying.

  •  

    Consider city versus country life. What skills and knowledge could someone who lives in the forest develop that someone from the city might not have?

  •  

    Imagine you find an object that gives you special powers. Write about the powers you would like to have and how you would use them. Who could you trust to tell about your powers?

  •  

    Do some research on a teacher-selected website to learn more about spirit animals. What is your spirit animal? Share your findings with friends.

  •  

    Numerous onomatopoeias can be found in the text (Krakoom, Hwoooooo). Discuss how these words are essential to the development of the story. Write a story of your own that includes onomatopoeias.

  •  Discuss how city life and country life are different. Use a Venn diagram to show skills that could be useful either in the city or in the country, or in both.
  •  Create a character map for Rufus and Penny. Discuss the qualities that enables them to be friends.
  •  Discuss the totem that Rufus found. What are its powers? How is this object so important for others in the story? If you found a magic object such as the totem, what power would you like it to have?
  •  

    Penny’s sister shows her cultural wisdom saying that Penny is avoiding Rufus because she is acting like her spirit animal. Do some research on a teacher-selected site to learn more about spirit animals. Find out what your spirit animal is. Share your findings with friends.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life