Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Jackalope

Stevens, Janet (Author/Illustrator)
Crummel, Susan Stevens (Author)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2014. 56 pages
First published: 2003
ISBN: 9780544226289 (paperback)
9780152167363 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, figurative language, setting

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:

Jackalope’s delightful, zany mixture of tall tale, folktale, fairy tale, fable and nursery rhyme joyfully and painlessly deliver some valuable life lessons. It is a wonderful melange of whimsical plot twists and turns, and delicious characters. Among them are Jack, a jackrabbit dissatisfied with his ordinariness; Jill, a Fairy Godrabbit equipped with requisite magic wand, and a wily Coyote, salivating for jackrabbit kebabs, all of whom engage the reader and would surely grab the attention of an entire classroom.

The lively story, with its themes of self-acceptance, honesty and courage (“She helped me, and now she needs me. Hold on, Fairy Godrabbit, I’m coming to the rescue!”) goes hand-in-hand with the colourful, dynamic illustrations, many splashed full-page. Imagine Fairy Godrabbit in a puffy, purple ruffled dress festooned with images of vegetables, a veggie-filled colander tied to her head. “Fairy Godrabbit rolled her eyes. ‘Look at me. I look like a tossed salad. Dressing in this getup is for the birds!’”

While characters speak in their own very natural voices, a Stetson-wearing armadillo narrates. Throughout the story, he interjects comments, often through rhyme. And puns abound, many of the vegetable sort: “Oh, Jack, I knew you’d turnip!” and “You butternut come any closer or I’ll squash you!”

Happily, Jack sheds the silly antlers he wished for and Fairy Godrabbit gets her own wish, but the armadillo has the last word: “Don’t go wishing for something you’re not, It’s better to be who you are!”

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Discuss the setting and characters, and explore the fonts and text boxes. Make predictions about the story.

  •  

    Look at the Rabbit family tree early in the book. Do you know any of these characters? Use a search engine to find out more about them. Create 10 questions about what you learn and quiz your friends.

  •  

    Wordplay and puns (“I see you don’t carrot all about me” and “You could decorate them with hornaments”) make the text fun and light. Write your own text using some puns and other forms of humour.

  •  

    In small groups, practise reading the dialogue using appropriate expression.

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Discuss the setting and characters, and explore the fonts and text boxes. Make predictions about the story.

  •  

    As the book is read aloud, make connections with other texts and characters you know (Snow White, Jack and Jill, Pinocchio). Compare your predictions with the story.

  •  

    In small groups, practise reading the dialogue using appropriate expression.

  •  

    Look at the Rabbit family tree early in the book. Do you know any of these characters? Use teacher recommended resources to learn more about them.

  •  Discuss the role of humour and wordplay in this story.
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Media Literacy
  • Science and Technology
  • Visual Arts