Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Just the Right Size

Davies, Nicola (Author)
Layton, Neal (Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2011. 64 pages
First published: 2009
ISBN: 9780763653002 (paperback)
9780763639242 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 591.4
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

structures and features

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:

Why can’t humans fly, or scurry along the ceiling, or walk on water? Accessibly explained, with lots of real and figurative examples, this book points out instances of real-life “small superheroes”—tiny geckos that can walk along ceilings, ants that can lift many times their own weight—but emphasizes the “Big Thing, Little Thing” rule: some things are big, some things are small, and “the BTLT rule makes some things quite impossible for bodies to do or be.” Sections focus on “Rules on the Inside” (cellular processes, from microbes to blue whales); “Get Big with Lungs” (the evolution of aerobic respiration); “Cold-Sized” and “Hot Dinos” (cold-blooded organisms); and “Big Food” (the influence of size on diet). The book also includes a short index and glossary.

Passages of text are broken up by humorous line drawings. The colourful spot and full-page illustrations are fun plays on the book’s themes. For instance, the “Big Travel” section on migratory capacity contrasts an unwieldy station wagon packed with wildebeest chugging along as a little red sports car zooms past; along the bottom of the page, “little stay-at-home dolphins” hover around a sign marked “home sweet home” as a “big migratory whale” makes its wider way in the ocean.

An engaging and unusual perspective on the animal world.

  •  

    Use a graphic organizer to list the advantages and disadvantages of being a very big or very small creature. Add to your list as you read.

  •  

    Create an information video explaining the BTLT (Big Thing, Little Thing) rule. Use props and/or diagrams to help explain the concept.

  •  

    Make an illustrated and annotated list of fictional creatures that are actually impossible due to the BTLT rule. Include information in your notes explaining how these creatures defy the laws of physics.

  •  

    After reading, observe how objects around you follow the BTLT (Big Thing, Little Thing) rule. Using information from the text, discuss how they follow the rule.

  •  

    With a partner, try out the BTLT rule with Plasticine or other material. Build some creatures that follow the rule and some that don’t. Write a museum card to explain how your creature does or does not follow the BTLT rule.

  •  

    Take pictures of your creatures to help explain this rule to others. Make a yes example/no example graphic to show your understanding of the BTLT rule.

  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To solve problems
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Science and Technology