Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Little Elliot, Big Family

Curato, Mike (Author/Illustrator)
Macmillan 2015. 36 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780805098266 (hardcover)
9781627799072 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

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:

Mouse is friends with Little Elliot, the elephant. One morning, Mouse rushes off to a family reunion with her “15 brothers, 19 sisters, 25 aunts, 27 uncles, and 147 cousins.” Left on his own, Elliot wanders the city. Everywhere he looks he sees families: “Grandmothers sang to babies while uncles gave advice.”

After watching a film in an empty theatre, he heads out into the snow and sees a tiny figure emerge from the white. It is Mouse, come to find his friend. Together they go off to the reunion where Little Elliot is embraced as part of the mouse family.

Told through simple and poetic language, with one line of text per page, the spare storytelling gracefully lets readers into Little Elliot’s emotions: “Elliot wondered what it would be like to have 147 cousins. Or even just one.”

Sensitively rendered painterly images convey the little elephant’s loneliness. Elliot stands with his back to us, facing a vast, grey body of water with the Statue of Liberty blurred in the distance. His blue and pink spotted head peeks up from a seat in a sea of empty red chairs in the cinema. In contrast, when he is reunited with Mouse, there is a warm glow of candlelight and a great deal of joy and exuberance.

A heart-warming story of friendship, difference and belonging.

  •  

    What does it mean to be part of a family? Discuss how you become a family and who benefits from joining a family.

  •  

    Look at the cover page and predict what the story is about.

  •  

    Discuss why the author chose an elephant and a mouse as the main characters. Does it make you think about family differently?

  •  

    If you had 147 cousins, what would you do together? Make a list of some of the fun things you would do. Would there be any drawbacks to having so many cousins?

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Explore vocabulary related to the setting and characters.

  •  

    Discuss what you would do if you were alone like Elliot for one day. Who would you want to end the day with?

  •  

    Elliot and Mouse are not blood relatives, yet they are like brothers. Discuss the meaning of this expression: “Friends are the family we choose.” Why do we hear people calling friends “bro” in popular culture?

  •  Draw your family tree and add branches for your very special friends.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture