Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Loon

Reczuch, Karen (Illustrator)
Groundwood Books 2011. 44 pages
First published: 2011
ISBN: 9781554980772 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

point of view, setting

Awards

Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award – 2012
Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction Winner – 2012
USBBY Outstanding International Books List – 2012
The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Express Award Nominee – 2013

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:

The familiar black-and-white Common Loon is a classic Canadian symbol and this book celebrates the majestic bird. Lyrical text outlines the life cycle of loons, beginning with the birth of two hatchlings. From there, the story follows the two baby loons as they progress through their first summer, learning from their parents how to walk, swim and fish.

Readers will learn what loons eat, how they catch their food, their migration patterns, their prey and why they make their distinctive mournful cry. Written in free verse, this non-fiction narrative has a satisfying rhythm: “So two little loons/plop themselves in./Close to Mama and Papa/they float,/bob,/paddle little feet,/peep/and peer,/never left behind.”

The illustrations, oil paintings on canvas, perfectly capture the beauty of Canada’s lakes and countryside, showing melancholy violet sunsets, the dazzle of sun on water, and the oranges, yellows and reds of autumn, signalling the time to migrate.

By the end, the young loons have fully grown into adults and are ready to begin their independent lives. At the back of the book, an extensive note explains more about the Common Loon and other species. There is also a fun feature on the endpapers: other animals (such as beavers and bass), sidelined in the illustrations, are identified in small bubble pictures, encouraging readers to search for them in the book.

A lovely way to introduce children to Canada’s wilderness.

  •  Do a picture walk. Briefly describe what you think is happening in each illustration.
  •  What facts about loons can you infer from the text? Record them as you read. Add to and revise this information with details from the note at the back of the book.
  •  

    Write a short story, journal entry or poem from the point of view of a loon. Incorporate non-fiction details from the text.

  •  As a group, brainstorm what you know about loons. Where do you see them? How do you recognize them? Note the information on a class list.
  •  Go for a picture walk. Describe the setting and what you think is happening on each page. Write the words related to the environment on a class list.
  •  

    What facts about loons can you infer from the text? Record them as the book is read aloud. Add to and revise this information with details from the note at the back of the book.

  •  

    Write a short poem such as a haiku, an acrostic, a cinquain or a diamante about the loon. Use facts from the book in your poem.

  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology