Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Lost & Found

Tan, Shaun (Author/Illustrator)
Scholastic 2011. 128 pages
First published: 2011
ISBN: 9780545229241 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Anthology

Text Elements:

characterization, layout, multimodal, point of view, setting, stance

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:

These three works range in narrative form. “The Red Tree” uses passive language to create an atmosphere of hopelessness and confusion. It is loosely about a young girl, who could be anyone, and who is having a bad day, to put it mildly.

“The Lost Thing” is a more conventional first-person narrative about a boy who finds a lost thing and struggles to find its provenance, all while navigating the gears of an inhospitable, bureaucratic world.

“The Rabbits,” meanwhile, can be seen as a parable for the intrusive Other. The rabbits arrive, with their strange ways, and soon there are millions of them, the land parched and pillaged. The most poetic of the three stories, “The Rabbits” is not so much cautionary as beautifully bleak.

In all three works, language is spare, but always deliberate and inventive: “the hours slouched by,” the boy in “The Lost Thing” bemoans; “The rabbits,” the third story begins, “came many grandparents ago.” The creative, surreal illustrations, integral to the stories, depict fanciful imagined worlds, often using collage and snippets of text. By times moving, by times chilling, they belie the simplicity of the language.

Whether or not a tree metaphorically, hopefully, blooms in the end (“The Red Tree”), these three stories do not cleave to superficial lessons or pat resolutions. They examine fears closely, and the result is disconcerting and sublime.

  •  

    Author/producer’s craft is used to tell the story. Explore ways to interpret the text through use of colour, font, page layout, framing, composition and other elements.

  •  

    Select one of the stories and discuss what you notice, what it might mean and why it matters. Use examples from the text to back up your ideas.

  •  

    Following reading and discussion of one of the stories, use a response process to respond to the text. Share and compare responses with peers.

  •  In a small group, discuss the following question: What do you do when you feel lost? Interpret that question any way you want to, as long as it is justified and supported.
  •  As you read, pay close attention to the illustrations, their subtleties and how they tie into the text. Why does it sometimes take longer to analyze the illustrations than to read the text?
  •  Choose one of the three fantasy stories and pair up with someone who chose a different one. Explain your interpretations of the story in a real-life context. How do you connect it to reality? Discuss your analyses.
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Social Sciences
  • Visual Arts