Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Mäko

Béziat, Julien (Author/Illustrator)
Fitzhenry & Whiteside 2013. 36 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781554552757 (paperback)
Original language: French
Book type: Picture Book

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:

Mäko is a walrus who hunts fish in the far North. He is also an artist who creates ice sculptures of what he sees when he hunts below the ice, thus guiding other animals to find the fish in the sea. But when the ice floe cracks—destroying Mäko’s artwork—all the real fish mysteriously disappear. Mäko’s friends realize his sculptures have been attracting them to the area.

Mäko’s doubts in his abilities are portrayed, as is the discomfort that unique and unusual ideas can sometimes cause in others. Despite these challenges, the book shows that creative thinking has its own rewards.

The use of language has been distilled to the bare essentials, resulting in an authoritative simplicity akin to the language of Aesop’s Fables or a haiku poem. The illustrations are striking; strong line and sparse composition capture the stark power of a northern seascape.

In both language and image, there is a sense of respect for the world of the animals that makes the story reminiscent of traditional northern tales.

  •  

    Discuss how Mäko helped his community. What is a community?

  •  

    Discuss the illustrations and explain why you think Mäko was an artist. Why do you think the images are in similar colours throughout? How does it affect your enjoyment of the book?

  •  

    Discuss why you think the author chose the name Mäko. What might the name mean? Are names important? What does your name mean?

  •  

    Write about your community. Who is part of your classroom community? Your school community?

  •  

    Take photographs of important people in your school community (principal, janitor, school nurse, lunch monitor, secretary, etc.) Make a class big book explaining what they do. (Appropriate for the start of the school year.)

  •  

    Discuss how Mäko helped his community. What is a community?

  •  

    Discuss the illustrations and why you think Mäko was an artist. Why do you think the images are in similar colours throughout the book? How does it affect your enjoyment of the book?

  •  

    Discuss who is part of your classroom community. Who is part of your school community?

  •  

    Take photographs of important people in your school community (principal, janitor, school nurse, lunch monitor, secretary, etc.) Make a class big book explaining what they do. (Especially suitable at the beginning of the school year.)

  •  

    Discuss what you can do to help your community. How are you active in making the world a better place?

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Visual Arts