Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Mattland

Hutchins, Hazel (Author)
Herbert, Gail (Author)
Petričić, Dušan (Illustrator)
Annick Press 2008. 32 pages
First published: 2008
ISBN: 9781554511204 (paperback)
9781554511211 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view, structures and features

Awards

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award – 2009
The Forest of Reading – The Blue Spruce Award Nominee – 2009
Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award – 2009

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:

Matt has just moved with his family into a depressing subdivision of mud, water and leftover building materials—a place with no friends and no climbing trees, just some scattered rocks and a stick. But with his imagination and the help of a little girl, he transforms the barren wasteland into something magical.

Watercolour and ink illustrations, in drab browns and greys on the opening pages, brighten up as the story progresses and Mattland becomes the beautiful reflection of Matt’s imagination.

The book’s simple but direct text makes it suitable for read-aloud or independent reading, while the subject matter of building will have added appeal for many. As a classroom tool, it can be used in conjunction with a unit on map studies or inferencing.

This poignant tale about the power of the imagination to see beauty in the everyday also has an important message about community spirit and the value of working together toward a common goal.

  •  

    Talk about how it must have felt for Matt to be in a new and unfamiliar home, with no friends. If you have ever moved, compare your experiences to Matt’s.

  •  

    Predict what will happen next to Matt and his new friends.

  •  

    Map out your own version of Mattland. Give your land a name, invent street names, and label landmarks and important structures.

  •  

    Write a story about your imaginary land.

  •  

    Practise saying and writing your own address.

  •  

    Discuss the story. Where has Matt moved? Why is he lonely? How does his reflection in the puddle change at the end of the book? What happened when you moved to a new town/home/school? How did you feel?

  •  

    Identify the tools/materials Matt uses to build Mattland. Use a graphic organizer to sort them. 

  •  

    Script the dialogue between Matt and the other children after they save Mattland at the end of the story.

  •  

    Draw a map of an imaginary place, or of the place where you live. Use vocabulary from the story to label and caption your map. Use resources to look for new words.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Geography, History and Citizenship