Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

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Springman, I.C. (Author)
Lies, Brian (Illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012. 36 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9780547610832 (hardcover)
9780547610863 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting

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:

Using detailed images and very few words, this book portrays the hazards of excessive acquisition. It also offers an excellent English lesson in words that describe quantities and comparatives. The bare language forms a poem, developing word by word, page after page, as a scavenging magpie accrues bits and pieces for his nest: “Something. A few, several, more and more and more.”

Expressive type floats through exquisitely rendered realistic images. Children will recognize the colour-swirls inside the marble, the bumps on the Lego block, the coins that cluster under the bird’s feet. The hairs on the mouse-friend’s coat are lovingly highlighted. No detail is lost—even as the junk piles higher and higher: an old cassette tape, toothbrush, keys. This is a perfect opportunity for young readers to discuss the difference between wanting and needing.

“Enough!” the mouse-friend finally cries, when the branch breaks under the weight of the magpie’s hoard. And the process is reversed: “Less and less. A lot less. Not so much. Not much at all.” The last spread shows the magpie flying in open, empty space. His friend on his back carries just two small treasures tied to a string. “Yes, enough.”

  •  

    Discuss what happens to the magpie. Talk about the differences between want and need.

  •  

    Consider your own wants and needs. Organize them in a graphic organizer.

  •  

    If you could only take six items onto a desert island, what would you take and why?

  •  

    Discuss the difference between a person’s wants and needs. Show the results in a class graphic organizer. 

  •  

    Make a list of five things you absolutely need in order to survive.

  •  

    Sort words according to whether they mean more or less. Add these to a vocabulary anchor chart.

  •  

    Sort out your pencil case into needs and wants. Discuss your findings with a partner.

  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To solve problems
  • To use creativity
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Mathematics