Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Pounce de Leon

Wynne-Jones, Tim (Author)
Tapia, Alfredo (Illustrator)
Red Deer Press 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2008
ISBN: 9780889955103 (paperback)
9780889953758 (hardcover)
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:

Pounce is a little grey tabby with an instinct for needy humans. When he comes across Mrs. Florida Brown one evening, “he decided he had better take her home.” The cat looks after his new human, soothing her aching knuckles by letting her pet him, and easing her loneliness by curling up with her in bed. Yet despite Pounce’s best efforts to distract the old woman, she remains glum, nostalgic for her bygone youth. Pounce sets off to find the fountain of youth after Mrs. Brown wistfully points out an old photo of herself. After a daunting escapade through the garden, the cat comes across the fountain, hidden away and overgrown. Having followed Pounce outside, Mrs. Brown now feels invigorated, and Pounce knows “he’d seen that smile somewhere before. The beautiful girl in the picture! Why, he had found her, as well.”

The paintings that depict the adventures of the energetic little cat are filled with the movement and the stillness of the picture book’s two characters: as Mrs. Brown pets her new friend on her bed, the shadows settle and fold over the bedroom, while when Pounce splashes into the fountain, the moment of wet surprise is palpably breathless. The palette of deep morose blues and lush greens captures the shifting mood of Mrs. Brown, whose miraculous rejuvenation is brought about by a cat named after the famed Spanish explorer who searched for the fountain of youth.

  •  

    As you look at the pictures, discuss how you can infer what a person is feeling. What details tell you that Mrs. Brown is feeling strong and happy, or sad and weak?

  •  

    The story is told from the cat’s point of view. What is the cat’s role in this story? How does it make a difference? Write in your reader-writer’s notebook about how, like the cat, you can make a difference in people’s lives.

  •  

    Brainstorm what people need in order to feel good. Is it the same for older people? Make a list of activities you can share with an older person such as your grandparents or an elderly neighbour. What does all of this have to do with the fountain of youth?

  •  

    On a picture walk, discuss the characters and setting. Discuss how the colours set the mood of the story.

  •  

    As the story is read aloud, discuss what the fountain of youth is. Why do you think Mrs. Brown looks sad and glum most of the time? What is the cat’s role in this story?

  •  

    Brainstorm what people need in order to feel good. Is it the same for older people and for younger people? Make a list of activities you can share with an older person such as your grandparents or an elderly neighbour.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being