Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Skink on the Brink

Dalrymple, Lisa (Author)
Del Rizzo, Suzanne (Illustrator)
Fitzhenry & Whiteside 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
Series: Tell-Me-More Storybook
ISBN: 9781554552313 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting

Award

Crystal Kite Award – 2014

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

Description:

“Stewie was a very little skink with a very blue tail.” At first, he is thrilled to be the lizard he is. His tail is fantastic, his home in the woods just right, “I’m Stewie the blue!” he shouts across the pond, and makes up rhyming songs to celebrate. But his tail changes colour and soon he is not so little anymore. This new identity feels foreign to him, and his songs and rhymes no longer fit, so he sets off for somewhere new, in hopes of feeling more like himself again. A wise woodpecker soon reminds him that nothing can replace a natural habitat for an endangered Five-Lined Skink. He realizes that he is indeed a “skink on the brink” and that he has much to celebrate in his new skin and natural surroundings.

Plasticine-sculpted illustrations give depth and texture to the images. Their highly original construction and careful depictions of woodland settings and animals are both appealing and informative. The predominantly earth-toned palette allows the blues of Stewie’s tail, the sky and the water to stand out beautifully.

Conversational language strikes a lovely tone of playfulness while tackling the serious subject matter of an animal close to extinction. Characterizations are lively; wordplay and rhyme add to the charm.

Back matter contains information on skinks, their habitat, the level of endangerment and their predators, as well as fun tips on how to make your own sculpted Stewie.

  •  

    What is a skink? Start a web. Make inferences based on the cover and a few pages. Add new information as you read.

  •  

    On large paper, draw the setting of the story. Use your drawing as a set to retell the story, using small toys or figurines for the characters.

  •  Research other animals that are endangered. Make connections between the different causes and possible solutions for these endangered species.
  •  

    On a picture walk, explore and discuss the setting and the various critters found in the pictures.

  •  

    As a group, compare the non-fiction life cycle of a skink (at the end of the book) to the fictional story.

  •  

    With a partner, create a timeline or a mind map of the story.

  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology
  • Visual Arts