Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Some Things I’ve Lost

Young, Cybèle (Author/Illustrator)
Groundwood Books 2015. 32 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9781554983391 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

layout, multimodal, point of view

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:

This original book is a catalogue of items lost that offers insight into how we remember and categorize, and loosely etches the narrative of a slice of life. “Where there’s an end, there’s a beginning,” the book prefaces, before presenting assorted things that have been lost, labelled, named and contextualized. We learn (in Fig. 2) that one visor has been mislaid: “Last seen: Front lawn—lemonade stand.” A watch, binoculars, an umbrella and more; the accrual of loss extends also to extended family members’ belongings, with “Mom’s glasses (Last seen: On her head)”, “Dad’s bag,” and “Sister’s headphones.” As we glean that the narrator has witnessed a meteor shower, eaten at a noodle house and attended a birthday party, a peculiar kind of intimacy grows, borne of everyday objects considered through the lens of their absence.

The lost items are first presented on the left-hand page, in small colour photographs that show a lawn chair, change purse, guitar case and so on, hovering, tiny and lost, against the outsized white background. The folded facing page opens up to reveal imaginative manipulations and deconstructions of the objects, expanding on their physical presence and rendering them eloquent and useless. Thus, a set of lost keys becomes a cactus-filled landscape, a Martian flower garden or a coral reef. Each reimagined item harkens back to the opening note, which does not dramatize loss, instead pointing out, “Things change. Things grow.”

  •  Read the first page. Share personal experiences of lost objects and your theories about where they might have gone.
  •  What can you infer about the family that is referred to in the text? Respond to and build on each other’s ideas in a small group discussion.
  •  

    Tell a story from the point of view of one of the lost objects. Record your story in the format of your choice (eg: comic, voice recording, video, monologue).

  •  

    “Where there’s an end, there is a beginning.” Read the opening poem and accompanying illustration, and make predictions about the different ways the story might unfold.

  •  Choose a significant or surprising section of the text and share it with a reading group. Consider what it might mean and why it might be important to the big idea(s) of the text.
  •  

    Following reading and discussion, use a response process to write about the text. Share your responses with peers and reflect on how reading this text changes the reader.

  •  

    Discuss and list objects that are often lost.

  •  

    Explore the pages and describe the changes between the different pictures.

  •  

    Create a Lost board for the classroom in the same style. Add descriptive words to help others identify your objects.

  •  

    Explore the lost and found box of your class or school. Create temporary art with the objects. Photograph, then replace the objects. Write a caption in the same style as the book. Hold an art exhibition on parents’ night.

  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To solve problems
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Visual Arts