Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Something Beautiful

Soentpiet, Chris K. (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 1998. 32 pages
First published: 1998
ISBN: 9780440412106 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

point of view, 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:

A young girl is disturbed by the dismal sights around her neighbourhood: trash and broken bottles strewn across the courtyard, the word “Die” scrawled in graffiti on the door of her apartment building, a homeless woman sleeping in a box on the sidewalk. Then she learns the word “beautiful” at school and embarks on a search for the beauty in her surroundings, which she finds in the most unexpected—and ordinary—places: a grilled fish sandwich from the diner, a friend’s toy, a shiny apple at the market. Beautiful, she discovers, is “something that when you have it, your heart is happy.”

Detailed full-bleed colour illustrations help make this deceptively simple read-aloud an effective resource for raising children’s awareness about the social issues of poverty and homelessness, as well as about the beauty to be discovered even in unlikely places.

In a final note at the end, the author shares her own childhood story about her search for “something beautiful.”

  •  Talk about the girl’s search for beauty. Compare her environment to your own.
  •  Write about something in your life that you find beautiful.
  •  Make a list of things that people think are beautiful. Do you agree with all of them?
  •  

    Walk around your school or immediate neighbourhood. How could you make it more beautiful? Make written plans in your journal as to what you could do. Compare plans with a friend.

  •  

    In what environments might it be difficult to find something beautiful? Where does this girl find beautiful things? What career might the girl choose when she grows up?

  •  Make a class poster with suggestions for making your classroom a beautiful place.
  •  

    Read the Author’s Note at the back. Write her a letter to tell her about something beautiful you have received.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship