Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Space Cadet

Kid Koala (Author/Illustrator)
UNI Books 2011. 132 pages + 1 CD
First published: 2011
ISBN: 9780987678409 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Graphic Text
Book genre: Science Fiction

Text Elements:

character, characterization, multimedia, panel arrangement, 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:

As a young human shoots off into space, her robot friend is left behind on Earth. In this wordless tale, their memories provide a rich backstory of fond sharing, while revealing the robot’s parental role. Despite the glory of her space explorations, the astronaut is compelled to return, only to find the robot dying—perhaps from grief, and lack of purpose.

This bittersweet tale is built with charming and stylish images made from delicate white lines that seem scratched into black backgrounds. The varying density of the line work ranges from faint markings to bright, highlighted areas, bringing depth and mood to these fine compositions.

The images play with interesting dichotomies: the robot moves through human society, while the human has only electronic equipment for company. The girl is driven by science and data-gathering, while the robot has a tender soul. An instrumental CD soundtrack provides a sweet, melancholic score to accompany the pictures.

The message that good parenting involves self-obsolescence is emphasized, when memories reveal that the robot was instrumental in launching the child’s passion for a life among the stars. Final images show their legacy of love and caring, as the girl mourns him in her space suit, the ocean tide washing over his image in the sand.

  •  Read the book with a partner. Describe and discuss the plot as you read. Does your understanding of the story match your partner’s? Do your ideas match the book description on the back cover?
  •  

    Reread the book while listening to the soundtrack. Discuss the purpose and effectiveness of including a soundtrack with a book.

  •  

    Did the astronaut make the right decision to leave on a space mission? Explain your opinion.

  •  

    Create an alternate ending for the story, either in words or in the same style of illustration as the author.

  •  

    Introduce readers to the text by viewing the book trailer by Kid Koala. Discuss how the music and visual text build the narrative together.

  •  

    Consider the way the illustrations (line, colour, composition, panel arrangements) and music (tempo, pitch, resonance) affect the reader’s experience.

  •  

    Using the ideas generated during discussions and following the response process, write about this multimedia text. 

  •  

    After studying the title page, brainstorm what you think the story will be about.

  •  

    Observe and discuss the art in this book. What are the artist’s techniques?

  •  

    Do a picture walk while listening to the music in the background. What story do the pictures tell you?

  •  

    In small groups, write the story of one part of the book. Assemble the parts together to make a complete story.

  •  

    Discuss the friendship between the robot and the space cadet. Support your comments with evidence from the illustrations.

  •  

    Based on the cover, what might this wordless story be about? What does it mean to be a space cadet? Record your guess and revise (as needed) after reading.

  •  

    Reread the book while listening to the soundtrack. Discuss the purpose and effectiveness of including a soundtrack with a book. In your journal, explain how it affected your experience of the story.

  •  

    In teams of four, write a short picture book based on four randomly selected pages from the book. Using the same characters, give it a new title and add narrative text to support each page of your story. Select a music soundtrack that will evoke the desired mood.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Music
  • Science and Technology
  • Visual Arts