Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Splotch

Marino, Gianna (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2017. 36 pages
First published: 2017
ISBN: 9780451469571 (hardcover)
9780698155282 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, recurring patterns

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:

Text and pictures work together to tell the funny tale of mistaken goldfish identity.

When a boy’s pet goldfish dies, his mom ends up replacing it with another fish, hoping her son won’t notice. When he does eventually realize something’s not right, his reaction is “MOM! Splotch has been changed by aliens!” When they bring the second Splotch back to the store, the boy chooses a third fish, assuring his mom, “There he is!” Later he confides in the newest addition to the household, “Don’t worry, Splash. She’ll never catch on.”

Bright pictures of the family in their home and at Frank’s Fish World move the plot along and add to the few carefully chosen words, predominantly dialogue. Expressive looks are passed between the characters. The reward posters the boy draws with crayons when the first Splotch goes missing are charming riffs on the real thing. Colourful patterns can be spotted on the family’s outfits and linens as well as on the walls and floors of their home.

Readers will be satisfied when they get the central joke of this treatise on the important and sometimes dizzying role of pets in a household: mom and son play the same well-intentioned trick on one another.

  •  

    Discuss why children love their pets. What makes each pet unique?

  •  

    The main character’s mother replaces his deceased goldfish with another, hoping he will not notice. Why would an adult not simply tell the truth?

  •  

    Make a Venn Diagram with four circles. Fill in the characteristics of the four different fish that appear in the fishbowls. What do they have in common and how are they all unique?

  •  

    Discuss how to care for a fish. How do you feed it? Keep it clean? What can you do with it?

  •  

    As the story is read aloud, infer the part of the story that is told through the pictures.

  •  

    The main character’s mother replaces his deceased goldfish with another, hoping that he will not notice. Would you prefer an adult to simply tell the truth? Find reasons for both sides.

  •  In small groups, dramatize the story to retell it.
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Drama
  • Ethics and Religious Culture