Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Stephen and the Beetle

Luján, Jorge (Author)
Carrer, Chiara (Illustrator)
Groundwood Books 2012. 32 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9781554981922 (hardcover)
9781554983155 (e-book)
Original language: Spanish
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

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:

In this thoughtful story, a boy named Stephen discovers his capacity for empathy by coming face to face with a beetle. When he first spots the tiny creature in the garden, Stephen’s reaction is typical of many little kids: “He took off his shoe and raised his arm.” Yet something stops him from following through and killing it. He suddenly finds himself wondering, “Where was the beetle going, anyway? To which corner of the garden? And what for?”

Listening to his inner voice, Stephen gets down on all fours and observes the beetle up close: “he watched the beetle walk right up to his face. It looked like a creature from the Cretaceous.” And without warning, he and the beetle seem to reverse roles. Stephen suddenly sees the beetle as “a terrible triceratops” about to attack. Luckily, like himself, this frightening beast restrains itself, deciding instead to walk away.

Multimedia illustrations, rendered in acrylic, ink, pencil, oil pastel and collage, have a rough sketchy appearance that is at once artistic and earthy. Readers of all ages will appreciate these expressive images, whose textures and layers convey the multiple realities of the text.

This story invites readers of all backgrounds and beliefs to consider the interconnectedness of all living beings.

  •  

    As children, we often come across bugs and spiders that are very small compared to us. Have you ever squished one? Discuss how it feels to do this. Why do you think people squish bugs?

  •  

    Write about a time when you were about to do something mean or violent and then changed your mind. What were you thinking, and why did you decide to do things differently?

  •  

    Consider the meaning of empathy. Discuss situations in life when it is important to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to understand their point of view. How does it feel to do this?

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Discuss the art and make predictions about the story. After the read-aloud, adjust your predictions to retell the story.

  •  

    As children, we often come across bugs and spiders that are very small compared to us. Have you ever squished one? Discuss how it feels to do this. Why do you think people squish bugs?

  •  

    Discuss how a smaller creature is worth more or less than yourself. How does the way we treat others affect how we will be treated by them?

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Geography, History and Citizenship