Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Telephone

Barnett, Mac (Author)
Corace, Jen (Illustrator)
Chronicle Books 2014. 36 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781452110233 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

dialogue, 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:

This brief and funny animal tale provides rollicking fun as it morphs one phrase into the next. Minimal text is hung on the repeating refrain, “Tell Peter:” followed by a boisterous new interpretation of Mom’s message. “Put your wet socks in the dryer” becomes “Crocodiles are bad liars.”

Each new, misquoted message offers rich fodder for stylish illustrations in bright colours and inky textures. A visual theme of crossed telephone wires in pencil effects provides a landscape for a great variety of birds—from cardinal, to goose, to pelican with a lobster in its beak, and more. Over these spreads, message and image become increasingly frantic: A turkey teeters on sagging wires; a spraying fire hose blazes by a squawking bird in a firefighter hat. Finally, a fire-breathing lobster rides a crocodile, as a frazzled fowl screeches, “Tell Peter to fly!... he’s too young to be somebody’s dinner!”

In the end, the unflappable owl untangles the garbled message. “Hey, Peter. Your mom says fly home for dinner.”

  •  

    Play a game of Broken Telephone. Discuss the reasons why a message may change as it is repeated. When and why might this happen in real life?

  •  

    Make predictions about how each of the birds might interpret the message, based on clues in the illustrations.

  •  

    Act out the story with a group of classmates.

  •  

    Script some different dialogue for the birds to pass along the wire to each other.

  •  

    Play a game of Broken Telephone to see how a message might travel from one person to another.

  •  

    On a picture walk, examine the setting and characters. Find the English names for the various birds.

  •  

    Discuss how the message travelled through the telephone line and how it was affected by its carrier.

  •  

    How do you think a piece of news travels through students in a classroom or a school? What about through social media, a news feed or other published format? Collect several versions of a piece of news. Compare and contrast the interpretations.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies