Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

Santat, Dan (Author/Illustrator)
Little, Brown 2014. 40 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780316199988 (hardcover)
9780316406291 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character

Award

Caldecott Medal – 2015

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:

A small white marshmallow-shaped character is born on a faraway island. He is destined to be “Beekle” an imaginary friend for someone, somewhere. He waits patiently among other fantastical creatures, but alas, he is never chosen. Bravely, he decides to set sail across dangerous waters, headed for the real world. The dingy monochrome port city he arrives at is an uninspired place, where “No one stopped to hear the music” and “Everyone needed naptime.” He finally finds a park and sits in a tree until Alice, a redhead with glasses and a pageboy haircut finds him and shows him a drawing she made of them together. She had known him all along and announces his name is “Beekle.”

Stunning graphic novel illustrations in a mix of pencil, crayon, watercolour, ink and photo editing software, with hand-lettered text, bring the imaginary and the real to life in ways that truly wow the eye. The use of colours that seem impossibly bright in contrast to dull tones of night or the urban landscape lends depth to the storytelling. Perspective is also used to great effect. Even the endpapers are gorgeously detailed.

Words are kept to a minimum, but tell of an effective hero’s journey, as Beekle voyages to find out who he might be. In the end, friendship makes the world “feel a little less strange.”

  •  

    Examine the front and back endpapers. Make inferences about the relationships and predict what significance this might have for the story.

  •  

    Describe what Beekle and Alice might be thinking and saying when they finally meet. Share experiences of making a new friend. Start a class anchor charts of Dos and Don’ts for making a new friend.

  •  How does the illustrator use colour in the setting of the story? Why might this be important?
  •  

    Draw and write about your own possible imaginary friend. Include a name, common interests, activities and how you met.

  •  

    Examine the covers and the front and back endpapers. Infer the relationship between the characters.

  •  Do a picture walk to explore Beekle’s world and imagine the story.
  •  

    Fill out an alphabox with all the words you know about the characters, setting and activities.

  •  

    Draw and write about your own possible imaginary friend. Include a name, common interests, activities and how you met. Create an Imaginary Friends Gallery.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Visual Arts