Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Dandelion’s Tale

Sheehan, Kevin (Author)
Dunlavey, Rob (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780375870323 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, figurative language

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:

One lovely spring morning, Sparrow is flying over a field when she sees a flower down below. Dandelion is at the end of her life and knows that even a small breeze could blow away her few remaining seedpods. Her last wish is to be remembered, so Sparrow offers to write her story in the dirt.

This radiant and moving tale about the cycle of life is rich with dreamy, old-world illustrations. Watercolour, coloured pencil and crayon images of nature fill the pages in soft browns and greens, as Dandelion tells the story of her life and all she loved: “Write that I like the smell of the meadow the day after it rains.”

The next morning, after a big storm, Dandelion is just a drooping stem. Worse yet, her story has been wiped away by rain. A few weeks later, Sparrow spies a cluster of ten baby dandelions, as many as the last seeds her friend lost. She makes sure to tell them their mother’s story so that Dandelion “would always live in the bright yellow petals of her children, and their children, and so on until the end of time.”

Poignant and reassuring, this beautifully told story touches on the difficult emotions around loss.

  •  Do a picture walk. Make predictions about the plot based on the illustrations.
  •  

    The sparrow expresses his emotions through song. What are other ways people express happiness and sadness? Are some ways healthier than others?

  •  Discuss the aspects of the story that are happy and sad. How is this reflected in the illustrations?
  •  

    Write and illustrate a special story that is shared among your family members and that you will always remember.

  •  Do a picture walk. Make predictions about the plot based on the illustrations.
  •  

    After a read-aloud, work with a partner to retell the story using a story map.

  •  

    Discuss different ways of spreading memories. How would you like to be remembered after Grade 6 (or later in life)?

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture