Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The First Drawing

Gerstein, Mordicai (Author/Illustrator)
Little, Brown 2013. 40 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780316204781 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view, 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 book asks young readers to place themselves back in prehistoric times, living in a cave. A young boy is imagined, who sees pictures in clouds and in shadows cast by the fire at night. “They call you ‘Child Who Sees What Isn’t There.’”

The second-person perspective puts readers at centre stage. An encounter with a real woolly mammoth jolts the reader’s burgeoning imagination into full blossom: “You look back. And in those eyes you see that being a mammoth might not be so different from being you.” This combination of prehistory, art and speculation based on fact provides a powerful launch for further research and projects.

Illustrations are bright, friendly and historically feasible. Expressive lines define landscapes, clothing and the shaggy hair of people and beasts. Warm colours light the cave, and “you” reach for a stick from the fire, desperate to make others see what you are seeing. The first charcoal drawing is born.

An author’s note describes the archaeological discoveries that inspired the story, and a detail from the original cave painting is shown.

  •  

    Discuss how the book is written in the second person. How does this affect the story?

  •  

    Discuss the boy’s drawings. What would you have drawn? What inspires you to create art?

  •  

    Write another adventure for the character in the book. Be sure to write in the second person.

  •  

    Research the cave paintings that were found in France and upon which this book is based. Copy some of the drawing s and present your findings to the class.

  •  

    Discuss the boy’s world. Who is part of his life? What does he do with his time? Where does he live? What is his first drawing? How does his drawing inspire those around him?

  •  

    Create a drawing that represents who you are and where you live. Use your daily life—and your imagination—to inspire your drawing. Illustrate what you see around you and how you feel about your environment.

  •  

    Create a class time capsule (a shoebox will do) with items that represent your world such as photos, drawings, a newspaper article, a celebrity poster, song or TV program titles, a list of school activities, a few predictions and letters to yourselves. Decorate the container and decide on the to-be-opened date.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Science and Technology
  • Visual Arts