Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Water Hole

Base, Graeme (Author/Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2004. 32 pages
First published: 2001
ISBN: 9780142401972 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

recurring patterns, 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 but engaging counting book describes a water hole and the creatures it attracts across multiple ecosystems, from “One Rhino drinking at the water hole,” to “Ten Kangaroos looking at the water hole.” Each page features a different ecosystem from Africa, India, China, Australia, and South and North America. The water hole diminishes with each page, until it is completely dry.

The illustrations are the highlight of this book. Executed in watercolours, pencil and gouache on hot-press illustration board, each page features rich, realistic scenes that are full of detail, including camouflaged animals that emerge the longer one spends examining the foliage, trunks, shadows and branches. Bordering each page are small representations of the animals hidden within. Recurring characters—frogs wearing hats, necklaces, suits and glasses—appear regularly.

Text is limited but includes sounds that the animals make including “bzui” for the ladybugs, “scrmph” for the tortoises and “moo, moo mooooooiii!” for the moose. When the water hole dries up completely, all the animals leave and the scene turns to desolate shades of brown. After “it rained and rained and rained and rained,” the animals return. The final two pages are filled with a multitude of creatures, a celebration of the importance of water for all forms of life.

  •  

    Discuss the importance of water in our daily lives. Could you survive without it?

  •  

    In Cycle One, explore the numbers and pictures. Learn the animal names.

  •  

    Explore the pictures, texts and borders. Describe the animals, using several descriptors for each one (furry, striped, orange and black). Use a safe, student-friendly site to research one of the less familiar animals (pika, tapir, etc.). Make a descriptive poster.

  •  

    In your reader-writer’s notebook, describe what you can infer about how the animals are feeling based on their facial expressions. Synthesize your thoughts by writing about the importance of water conservation and caring for our planet.

  •  

    Choose a country from the last page and research other animals that inhabit it. Find one that is unusual and present what you learn to other students.

  •  

    In Cycle One, explore the numbers and pictures. Learn the animal names. Discuss what is happening to the water hole. Retell the story with the pictures.

  •  

    In Cycle Two, explore the pictures and other animals you notice in them. Describe the animals using a variety of descriptors (furry, striped, orange and black). Create a new version of the counting book using local animals.

  •  

    In Cycle Three, explore the texts, pictures and borders. Where do these animals come from? Pinpoint the regions at the end of the book on a world map. Discuss interesting vocabulary: squawking, gazing, wallowing.

  •  

    Discuss the importance of water in our lives. How can we conserve it?

  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Science and Technology