Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Wildlife ABC: A Nature Alphabet Book

Thornhill, Jan (Author/Illustrator)
Owlkids 2012. 32 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9781926973081 (paperback)
Original language: English
Dewey: 590
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

recurring patterns, setting

Award

Governor General’s Literary Award – Finalist – 1988

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:

A rich and colourful ABC primer that explores the wondrous wildlife of North America, from “A is for Auk” to “S is for Salmon.” Simple information is conveyed through rhyming couplets. Readers learn about animal habitats, behaviour and eating habits. Generous illustrations inspire repeat readings as their intricacy dazzles the eye and captivates readers with hidden detail. “Nature Notes” at the back of the book contains further information on each animal.

Illustrations in vivid primary colours are packed with details of the natural world, depicting animals in action. The precise, textured artwork uses a scratchboard technique, etching with tools, clay and inks. The result yields a tapestry effect and is a feast for the eyes. Young readers will enjoy spotting other animals hidden in the backgrounds and inside the fanciful borders that surround each image. The “Queen Bee” illustration, for example, shows the life cycle of a honeybee within its frame.

Language is captivating in its poetic observations: “M is for Moose/Munching plants in the dark;” “N is for Nighthawk/Catching bugs in the dark.” Action words abound: diving, seeking, inspecting, paddling.

Not just your average ABC, this resource will also encourage an appreciation of both poetry and the natural world.

  •  Discuss and define the word “wildlife.” Give examples of animals that fit your definition. Use the cover illustration for ideas.
  •  What other animals can you think of for each letter of the alphabet? Use a list to keep track of them as you read.
  •  As a large or small group, closely examine a page that interests you. Use the illustration as inspiration for a story. Incorporate information from the “Nature Notes” at the back of the book.
  •  Play animal charades, using the animals in the book as inspiration.
  •  

    As the book is read aloud, discuss the various habitats and wildlife. List them on an anchor chart.

  •  

    With the group, list ways the featured animals could be sorted. Choose one way and sort them into a graphic organizer. Explain your reasoning to others.

  •  

    From the above wildlife list, identify those that are present in your area and add additional local creatures.  Discuss the text characteristics for each page. Create a class book in the same style for the wildlife in your area.

  •  

    Read the “Nature Notes” at the back of the book and pinpoint the various habitats on a map. Complete the anchor chart from the first activity, adding in some pictures.

  •  As you read the information at the back of the book, take note of surprising facts. Share your notes in small groups or in a round-robin cooperative style.
  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Science and Technology