Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Wonder

Hanson, Faye (Author/Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2015. 40 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780763679576 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

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:

Dreamers and artists of all stripes will marvel over this extraordinary book about “a boy whose head is filled with wonder.” Whether crossing the street or sitting in science class, this budding philosopher is chastised by pragmatic grownups: “Waiting for the bus, he wonders who makes the clouds. ‘Wake up, daydreamer!’ grumbles the bus driver as the boy bumps into another passenger.” Yet, the boy’s vivid imaginings are irrepressible and pop off the page, contrasting with the soft sepia tones of ordinary reality.

The boy is vindicated in art class, when his teacher presents him with a blank sheet of paper. Here, his vibrant visions take flight, exploding into five magnificent double-page spreads. Each of these mixed-media illustrations is like a distinct universe, free of words, yet dense with lush, dreamy details.

Readers of all ages will feel like kids in a candy store bursting with bubble gum machines, ice cream waves and candy-cane slides. They’ll want to revisit these surreal spreads often, finding new treats each time. Even the fleecy-feeling images of everyday reality are deliciously intricate, with pleasing pastels that seem to celebrate the boy’s sensitivity.

A satisfying closing spread shows the daydreamer as an adult, his art enjoyed by the masses in a grand museum—an ending that recalls the Picasso quote his art teacher once displayed on the board: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

  •  

    What is a daydream? What do you daydream about? Is daydreaming a good or bad habit? Reflect on this question before and after reading.

  •  

    Before reading each page, make predictions about what the boy is wondering based on the illustrations. Describe what you think he is imagining on the wordless pages.

  •  With a partner, make a drawing of an ordinary situation where your imagination leads you to wonder something fantastic.
  •  

    What is a daydream? What do you daydream about? Is daydreaming a good or bad habit? Reflect on this question before and after reading.

  •  

    Lie down outside and daydream for 10 minutes while looking at the sky and clouds. Notice where your imagination brings you. Afterward, draw where your imagination soared. Share in small groups.

  •  

    Discuss how imagination and creativity help you in school and how they are useful to share what is in your head.

  •  

    From the pictures in the book and from your own knowledge, make a class list of jobs that require imagination and creativity.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Science and Technology
  • Visual Arts