Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Toad Weather

Markle, Sandra (Author)
Gonzalez, Thomas (Illustrator)
Peachtree Publishers 2015. 32 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9781561458189 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 597.8
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

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:

Based on the real-life toad migration that occurs each spring in the Roxborough neighbourhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this magical story is heightened by exquisite illustrations. Realistic yet expressive, these are rendered in pastels, coloured pencil and airbrush.

The story begins with a “gloomy-gray” March day. “Rainy weather makes me sad,” says Ally, her nose pressed up to the window. Grandma agrees. But when Mama gets home, she turns things around by coaxing this sullen pair out the door. “‘I saw something on the way home, something I want to show you.’”

As the trio wanders “out in the rainy nearly-nighttime,” poetic language and images please the eyes and ears. Grandma is reluctant every inch of the way, but Ally begins to perceive beauty even before they reach their destination. A superb dance of colourful lights on city sidewalks, slick with rain, matches the enchantment expressed through the text. When Mama says “look at all the colorful umbrellas,” Ally responds, “It’s like being inside a rainbow.”

When they finally come face to face with Mama’s surprise, urban life harmonizes with nature: “Toads are everywhere. Crawling out of the grass. Leaping onto the sidewalk. Hopping across the street.” Readers may never see rain in the same way again. As well as drawing attention to nature’s elegant rituals, this book opens the eyes to the extraordinary sensuality of everyday city scenes. The fascinating phenomenon of these migrating toads is explained in the author’s note.

  •  

    Brainstorm what you know about toads and frogs. Add to your list as you read.

  •  

    After reading, look closely at how the artist has crafted the illustrations. Discuss how the pictures extend the meaning of the written text. How does this help you to understand that pictures are texts that can be read?

  •  

    Write the story from the toad’s point of view. Consider how it is feeling as it faces its biggest challenge.

  •  

    What other animals or fish move to live elsewhere after spawning (salmon, turtles, eel, etc.)? Why do they move from one place to another? What obstacles and predators await them? On a safe, teacher-selected site, research what you can do to help keep them from being harmed.

  •  

    Brainstorm what you know about toads and frogs. Add to your list as you read.

  •  

    What do you like to do on rainy days? What might you miss if you stay indoors? Prepare a list of outdoor activities for rainy days. Combine everyone's lists and create a class book or poster.

  •  

    Write a thank-you card to Ally’s family from the parent toad’s perspective. How was the trio helpful when the toads needed to migrate? How are the babies doing now? Use information in the author’s note and the story itself to help you write your thank-you card.

  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology