Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Whimsy’s Heavy Things

Kraulis, Julie (Author/Illustrator)
Tundra Books 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781770494039 (hardcover)
9781770494046 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view

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:

Whimsy’s heavy things are weighing her down. She doesn’t know what to do. She tries a number of things: sweeping them under the rug (she trips over them), hanging them in a tree (they fall on her), flying them away on the end of a kite and floating them out to sea. When she realizes that she is “trying to deal with too many things at once” she comes up with a plan to clear the deck once and for all.

Double-page oil and graphite illustrations have a muted look and are richly detailed in their depictions of the long-faced Whimsy struggling to overcome her burden. Words and phrases in boldface type occasionally skip across the page, contributing to the emotional landscape and making for a playful visual experience.

This thought-provoking read-aloud uses a simple metaphor to describe the things in life that weigh us down and could be a useful resource for helping children process difficult experiences or for introducing the delicate subject of depression.

  •  

    Before reading, brainstorm what Whimsy’s heavy things might be. Discuss the multiple meanings of the word heavy. What problems do you think might have been weighing Whimsy down?

  •  

    Create a chart with these headings: Home/Family, School and Neighbourhood. List difficulties that some children face within these environments (e.g. divorce, bullying, broken streetlight). Brainstorm possible ways of dealing with each.

  •  

    Celebrate the good things in your life. Draw a wagon containing pictures of things you love. Or write a poem or journal entry reflecting upon the things you value. Share your work with a peer.

  •  

    Brainstorm what Whimsy’s heavy things could be. What could be done to help her? Keep track of your class’s ideas on an anchor chart.

  •  

    What situations could be heavy for some children? Classify them as home, family, school or neighbourhood issues.

  •  

    Show appreciation for the good things in your life through a poster, a drawing or a text. Choose your favorite colours to express what you really enjoy. 

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To solve problems
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Drama
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Physical Education and Health