Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Wild About Us!

Beaumont, Karen (Author)
Stevens, Janet (Illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015. 36 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780152062941 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

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:

“We like us just the way we are!” is the message conveyed here. Upbeat rhymes give giggles while bold watercolour and pencil illustrations celebrate variety in this confidence-boosting book. Loveable animal characters flaunt their uniqueness, brazenly parading across the pages: “Crocodile’s proud/of his big/toothy grin./Rhino feels fine in her … /wrinkly skin.”

The characters are set against white backdrops so that the focus is entirely on them, magnifying their total lack of inhibition. Text is laid out creatively, highlighting the animals’ playful tendency to appear upside down or sideways. On a spread that illustrates a tortoise’s winding, non-linear gait, words mimic his manner, appearing in a wave, abundant ellipses emphasizing his tendency to amble: “We never tease Tortoise for being so slow./He’s … not … meant … to … hurry … /or … scurry, … you … know.”

Elsewhere, lines gush with exclamation points to highlight Hippo’s unabashed enthusiasm: “Hippo is happy!/She loves her behind!/It wiggles!/It jiggles!/It’s one of a kind!” Keywords jump off the page in different fonts and bright colours to drive home defining qualities. The word plump, for instance, used to describe a potbellied pig, appears in a rounder, larger font than the rest of the text.

Readers will have fun learning about animals while soaking up their spirit of radical self-acceptance. Promoting diversity, these endearing characters offer joyful examples of healthy self-esteem, inviting us to recognize the beauty in all.

  •  

    As you read, discuss how the animals react to their different traits.

  •  

    Draw and write about your special traits. Use words that depict acceptance and pride.

  •  

    In a small group, divide up the sections of the book and practise choral reading. Add gestures, expression and movement to bring the text alive, then present your work to the class.

  •  

    The author uses descriptive adjectives and adverbs like “toothy grin” and “wrinkly skin.” Write your own book in the same style about other creatures that accept themselves for who they are.

  •  

    As the book is read aloud, discuss how the animals react to their different traits.

  •  

    Note the expressions that are written in different fonts. What do you think they mean? How does the font help you?

  •  

    On two class charts, note words that express body characteristics and expressions of pride and acceptance. Add other words that you know and use.

  •  Describe how you are unique. Write about your special features in the author’s style. Use words that show acceptance and pride.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being