Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Wild Girl & Gran

Gregory, Nan (Author)
Lightburn, Rob (Illustrator)
Red Deer Press 2006. 32 pages
First published: 2000
ISBN: 9780889953642 (paperback)
9780889952218 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, 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:

Free verse language takes young readers through love and loss, with fleeting, impressionistic moments that convey the relationship between a girl and her Gran: “‘Too old,’ says Gran. She is puffing. ‘You do the climbing, I’ll knit sunset.’ She settles down and hauls out her yarn.”

Atmospheric paintings that cast a golden light depict the two friends as they chat by the climbing tree or bow their heads together in convivial conspiracy. Roles change as Gran weakens. One image shows the narrator’s smooth, young hand holding a spoon, while Gran’s gnarled and twisted hand reaches: “I help to feed her, spoon by spoon.” This is an excellent story for discussion about aging and the cycle of life.

The illustrations’ tones grow cool with the death of Gran. The narrator’s grief is expressed in especially fine and nuanced writing: “What would you do then, if you were me?”

But spring returns. The girl scatters Gran’s ashes and gains a wider perspective on the meaning of family and the endurance of love: “Tears well out of us and trickle down. Grins tickle up and bubble out. Gran would love this!”

  •  

    How do the illustrations support the mood throughout the book? Discuss how the use of image and colour reflects the plot.

  •  

    Make text-to-self connections with the characters and events. How do your connections influence your personal response to this book?

  •  

    Stop and discuss the moments when the author asks “What would you do then…?” Why would the author not just tell you what Wild Girl does?

  •  

    What role does nature play? Reread, making connections between the events in the meadow and the story. What places or things are soothing to you?

  •  

    Imagine you are Wild Girl's friend. Write her a letter to support her after her Gran dies. What other ways can we help someone who is grief-stricken?

  •  

    Stop and discuss the moments when the author asks “What would you do then, if you were me?”

  •  

    Discuss the activities you share with older people. How are they important?

  •  

    Make a mind map of the story and highlight moments in your life that you have shared with your own family. Discuss some of these moments with a partner.

  •  

    Make character maps for Gran and Wild Girl, and compare the two.

  •  

    Reread the book and list the elements of the Garry Oak Meadows ecosystem. Conduct further research about this place. Do you live near a special ecosystem? Produce an informational poster about it.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Science and Technology