Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

You’re Pulling My Leg! 400 Human-Body Sayings From Head to Toe

Street, Pat (Author)
Brace, Eric (Author/Illustrator)
Holiday House 2016. 48 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9780823421350 (hardcover)
9780823437726 (paperback)
Original language: English
Dewey: 428
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

dialogue, figurative language, layout, multimodal

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:

Divided by body parts (“Down in the Mouth,” “Right on the Nose” and so on), this informative and fun book fills in the meaning of anatomically-inspired idioms.

A “slip of the tongue” is “a mistake in speaking;” to have a “heart of stone” means to be “unsympathetic;” “blue-blooded” means “aristocratic.” While the sayings themselves are fairly common, the sheer volume of this collection is impressive. Simple definitions are augmented by speech-bubble commentary by the various characters: “Ha, ha, ha, ha” laughs a bone-shaped fellow depicting the term “funny bone;” one horse nagging another to “Get off my back!” grumbles, “Richy, take me down to the pond for a drink of water, then up to the barn for some oats, then to Hawaii!”

Each two-page spread is devoted to a body part, with an expression about the body part in question creatively printed in the left margin. The illustrations are colourful, with a distinct palette for each section. The characters that literalize the various sayings range from crocodiles to skeletons to humanoid drops of blood to an exhausted red centipede (“He was on his last legs”), all cartoonishly exaggerated.

  •  

    Use teacher-provided examples and discuss your understanding of the concept of idioms. Make a class list of the English idioms you know.

  •  Idiomatic expressions rely on figurative language to help the reader visualize meaning. Choose some expressions and explain why specific images were aligned with particular definitions.
  •  

    Add expressions that you like to your personal dictionary or reader-writer’s notebook. Add a definition or illustration to help you remember the meaning.

  •  

    Idioms are useful to convey meaning during an exchange of ideas. Create a short skit in which you incorporate some idioms. Practise the skit with your partners and perform it for your class.

  •  

    As a group, discuss the meaning of idioms. Are there any in French and/or in your mother tongue? Make a class list of the English idioms you know.

  •  

    Explore how the book is organized. Choosing one page at a time, explore the expressions and discuss which are familiar. 

  •  

    Add expressions that you like in your personal picture dictionary or reader-writer’s notebook. Add a definition or illustration to help remember the meaning.

  •  

    Create a short skit in which you incorporate some of the idioms you have learned. Practise with your partners and enjoy every group’s performance.

  •  

    Add some of the idioms to your everyday speech where possible.

  •  

    Write (at least three) expressions that contain the name of a human body part. Share your answers with a partner and discuss what each saying means. Keep track of these expressions for later use.

  •  

    While you read, look out for the expressions you and your partner wrote previously. Were you correct as to their meanings? If your listed expressions don’t appear in the book, use resources to find their meaning and confirm your accuracy.

  •  

    Incorporate expressions from the book into a short story.

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Media Literacy
  • Drama
  • Social Sciences
  • Visual Arts