Making Connections

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Readers connect to a story when something in that story evokes a memory. When talking to students about making connections it is important to emphasize that:

  1. A reader makes a connection to a story when a memory surfaces.
  2. Readers can make connections to many aspects of a book: the pictures, the characters, the events, and even the emotions expressed in the story.
  3. There are several types of connections that a reader can make:
  • - connections between the book and the reader's own life
  • - connections between the book and other reading material the reader has encountered
  • - connections between the book and events in the reader's world

Chuck in the City
Author: Jordan Wheeler
Traditional Territory: Cree, Haida
Format: Paperback
  • Follow the adventures of Chuck as he gets lost on his first trip to the big city. Chuck encounters stray dogs and alley cats, kids on skateboards and rollerblades, and tall office towers. After realizing he is lost, Chuck relies on what he has learned to find his way back to his kookum's (grandmother's) condo.

    Chuck in the City is Jordan Wheeler's second book for children. The award-winning Cree author and scriptwriter previously introduced young readers to Chuck in Just a Walk. Wheeler writes in a rhyming style that will capture and hold a child's attention.

    Paris Book Festival Competition, 2010 - Runner-up and Honourable Mention
    2010, Children's Runner-up, Chidren's Honourable Mention


Feathers and Fools
Author: Mem Fox
Format: Paperback
  • Feathers and Fools is an allegory about how wars can begin with a simple fear of others based on misconceptions. For some time the swans and peacocks have lived peacefully by a pond. One day the peacocks begin to contemplate the differences between themselves and their neighbours. This then leads to the fear that the swans may one day change the peacock's way of life. With this fear fully ingrained in their minds, they begin to build arms against their neighbours. "We shall hurl these arrows at their throats and slaughter everyone should they ever try to change our way of life."

    Upon hearing this, the swans began to build arms against the peacocks in fear that they would be attacked. The fear grew as each group acquired more and more arms against each other. The peacocks soon mistook the action of a swan as an act of aggression and thus, a war began. "Soon cries filled the sir and blood darkened the earth." When all the feathers had settled, there were no birds to be found, both swans and peacocks had been destroyed.

    Foxs antiwar story touches on a common issue many nations face and how humans handle the concept of war. As history has revealed, humans have begun wars often times with very little knowledge of their opponents on the battlefield. The author artfully displays how mankind, although similar in many ways can decimate each other because of our lack of knowledge of the similarities amongst all groups. At the end of the story, Fox gives us a hopeful ending with the hatching of a lone peacock and a lone swan. These young birds meet and notice how similar they are and soon become friends. "So off they went together, in peace and unafraid, to face the day and share the world." Fox recognizes that present and future generations hold the keys to ending war.

    The main characters, swans and peacocks are interchangeable with any nation, country, or people who have endured wars and their aftermaths. The book also emphasizes the importance of learning from history and not repeating it. Illustrator Nicholas Wiltons paintings bring out the beauty of the worlds of the peacock and swan. With acrylic jewel tone paints, he captures the beauty of the peacocks bright feathers and the swans graceful profile. As the story progresses, you can see the changes of the birds body language and actions helping bring emphasis on how the building toward war changes reactions and opinions of the two sides. The paintings were created to evoke the feeling of a folktale or fable with its aged looks and block style borders. Feathers and Fools is a wonderful book that could open the possibility for the discussion of topics such as war, the arms race, and similarities amongst people and their ways of lives. This book could be used at all levels for discussion.


I'm In Charge Of Celebrations
Author: Byrd Baylor
Format: Paperback
  • From the highly acclaimed team of Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall comes the story of a girl who shares her love for desert life as she tells of treasured experiences.


Smelly Socks
Format: Paperback
  • Tina's new socks are so wonderful she vows to wear them every day! But they begin to smell really, really bad because Tina will not take them off – even to be washed. The kids finally drag Tina down to the river and make her wash those stinky socks, driving away all the fish with the nasty odour! Tina's mom gets her a new shirt as a reward for finally getting her socks clean. A shirt Tina loves so much, she vows never, ever to take it off!


The Way to Start a Day
Author: Byrd Baylor
Format: Paperback
  • In this Caldecott Honor Book, the way to start the day is to go outside, face the east and greet the sun, as others in the past and present have celebrated the dawn.


The Wish Wind
Author: Peter Eyvindson
Format: Paperback
  • All the best wishes can bring more than you expect. When a grumbling young boy is teased by the Wish Wind, he learns all his requests are granted. Will he understand the value of patience before he is too late?


Which Way Should I Go?
Author: Sylvia Olsen
Traditional Territory: Tsartlip
Format: Paperback
  • In 2009, Which Way Should I Go? was the award recipient for First Nation Communities Read.

    Joey is a happy Nuu-chah-nulth boy, eager to help and quick to see the bright side of things. But when he loses his beloved grandmother, the sun goes out in his world. Fortunately, she has left something of herself behind, a song, which keeps knocking on Joey's heart, and a dance, which urges him to get up on his feet and choose again. Choosing was what their song was about, and Grandma's lessons prove strong indeed. Joey chooses to remember Grandma with joy and to take up his daily life again with a spring in his step.


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