I think Graeme Base is one of my favourite picture book authors and illustrators. Not only can I spend time reading the story but I can also spend time searching through the pictures to see what else is in there.
I am intending on covering many of his stories throughout my blog so here is the first!
Uno’s Garden is a story about a man named Uno who falls in love with a beautiful space in a rainforest. He builds a simple dwelling and is depicted as living simply, alongside the plants and animals.
However, with so many beautiful places, other people also want to enjoy them.
As the pages turn we see more and more people living in the area until the beauty that once was, is gone.
However, there is hope – which is such an important part of this story. Without hope children reading this would not feel that they too can do something too.
The people in this story do come to realise that they have messed the world up and start to make changes.
Graeme Base ends his story in a repaired world, everyone happy and at peace, and although something is still missing, the reader can move away from the story with hope.
We can move on knowing that there is a chance that people now in our world who are doing wrong by the environment might start to make a change. It might be small to start – but small is better than nothing.
Graeme Base has added other elements including counting, prime numbers and hidden animals – such fun when reading with children of any age.
Pick up this book today – it is a magical read.
Parent shared reading tips:
- Before you begin – who is Uno? What sort of person might he be?
- As you read – count the animals – use the tips in the back of the book to support any numeracy.
- As you read – search for animals. Ask why the animals have the names that they do.
- As you read – What are the people doing? What are they thinking?
- As you read – How have the people changed the world? How are some people trying to fix the world?
- Look at different words and work out the sound they start with. Focus on the sound, not just the letter they start with. Stretch out the words and search for the phonemes. This will develop phonological awareness.
These can be embedded into any literacy teaching time:
** Problem solving: Create categories of the animals that appear in the story.
** Creative thinking: Discuss the animals Graeme Base has created – which animals has he based these on? Can students create there own special animal?
**Visualising: What might the future look in your neighbourhood if you don’t care for the natural things around you?
**Inferencing: What is Uno’s garden? Who could Uno be?
Links to the Australian Curriculum & Sustainability.
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