This is how the request for the children to introduce themselves was put this time:
But first – we need to get to know each other. Tell us something about yourself, your school or your kindergarten. Just use your first name – on the internet, that’s all we need. If you have a favourite picture book right now, tell us about that too – at Karori West, we’re always looking for great books that we can read over and over!
During the first week we read Guji-Guji several times so we were well ready for the challenge in the second week which follows:
Ata Marie Guji Guji Backchatters!
It's lovely to read that so many of you are enjoying this book. Every time I read it, I see something new to enjoy in the illustrations. More about them later...right now, let's talk about Guji Guji, the "crocoduck". Why do you think he feels he belongs to the duck family? What words would you use to describe his character?
Brave, clever, a very fast learner, helpful to his family, kind, a confident thinker, a great planner, strong, caring, a clever trickster, loyal to his Duck family
We think Guji Guji belongs to the Duck family because...
the Ducks respect and accept him even though he is different.
when he sees his reflection he always sees a duck shape.
Mother Duck was the first grown up he ever saw when his egg cracked open and she bought him up with her family.
his egg ended up in Mother Ducks nest with out her noticing.
because he has a yellow snout and the ducks have yellow beaks.
Impact on my class and my professional learning
This response had a direct impact on the children and we took the time to give the Rimu 7 class feedback.
We talked about how we had noticed Guji Guji’s duck reflection but hadn’t made the link to thinking how that showed Guji Guji’s sense of belonging to the duck family. The themes in this picture book are relevant to the children and thought provoking.
What clever four year olds you all are, to have such a thoughtful discussion about this book. Josh, your idea really got me thinking - if Guji Guji had grown up with the other crocodiles, would he be mean too? I wonder what our other book back chatters think about that question...
I'm soo glad that you are all LOVING this book - it really is one of my absolute favourites!
I had a lovely email from Julia Marshall this week, the NZ publisher of Guji Guji.
She LOVED the discussion you've all had about Guji Guji, and thought that your attention to the detail in the illustrations has been "just extraordinary"! You have pointed out things - like the blue and yellow crocodile snouts - and talked so cleverly about their significance that Julia has been "blown away"!
An example of children’s attention to detail in the illustrations
When Guji Guji met the Crocodiles, the string that is normally tied to the front of the duck had changed to the back of the toy duck. We think that it shows that the toy duck is scared of the crocodiles. We know this because after the crocodiles had gone the toy turned back to face Guji Guji and the string was back at the front of the duck. This showed that the duck was scared of the bad crocodiles but not of Guji Guji.