Mentor Text Review: The Treasure Box

  • Author: Margaret Wild
  • Illustrator: Freya Blackwood
  • Publisher: Penguin Australia

The Treasure Box by Australian author Margaret Wild and illustrator Freya Blackwood is a beautiful book about loss in wartime.

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Writing:

As with most of Margaret Wild’s books, it contains striking WORD CHOICE combined with clever sentence construction (SENTENCE FLUENCY). This book would be a strong mentor text for demonstrating simple, compound and complex sentences to students.

ORGANISATION wise, it would be useful to highlight how Wild moves through time in the book, sometimes slowing down to zoom in on a moment, sometimes passing by weeks with only a few words.

As for IDEAS, it would be useful for highlighting how Wild’s descriptions help build a picture in the reader’s mind- eg. ‘Charred paper, frail as butterflies, fluttered in the wind’ In addition to all of this, Freya Blackwood’s illustrations/collages are just amazing!

Suggestions For Using This Mentor Text To Teach Reading:

INFERRING- Margaret Wild’s is the master of effective word choice. This would be a great starting place for a study on inferring with this book. Her use of powerful verbs adds extra meaning to the sentences and helps build a clearer understanding of the characters and their feelings (eg. ‘they trudged through the mud and rain’ can give the reader insight into how the characters were probably feeling when they did this. How is this different to them walking through the mud or speeding through it?) Cracking open the meaning of words and unlocking their nuances is key to building strong inferring skills.

MAKING CONNECTIONS: what other events in time does this remind you of? Have you read any other books about war or about the wonder of books? How are they similar or different?

PREDICTING: What will this book be about? What makes you think that? Remember- you can always change your prediction as you read, you just need to provide evidence of why your thinking has changed.

The ADVANCED Writing Traits Masterclass is finally here!