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Analysis of image and text in Guji-Guji



Comments on text

Comments on images


An egg was rolling along the ground ... Finally, it rolled right into a duck’s nest.

Repetition of rolling/rolled
Wait until the end of page 2 to discover it is a duck’s nest

Three images of egg, increasing in size to indicate movement
No characters, apart from observers: owl and rabbit


Mother duck didn’t notice. She was reading.

Two simple sentences

Mother duck sitting on large egg.
Emphasises how engrossed she must have been in her book


Soon enough, the eggs began to crack ... and that became his name.

Description of hatchlings and names
No mention that Guji-Guji is a crocodile

Shows Guji-Guji, a crocodile, hatching from the large egg


Mother duck taught her four ducklings ... bigger and stronger, too.

Text top left hand and bottom right hand with pictures between

Guji-Guji is part of the family, but last in line
Pulling the others in a wagon: he’s accepted and cares for his family


But no ... loved all her ducklings the same.

One sentence that tells us they were different but loved

‘Ducklings’ playing, Mother duck embracing and reading
All characters connected physically, emphasises inclusion
Sets up warm, loving mood
Warm colours of ducklings and Guji-Guji’s snout


Then one terrible day ... big, pointed teeth.

‘Terrible’ sets up the mood, and although they were ‘smiling and laughing’, the words have sinister connotations when placed with ‘terrible’ and ‘pointed teeth’, and supported by the illustration

Contrast – cool colours, blue snout
Narrow eyes in contrast to Guji-Guji’s little round or closed eyes, signifying innocence
Aggressive posture


The three crocodiles ... ‘You’re just like us.’

Unpleasant conversation as Guji-Guji is confronted by crocodiles
Guji-Guji’s naive reply

Contrast in size, colour of snouts, eyes, inclination of heads and hand gestures/positioning all contrast the characters of the big and small crocodiles


The first crocodile ... ‘Mmmm. Yum.’

Descriptions and explanations of crocodiles’ features, foregrounding their motives: to eat the ducks

Teasing Guji-Guji, bullying him


The three crocodiles grinned ... vanished into the grass.

Bullying Guji-Guji into the duck ambush
Guji-Guji not happy and asks ‘Why?’
Crocodiles apply peer pressure, appeal to identity

Dark double spread, crocs slinking away, black crows and bats signify menace
Small Guji-Guji, emphasising his aloneness


Guji-Guji felt terrible ... not exactly a duck either.

Guji-Guji questions his identity but is not convinced

Owl in tree hints wisdom will come
Guji-Guji looking at reflection: he doesn’t look fierce
Large, distorted reflection: heightens his confusion


But the three crocodiles are nasty ... happy and content.

Contrast of words ‘nasty’, with ‘good’, ‘happy’, ‘content’
Turning point of the story
Doesn’t tell what his good idea is

Small Guji-Guji against a large indistinct wood, emphasises vulnerability, but the wood is blurry, not threatening
Guji-Guji looks happy: we wonder what he has thought up


That night ... ready for their feast.

Crocodiles are preparing for the kill

Shows us how they are preparing
Owls (wisdom) in the tree are fearful (feel threatened)
Picture precedes words


The next day ... underneath the bridge.

Text across the bottom of the two pages

Image fills the double page
We barely notice the rocks, they run off the page
Guji-Guji looks smug/happy
Bats and crow remind us the crocodiles are evil
Large full moon (sometimes associated with bad deeds in stories)


But it wasn’t fat, delicious ducks ... nowhere to be seen.

Text in the middle of sequence of images
‘Crack! Crack! Crack!’ tells us the crocodiles broke their prized and precious teeth

Sequence of events
Shattered teeth
Round eyes of shock
Dark silhouettes fleeing
Crow goes with them: all bad things are leaving the scene


Guji-Guji had saved the day ... danced and celebrated.

Words ‘saved’, ‘hero’ and ‘celebrated’

Ducks carrying Guji-Guji triumphantly
Guji-Guji dancing with his siblings: continued acceptance as part of the family


Guji-Guji continued ... happier ‘crocoduck’.

Happy ending: ‘stronger and happier ‘crocoduck’

Guji-Guji doing a handstand with Zebra Smiling: exuberance and inclusion

Source: Adapted from Sharpe, T (2005) ‘Practical Strategies Scaffolding Students’ Responses to Picture Books: Literacy
learning in the middle years’, Vol 13, Issue 1 (Feb), ALEA Journal.