Literary Analysis

A Literary Analysis

You may use a picture book, novel, or nonfiction book for this assignment.

A. Citation/Bibiliographic Entry

B. Reliability (50 – 100 words): Learn more HERE and HERE.

C. Category (100 – 200 words): Learn more HERE and HERE.

  • ____ Cultural Concepts
  • ____ Interlocking Episodes
  • ____ Cumulative Pattern
  • ____ Chronological Pattern
  • ____ Main Character
  • ____ Informational Pattern
  • ____ Repetitive Pattern
  • ____ Rhythm-Rhyme Pattern
  • ____ Problem-solving Pattern:
  • _____ person versus nature
    _____ person versus person
    _____ person versus self

D. Short Annotation (1 – 3 sentences):

E. Point of View (3 sentences as evidence): Learn more HERE
____ 1st person ____ 2nd person ____ 3rd person

F. Tense (3 sentences as evidence): Learn more HERE.
____ present ____ past

F. Literary Excellence (at least 20 examples from at least 4 categories as evidence): Learn more HERE.

  • Sounds of Words
    ____ alliteration – repeating the beginning consonant sounds in words
    ____ assonance – repeating similar sounds, especially vowel sounds
    ____ consonance – repeating similar consonant sounds, especially at the ends of words, as in lost and past or confess and dismiss.
    Choice of Words
    ____ hyperbole – exaggerating for effect; e.g. tons of money
    ____ irony – saying the opposite of what is meant
    ____ litotes – understating for effect; e.g. no small victory; not a bad idea
    ____ metaphor – comparing things not alike through implication
    ____ personification – giving human qualities to nonhuman things
    ____ synecdoche – using part of something to stand for the whole thing
    ____ simile – comparing things not alike by using the word ‘like’ or ‘as’
    ____ vocabulary – using precise nouns and verbs to describe scenes/emotions
    Arrangement of Words
    ____ length of sentences – differing lengths to create a mood
    ____ repetition – repeating sounds, words or phrases for effect
    ____ appositives – inserting a phrase between a set of commas or dashes

G. Connection (200 – 400 words): Learn more HERE and HERE.
____ text to self ____ text to text _____ text to world

PDF Version: Literary Analysis

Colours of British Columbia

A Literary Analysis by Megan in grade eight


Bouchard, David. The Colours of British Columbia. Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 1994.


I know this author is reliable because he has written five other books including the best selling If You’re Not from the Prairie… and the award-winning The Elders are Watching. I also know he is a reliable because he is now a school principal in West Vancouver and a popular storytelling performer in schools throughout Canada.


The category of this perfect picture book is repetitive pattern, informational pattern and rhythm-rhyme pattern. It is a repetitive pattern because the author uses “I remember” more than once at the beginning of sentences. It is also an information pattern because it tells readers about beautiful British Columbia and the wonderful colours in the towns in which we live. This amazing illustrated picture also contains a rhythm-rhyme pattern because the author uses “een” words in the same sentences. The author also uses “ame” sounds and “o” sounds.

Short Annotation:

This wonderful picture book describes, in words and pictures, famous sights in beautiful British Columbia. This book has amazing paintings which I am sure readers would love. It  is recommended for readers of all ages.

Point of View:

This picture book is in the 2nd person point of view. Here are some examples:

  • pg.12 “You’ll probably remember clowns at the circus or toys that were lost as you’ve grown.”
  • pg. 22 “To learn of our brown, you will have to go into the heart of our wonderful land.”
  • pg. 24 “To seek out our purple you’ll have to go down to the beach anytime of the year.”


The tense of this picture book is present tense. Here are some examples:

  • pg.12 “It’s always the colour we see in the evening, a sunset so often aflame.”
  • pg.8 “Let me now tell you, while fresh in my memory, i found my first colour in trees.”
  • pg.18 “Of the moaning and calling of distant fog horns, like a crying with no one around.”

Literary Excellence:


  • pg.18 “…it’s a spirit that speaks…”
  • pg.12 “It’s like a picture, painted on velvet…”
  • pg. 12 “… a sunset so often aflame.”
  • pg.10 “… tall trees…”
  • pg.14 “… this truly…”


  • pg.8 “more and mere”
  • pg.14 “ were and here”
  • pg.14 “ earth and birth”
  • pg.29 “wondrous and gardens
  • pg. 28 “ winter and summer”


  • pg.12 “It’s just like a picture, painted velvet…”
  • pg.12 “Well it doesn’t look like velvet, it does looks like dreams…”
  • pg. 18 “Somewhat like blue but softer and wet…”
  • pg.18 “That feels much like rain, hung low in a cloud with tones of soft gentle clay”
  • pg.18 “…like a crying with no one around.”


  • pg.10 “ I remember…” “I remember…” “I remember…”
  • pg. 29 “ It’s not just our wondrous gardens” “It’s not just our mountain trails.”
  • pg. 29 “ It’s more than our B.C. fruit.” “It’s more than our salmon or whales.”
  • pg. 10 “…unless you have stood deep in the rain.” “Stood deep in our forest…”
  • pg. 16 “…blueblue…”


I can connect to this picture book because when I was little I traveled around B.C with my family. I hardly remembered what anything looked like, but reading this book reminded me of all the beautiful sights I saw so long ago. Reading this picture book also reminded me of all the colour we have here in B.C. I guess I still travel B.C, just not as much. But I still go in summertime, for a couple of weeks, to Kelowna and places like Peachland, West Bank, and Summerland. (One summer I even went to Rattlesnake Island, in the middle of Okanagan Lake, to a place where customers can park their boats right in front of a restaurant!) Every summer, I also go up to 100 Mile House and stay with my grandfather for a couple of weeks. We travel up to Williams Lake and Prince George and go fishing, quading and horseback riding. I love travelling to far-away places. I like seeing the beauties of nature and visiting all the little towns. This picture book by Bouchard brought back all those wonderful memories.



LITERARY ANALYSIS by Maya in grade eight

Citation: Trottier, Maxine. Migrant. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2011.


I could count on this picture book to be entertaining because I have heard of Groundwood Books, the publisher, before and it has a good reputation. The book has also won the Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award by the New York Times and was a Governor General’s Literary Award (Illustration) Finalist.


Migrant shows a main character pattern. It focuses on the story of a young girl, Anna, whose family is always moving between Mexico and Northern Canada. She wonders what it would be like to stay in one place instead of travelling every season. The story tells what this German-speaking child sees and feels about this foreign country. Using a ton of metaphors and similes, the author, Maxine Trottier, compares Anna’s life to different animals and what their lives are like. Anna has trouble staying busy while her family works because she is too young to do anything.


Anna, a little girl whose family travels from Mexico to Canada, feels like a bird who is constantly flying back and forth,  north to south, when the seasons change, She wonders what it world be like to stay in one place. This imaginative picture book, beautifully illustrated, is recommended for readers 4 to 14-years-old.

 Point of View: 3rd Person

  • There are times when Anna feels like a bird.” pg.4
  • “There are moments when she feels like a rabbit.” pg. 8
  • “Anna is too young to work.” pg. 14

 Tense: Present

  • “That is what she is during the day.” pg. 11
  • “Anna is too young to work.” pg. 14
  •  “But fall is here, and the geese are flying away.” pg. 36 

 Literary Excellence:

  • Metaphor:
  • “Her family is a flock of geese beating its way there and back again.” pg. 4
  •  “A bee. That’s what she is during the day.” pg. 11
  •  “At night Anna is a kitten sharing a bed with her sisters…” pg. 15


  • Simile: 
  • “In the other room her brothers are like puppies…” pg. 18
  • “To Anna’s ears it is as though a thousand crickets are all singing a different song.” pg. 26
  • “…their words as spicy as the hottest chilis…” pg. 22
  • “… or as slow and rich as dark molasses.” pg. 22
  •  “…Anna feels like a bird.” pg. 4


  • Length of sentence:
  •  “Dollars. Peas. Meatballs.” pg. 22
  •  “But when no one is watching, she picks a tomato now and again. Just the small ones.” pg. 14
  •  “A bee.” pg. 9


  • Alliteration: 
  • “…blanket that barely covers…” pg. 16
  •  “…sisters by your side…” pg. 15


  • Consonance:
  •  “…growling and nipping…” pg. 16
  • “What would it be like to be a tree…” pg. 28
  •  “…brothers and sisters…” pg. 10


  • Appositive:
  •  “A kitten is a good thing to be, a safe thing, curled there…” pg. 15
  •  “…puppies, growling and nipping in their sleep, fighting over…” pg. 18


  • Repetition:
  • “…dip and rise, dip and rise…” pg. 15


  • Hyperbole: 
  • “To Anna’s ears, it is as though a thousand crickets are all singing a different song.” pg. 25



My connection to Migrant by Maxine Trottier is text to world.  Previously in our Social Studies class, we learned about early human migration. Approximately two million years ago, people started migrating from Africa into Asia and then eventually to the tip of North America and the rest of the world. The main character, Anna, is a young girl who comes from a family of migrant workers from Mexico. According to Trottier, “Low German-speaking Mennonites from Mexico are a unique group of migrants who moved from Canada to Mexico in the 1920s and became an important part of the farming community there.

What is interesting is that I have learned that in our town there are still some local companies that will hire migrant workers for each season. For example, an aerospace facility and some farms have hired seasonal workers to increase their labour force. Unlike Anna, many migrant workers in today’s world are able to apply for permanent residency and create a new life in our country.

In the case of Anna’s family, they travel back and forth from Mexico to Canada, and do not have the living and working conditions usually reserved for residents. This constant lack of stability for Anna has therefore created a lack of a proper childhood — at least one that looks like the one I had — and this book both beautifully illustrates and communicates the hardships of a child of a migrant worker in so few words. 

Analysis of a novel: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Analysis of a novel: The Wager by Donna Jo Napoli

For more examples, type ‘literary analysis’ in the search box.

[This page may be copied for use with students if the following credit is provided: ©2015 Sophie Rosen.]

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