Reading Passage 11 – Kiki Flies to the Sea ANSWERS

Keywords: Year 4+, fiction, 8 MCQs, 3 short answer questions, 11 questions overall, late 20th century literature, children’s literature, fantasy, 1 page.

Recommended time: 15 minutes.

(Kiki’s Delivery Service, Eiko Kadono, translated by Emily Balistrieri, pages 26-27.)

Kiki is a 13-year-old witch who has begun a journey to find a new town to live. She flies on her broomstick with her cat Jiji.

“Hurry up and decide which way we’re going,” Jiji prodded behind her.

“Umm…” Kiki looked in all four directions, flustered. “South, I want to go south. I heard that if you keep going south you eventually reach the sea, and I want to see the sea at least once. Is that all right with you, Jiji?”

“Am I allowed to say no?”

“Please don’t,” she yelled, and shook the broom a bit.

“Then why ask me at all?” Jiji huffed. “Anyway, I’m begging you not to mess this up. We’re looking for a town, not the sea, remember.”

“Yes, I understand that. OK, south, south…” She looked here and there, then sighed with relief. “Got it! It’s this way. The moon is on my left, so there’s no mistake.”

With a whistle she accelerated, flying faster and faster. The wind blowing past her grew stronger, and the bristles of her broom sounded like a running river. Now and then she saw a scattering of lights between the dark mountains. Sometimes she came upon grey-coloured fields, but that didn’t happen very often. Mostly it was mountain after mountain.

Kiki flew on and on. Faintly, the eastern sky began to grow lighter. Then bright light spread rapidly, chasing the darkness away, and the world that had been grey and navy burst into all sorts of colours. The hills were carpeted in the gentle greens of spring and looked light enough to float into the air. Pointy, rocky mountain peaks gleamed dewily. Kiki’s heart pounded – she was impressed that a single ray of sun could make the world this beautiful.

Answers

  1. Where does Kiki need to go?

a) The sea

b) A new town

c) A grey-coloured field

d) A mountain

2. Fill in the gaps. Kiki wants to see the ___________, while Jiji wants to ______________.

a) new town, find a new town

b) sea, make sure Kiki finds a town

c) sea, make sure Kiki finds the sea

d) ocean, make sure Kiki finds the sea

3. Which of these is an example of a simile?

a) “Looked light enough to float into the air”

b) “Chasing the darkness away”

c) “The bristles of her broom sounded like a running river”

d) “The eastern sky grew lighter”

4. Why does Kiki decide to fly south?

a) There will be fewer mountains and grey-coloured fields if she flies south

b) She is flustered and doesn’t know which other way to go

c) Jiji is annoyed with Kiki and makes her fly south

d) She heard once that if you keep going south, you’ll reach the sea

5. Look at this quote from the passage: “Pointy, rocky mountain peaks gleamed dewily.” Which one of these sentences could replace this quote without changing its meaning?

a) Sharp, rocky mountain tops shined with dew.

b) Dewey mountain tops glowed pointily.

c) Spiky, rocky mountain peaks glowed.

d) Shiny mountain peaks pointed rockily.

6. Arrange these statements in order of how they happen in the passage.

D, B, C then A.

  • A: The sun rises and makes everything beautiful and light.
  • B: Jiji reminds Kiki that she needs to find a new town, not the sea.
  • C: Kiki begins to fly her broom faster.
  • D: Kiki decides to fly south to reach the sea.

7. Which of these adjectives best describe Jiji?

a) Annoyed and lazy.

b) Enthusiastic and mean.

c) Exasperated and honest.

d) Excited and irritated.

8. Explain why you chose your answer for question 7. Provide one quote from the text as evidence for your answer.

The most suitable answer for question 7 is C (‘exasperated and honest’). This is because these adjectives are supported by the text the most. For answer A (‘Annoyed and lazy’), Jiji does seem annoyed with Kiki, but we can’t say that he is lazy just from reading this passage. For answer B (‘Enthusiastic and mean’), you could definitely say that Jiji is a little mean to Kiki, but we don’t see him being enthusiastic. For answer D (‘Excited and irritated’), we can see that he is irritated by Kiki’s love of the sea, but we don’t see him being excited.

Some quotes you could use to support answer C are:

  • “Hurry up and decide which way we’re going,” Jiji prodded behind her.
  • “Then why ask me at all?” Jiji huffed.
  • “Anyway, I’m begging you not to mess this up. We’re looking for a town, not the sea, remember.”

9. Which of these adjectives best describe Kiki?

a) Adventurous and confident.

b) Determined and amazed.

c) Flustered and homesick.

d) Nervous and cautious.

10. Explain why you chose your answer for question 9. Provide one quote from the text as evidence for your answer.

Answer B (‘Determined and amazed’) is the most supported answer for question 9. Answer A isn’t correct because Kiki isn’t very confident in this passage. Answer C is also incorrect, since Kiki never mentions missing her hometown. And while Answer D is a bit correct (Kiki does seem nervous), she isn’t too cautious because she keeps flying faster and faster. Kiki is ‘determined and amazed’ – determined to see the sea and amazed by the scenery.

Some quotes you could use to support answer B are:

  • “South, I want to go south. I heard that if you keep going south you eventually reach the sea, and I want to see the sea at least once.”
  • With a whistle she accelerated, flying faster and faster.
  • Kiki flew on and on.
  • Kiki’s heart pounded – she was impressed that a single ray of sun could make the world this beautiful.

11. Pretend that you’re a witch searching for a new town to call ‘home’. What would your new town need for you to live there? For example, Kiki needs her new town to be near the sea. Write your answer in full sentences.

No correct answer for this one! I would award a mark as long as your answer shows that you definitely thought about what your new town needs. Skipping this question or saying something like ‘I don’t know’ wouldn’t be acceptable.

The original passage and questions are here!

Note: This passage is from Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono, translated to English by Emily Balistrieri. To my knowledge, utilising this passage as a free educational exercise falls under fair use. If not, please let me know. I want to make sure that everything on this website is fair and right. The questions are of my own creation.

Author:

A teaching student whose goal is to become a primary-school teacher! I'm currently working as an English tutor to almost 100 students (they're all wonderful!).

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