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Pete & Pickles



Last updated Friday, March 6, 2009

Author: Berkeley Breathed
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0399250824
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2009

Synopsis: Pete is a perfectly predictable, practical, uncomplicated pig. At least, he was . . . before a runaway circus elephant named Pickles stampeded into his life, needing a friend. Pickles is larger than life and overflowing with imagination. She takes Pete swan-diving off Niagara Falls. (Sort of.) And sledding down the Matterhorn. (Sort of.) Pete goes along for the wild ride and actually begins to enjoy himself . . . until Pickles goes too far. And Pete tells her she must leave. Yet sometimes the simple life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Note to readers:
•  Vocabulary words: Predictable, practical, uncomplicated, stroll, ridiculous, improved, panicked, disguise, retired, torrent, spewing, high-ground, and refuge.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What are they doing?
•  What are they wearing?
•  Do you think pigs and elephants can be friends?
•  Look at the illustrations carefully. Come up with questions as you read along.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Who was Paprika?
•  Why do you think Pickles ran to Pete?
•  How did the pig save the elephants life?
•  Would you save a stranger’s life? Would you save a friends life?
•  Pickles dreams about going all over the world, what do you dream about?

Craft ideas:
•  Conversation HEARTS: Letters to the Troops and First Family. In response to President Obama's call to service and volunteerism, make valentines to send the Troops or any member of the First Family (President Obama, First Lady Michelle, Sasha, Malia). Have each student write their first name, school and grade on the back of their valentine. Turn the valentines into the Site Coordinators to be sent out following the reading clubs.
•  Braided ribbon bracelet. Take 3 different color ribbons and loosely measure it around your wrist. Add an additional inch then double the length. Cut the ribbon, so it is twice the length when measured around your wrist. Line the ribbons up and fold in half. At the folded end, make a single knot with room for a loop. This loop will be used like a buttonhole for the bracelet. After the knot, start to braid the ribbons together. Make sure to keep the same colors doubled up. To braid, line up the 3 ribbons and number them 1, 2, 3. Bring 3 in between 1 and 2. Then bring 1 between 3 and 2. And 2 between 3 and 1. Then, begin with 3 again and put it between 2 and 1. Then 1 between 2 and 3; 2 between 1 and 3. Continue with this pattern. When you get to the end of the ribbons, tie a secure single knot. Bracelet can now be worn on the wrist by inserting the knot into the loop a couple of times.
•  Mini bouquet. Take a tulle circle and fold in half. Use scissors and make a small snip in the center. Grab mini bouquet of roses and insert into middle of the tulle circle. Take parts of the tulle circle and pull it towards the bouquet, giving it a scrunched look. Do this all around the mini bouquet and fasten with a ribbon. Make sure to tie the ribbon tightly and it can be finished off with a simple bow
•  Make a Valentines Day card for your best friend, your teacher, your mother and father.
•  Make a bouquet of 3 dimensional flowers. Cut out several circles of different sizes. Using one circle make 5 slits (pie slices) but do NOT cut into the middle. Leave room for the middle. Fold the slices up and glue a smaller different colored circle in the middle. For another type of flower, cut 15+ slits around the circle then do the same with another colored circle (the same size). Glue the cut circles together and fold up the skinny slits so you can see both colors. Glue the flowers to popsicle sticks, piper cleaners or thick strips of paper (you can make the strips by folding a piece of paper several times).

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!