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Mr. Putter & Tabby Make a Wish



Last updated Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Author: Cynthia Rylant and Arthur Howard
Date of Publication: 2006
ISBN: 015205443X
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2009

Synopsis: In the 14th adventure in the series, the bumbling yet endearing Mr. Putter wants to celebrate his birthday even though he thinks he's too old for such things. He calls to invite his good friend and neighbor Mrs. Teaberry to tea, and she keeps him waiting in order to surprise him with an enormous cake with dozens of candles, balloons, and a model-airplane kit. Mr. Putter enjoys the surprise and proclaims it was worth the wait. Howard's pencil, watercolor, and gouache illustrations continue to capture the feelings and emotions of the characters, especially as Mr. Putter impatiently waits for his guest to arrive. The humor in the illustrations as well as in the text will keep readers glued to the pages. The story is great for reluctant readers since the chapter-book format, short sentences, and mix of illustrations and text per page are perfectly balanced.

Note to readers:
•  Vocabulary: company, dozens, enormous, impatient

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever forgotten an important day?
•  What was the best gift you’ve ever given? What about the best gift you’ve ever received?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why does Mr. Putter have so many candles?
•  Do you think you’ll ever outgrow your birthday?
•  How do you think Mr. Putter feels when he waits for Mrs. Teaberry?
•  Have you ever wanted to say something, but you didn’t because it wasn’t polite?
•  Do you have to celebrate your birthday on the day of your birthday?
•  How long would you have to wait for your next birthday?
•  When you blow out birthday candles, what do you wish for?
•  Do you write thank-you notes?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Birthday Cake With as Many Candles You Can Fit: Cut out the shape of the cake separately and decorate it with frosting, sprinkles and other fun designs. Cut out short strips for candles and attach as many as you want or can fit!
•  Make a Mother’s Day card and draw or cut out all the things your mom likes—flowers, pretty dresses, shoes, butterflies…. You can also draw things you and your mom like to do.
•  Make a Pop Up Birthday/Mother’s Day Card: Take a piece of construction paper and cut in half “hamburger” style. Fold each piece in half to form a card shape. Take one of the halves and make 2 cuts two inches apart on the folded edge. Fold down to create a crease. Open the half and push out the cuts to form a “table”. Glue this half to the other half of construction paper. (For fun, have the kids share their paper to they glue different colors together) You can cut the “table” half slightly smaller than the other half to create a colorful edge. Cut out a birthday cake shape, party hat shape, happy face shape or any other “pop up” you want and glue to the side of the “table”.
•  Make a Party Hat to Celebrate Reading to Kid's 10th Anniversary: Take construction paper and make into a cone shape by taking the two ends and slight rolling it into an ice cream cone. Make sure to leave a small hole at the top, so streamers can be inserted. Streamers can be made by cutting strips of construction paper and rolling them with a pencil to make a curl. Glue or tape streamers to the top of the hat. Then, cut out shapes or draw to decorate party hat. Also, cut out the numbers 1 and 0 to be glued onto the hat. Lastly, poke holes onto the bottom sides of the hat and string yarn through it.

*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!