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Charlie and the Christmas Kitty (Charlie the Ranch Dog)

Last updated Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Author: Ree Drummond
Illustrator: Diane deGroat
Date of Publication: 2012
ISBN: 0061996572
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2014

Synopsis: In this hilarious follow-up to the New York Times bestselling picture book Charlie the Ranch Dog, Ree Drummond—the Pioneer Woman herself—delivers a story about getting into the holiday spirit and finding the good in all. Even though Charlie may not have put a kitty on his Christmas list, he learns that if you keep an open heart, new friends can come in unexpected packages.

Note to readers:
•  Please note this book may not be as challenging as other books for 3rd grade (remember, your enthusiasm helps the kids enjoy the book). You could also read a prize book, spend more time talking about the holidays and make more elaborate crafts.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  1. How do you celebrate the holidays?
•  2. What makes you most excited when you think about Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa)?
•  3. Does your family have any special traditions for the winter and the December holidays?
•  4. Do you have more than one pet? Are they friends?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  1. Why do you think Charlie was upset about having a new pet in the house?
•  2. Do you have a little sibling that won't stop bothering you like the little kitty?
•  3. Charlie's family seems to enjoy decorating the Christmas tree, do you have a Christmas tree? Do you help decorate yours? What are your favorite ornaments?

Craft ideas:
•  Make an origami tree (see pics & instructions at ) Decorate the tree with colorful ornaments. Add little sequins & pom pons, if available in extra craft box.
•  Make a Snowy Christmas Tree Ornament. Cut out two tree shapes from construction paper or other stiff/thick paper. Make a wide trunk Take one tree and with scissors, cut a line from the truck half way up the tree. With the other tree, cut a line from the top half way down. Interlock the trees together to form a 3 three dimensional tree. Poke a hole on the top of a tree and attach string/ornament hook. Take string, or cotton and glue to the tree for a snowy effect. Add or draw ornaments or other decorative items to make a decorated Christmas tree.
•  Make candy cane ornaments: twist red & white (or other colors) together, then bend a curve on top. Add red & white plastic beads to the ends.
•  For pictures, more craft ideas, and directions visit:

*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!