Every month we pick two books to spotlight, one picture book and one chapter book, and put them at 10% off! Check out the Knowledge Tree Blog, on the second week of the month, for a review of these books and some ideas for using them in your home or classroom!
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
by Beatrix Potter
The quintessential cautionary tale, Peter Rabbit warns naughty children about the grave consequences of misbehaving. When Mrs. Rabbit beseeches her four furry children not to go into Mr. McGregor’s garden, the impish Peter naturally takes this as an open invitation to create mischief. He quickly gets in over his head, when he is spotted by farmer McGregor himself. Any child with a spark of sass will find Peter’s adventures remarkably familiar. And they’ll see in Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail that bane of their existence: the “good” sibling who always does the right thing. One earns bread and milk and blackberries for supper, while the obstinate folly of the other warrants medicine and an early bedtime.
In the Classroom:
- The California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom provides a lesson plan focused in reading, writing, and science using Peter Rabbit.
- Making Learning Fun has links to multiple free printouts for Peter Rabbit lessons.
Tales From Alcatraz: Al Capone Does My Shirts
By Gennifer Choldenko
In this appealing novel set in 1935, 12-year-old Moose Flanagan and his family move from Santa Monica to Alcatraz Island where his father gets a job as an electrician at the prison and his mother hopes to send his autistic older sister to a special school in San Francisco. When Natalie is rejected by the school, Moose is unable to play baseball because he must take care of her, and her unorthodox behavior sometimes lands him in hot water. He also comes to grief when he reluctantly goes along with a moneymaking scheme dreamed up by the warden’s pretty but troublesome daughter. Family dilemmas are at the center of the story, but history and setting–including plenty of references to the prison’s most infamous inmate, mob boss Al Capone–play an important part, too. The Flanagan family is believable in the way each member deals with Natalie and her difficulties, and Moose makes a sympathetic main character. The story, told with humor and skill, will fascinate readers with an interest in what it was like for the children of prison guards and other workers to actually grow up on Alcatraz Island.
In the Classroom:
- Penguin Publishing has put out a Classroom Classics booklet to help use and discuss Al Capone Does My Shirts in your classroom.
- Scholastic helps educators by providing a free Discussion Guide of Al Capone Does My Shirts.
- The Al Capone Does My Shirts website provides some ideas for using this book in your classroom.
- Pearson Education has provided a free PDF Teacher Booklet to go along with reading Al Capone Does My Shirts in our classroom.