Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Grandma and the Pirates

Gilman, Phoebe (Author/Illustrator)
Scholastic Canada 2012. 32 pages
First published: 1990
ISBN: 9781443113083 (paperback)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

“Yo, ho! Yum, yum! We smell noodles! We want some.” The troubles begin for Grandma, Oliver and Melissa when hungry pirates kidnap them from their cozy home by the sea. Playful language sets a jaunty tone for this fairly lengthy high-seas adventure: “It might have been fun, if only the pirates hadn’t been so mean and nasty. . . .”

Illustrations depict the band of buccaneers with cartoonish glee, while the little family is rendered more subtly, in softer hues. Settings are beautifully detailed—whether down in the ship’s hold, where snoring pirates lie in hammocks, or high among the ropes, with Melissa and the parrot looking out over billowing seas.

Young readers will appreciate Melissa’s resourceful thinking when, after several foiled escapes, she concocts a plan to steal the ship. A two-page spread shows the deceived pirates digging for non-existent treasure on a bristly little island, while their ship departs under full sail. “The pirates dug a lot of holes in Boola Boola before they noticed . . . .” Altogether this book offers a fun, family adventure story.

  •  

    What is noodle pudding (a.k.a. kugel)? What ingredients might you need? Create your own noodle pudding recipe.

  •  

    Discuss how Melissa outsmarted the pirates. Why were they so easily fooled? What do you think Grandma and Melissa will do now that they have control of the ship? What would you do if you were in charge of the ship? Write a journal entry about your return home.

  •  

    Imagine you are stranded on the island. How do you survive? How could you get off the island? Write a story or log from a pirate's perspective. 

  •  

    What could Grandma and Melissa do to avoid being captured by pirates in the future?

  •  

    Write the plot elements on cards. Mix and re-sequence them. 

  •  

    Discuss the physical and personality traits of the characters. Refer to the book to complete a graphic organizer for a character of your choice.

  •  

    Talk with a partner about your own grandmother and the one in the story. Compare them using a Venn diagram. Present your comparison to classmates using a cooperative inside-outside circle format.

  •  

    List pirate vocabulary from the text. Scan other pirate books for additional words. Practise saying them in a pirate’s tone of voice. 

  •  

    In groups, dramatize the story to retell it to others. Find props and use the correct pronunciation and intonation to express your character’s personality.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To solve problems
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Drama
  • Ethics and Religious Culture