Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Peter and the Wolf

Mikolaycak, Charles (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 1986. 32 pages
First published: 1982
ISBN: 9780140506334 (paperback)
Original language: Russian
Book type: Picture Book
Book genre: Folklore

Text Elements:

character, 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
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In this adaptation of the classic fairy tale, Peter inadvertently leaves the farm gate open. A cheerful bird stops to argue with an escaping duck; an observant and hungry cat sees opportunity. Peter is entranced by the scene, but is interrupted by his angry grandfather, who returns him to the safety of the yard. “Peter paid no attention to what his grandfather said. Brave boys like Peter were not afraid of wolves.” Readers will appreciate the plot’s tension between adult caution and childlike impetuosity.

Simple language skillfully creates suspense as a wolf appears, harassing the animals: “no matter how fast the duck tried to run, the wolf ran faster. He came closer . . . and closer . . . .”

Bright images in coloured-pencil effects depict the vibrant patterns of traditional Russian peasant clothing. In straw slippers, Peter creeps out on a branch above the marauding wolf; the coiled rope over his shoulder resembles the rope tying his leggings. In the next image, the wolf, tricked by the little bird and Peter, dangles from the tree branch by his tail. A proud procession is then led by Peter, with Grandfather in the background looking grumpy: “‘And what if Peter had not caught the wolf?’ he said. ‘What then?’”

Courage, audacity and cooperation are lauded in this tale. The wolf paces behind zoo bars; Grandfather hugs Peter close as they walk home.

  •  

    Do a picture walk. How is the setting similar to or different from where you live? What can you infer from the characters’ facial expressions, based on how the illustrator has interpreted them?

  •  Listen to a teacher-selected musical version of the story as you look at the pictures. Discuss how the music makes you feel when you listen to it with the story.
  •  As a class, mime the story as you listen to the musical version, taking on any character you choose. Consider how the way you move matches the music and text. Stop the story periodically, allowing one or two actors to continue. Observe how their interpretations of the characters are the same or different from yours.
  •  

    Line up in the classroom according to how strongly you agree or disagree with Peter's choice to disobey his grandfather. Debate whether Peter did the right thing. If your opinion changes based on the discussion, move along the line to reflect this.

  •  

    Do a picture walk. How is the setting similar or different from where you live? What can you infer about the characters' facial expressions based on how the illustrator has interpreted them?

  •  

    Listen to the read-aloud version of the book. Compare and contrast the read-aloud to the picture walk. What did you perceive differently in the text and the illustrations?

  •  

    Listen to a teacher-selected musical version of the story. Discuss how the instruments and characters are connected. Explore the orchestra setting and the names and sounds of the musical instruments.

  •  Draw a comic strip of the story. Write captions and speech bubbles.
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To solve problems
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Drama
  • Music