Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit

Thompson, Emma (Author)
Taylor, Eleanor (Illustrator)
Penguin Random House 2013. 70 pages + 1 CD
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780723276944 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

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:

“After upsetting a third bowl of mincemeat on the sandy floor, [Peter] was sent to his aunt’s to fetch a cup of suet.” The language in this charming story recalls the humorous spirit of the original Beatrix Potter tales. In this new version, Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny decide to save their friend William Turkey from becoming Christmas dinner. “‘We’ll hide him,’ resolved Peter. ‘Good idea,’ said Benjamin, admiringly.”

The Potter spirit remains strong in the watercolour illustrations, but with less detailed line work and more expressiveness. In one image, Mrs. McGregor scowls as she pokes a bemused Farmer McGregor. “‘How in the world could anyone mislay a turkey that size?’ she shrieked.” The next image shows her hat rack, with feathered hats clustered around the hiding turkey’s tail.

Final images show cozy family scenes of Christmas dinner with the Rabbit family and bedtime for Peter and Benjamin. An afterword includes a photo of the real William Turkey and a website where readers may visit him.

  •  Browse a few pages of the book, looking closely at the characters and setting. Make predictions about the plot based on the illustrations. Reflect on and revise these predictions as you read.
  •  Make note of unusual vocabulary as you read. Make inferences about what the unfamiliar words might mean. Use resources to confirm or revise your inferences.
  •  

    Listen to the accompanying CD reading. In a group, make up a sequel to the story, in the same style, featuring William escaping being eaten at a different holiday meal. Make and share a recording of your story.

  •  

    As you listen to the accompanying CD, without looking at the picture book, imagine the story and sketch the storyline. Compare your version to that of a few partners. Add in missing details or readjust your understanding. Discuss what helped you understand and where the misunderstandings occurred.

  •  

    On a picture walk, discuss the setting and characters. Discuss how your understanding changed when you could see the illustrations.

  •  

    Explore the text for unusual words (uppity, mincemeat, fetch, suet, etc.) and add them to a class list. Discuss ways of finding their meanings. Guess their meanings from the context, then look up the words. Compare the two.

  •  

    Dramatize and present the story through a Reader’s Theatre or scripted skit.

  • To use information
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Drama
  • Visual Arts