by Peggy Parish
Reading Level 1.7
|Setting:||The woods surrounding the home of Minneapolis Simpkin, a little girl who wants a pet very, very badly.|
|Characters:||Minneapolis Simpkin, her mother, and a [monster]|
|Plot:||Minneapolis really, really wants a pet. Her mother does not realize just how badly.|
|Solution:||Minneapolis Simpkin finally gets a pet after her actions make her mother realize that she is not just playing a game.|
|Summary:||Minneapolis Simpkin and her mother are yelling at each other much too often because Minn wants a pet, and her mother won't allow it. One night, Minn takes a walk because she is so upset with her mother. She hears something crying in the woods. It is a baby monster! She takes it home and hides it in the basement. He eats food that is stored in the basement and continues to get bigger and bigger. Mother hears a noise and tells Minn to close the window in the basement. Minn knows it is the monster, but Mother thinks Minn's interest in monsters and her odd behavior is just a game. Minneapolis gets so upset when she tells her mom she brought home a pet monster that she begins to bawl. Mom then realizes that Minn really does need a pet, and they make a deal: if Minn gets rid of the monster, Mother will let her get a real pet.|
|Curriculum Connections:||Pet unit. Many children have pets, but some cannot because of family allergies, because they live somewhere that doesn't allow pets, or for other reasons. This would be a great book to use during a pet unit to help kids understand the many situations in which people live, the needs a pet will have, and the commitment someone must have to take care of a pet properly.|
Ask how many students have pets. Ask how many have dogs, cats, and so on. Be prepared for many hands in the air. The students will all want to talk at the same time and tell you about their beloved pets.
Show the students the cover of the book. Ask them why they think you asked questions about pets since there is a strange looking character on the cover, rather than a dog or cat.
Ask students to do the following exercise: What would it be like if you had to hide your pet and could not let anybody else in the family know about it?
Ask students: Are there such things as monsters? Do you think we have books in the library about monsters? What kind of books would they be, fiction or nonfiction?
Next, go to the computer catalog and, using monster as the keyword, show the students the kind of books that you find.