110. Peppe the Lamplighter by Elisa Bartone
Retell: Peppe and his family live in a tenement on Mulberry Street. Though he is just a boy, he must find work to help support his family. After several attempts, he finally finds a job as a lamplighter. His Papa imagines a better world for him in America. He becomes upset with Peppe for taking such a menial job. Though he loves his job, Peppe decides to take a break from it one evening in an effort to please his father. Later that evening both Peppe and his father discover that being the lamplighter isn’t such a bad deal after all
Topics: tenements, New York, child labor, lamplighters, family, perspectives, work
Units of Study: Historical Fiction, Social Issues, Talking and Writing about Texts
Tribes: appreciations/no put-downs
Reading Skills: inference, envisionment, interpretation
Writing Skills: using the ‘rule of three’, angling a story
My Thoughts: What I love about this text, is that it’s short, but inspires the reader to do a lot of good thinking. It’s a fabulous text for Reading and Writing Workshop as well as Social Studies. Using the illustrations, students can envision what New York tenement life was like during the 1800s. Though my students are currently writing Realistic Fiction, I’m planning on reading a section of this book tomorrow to a small group of students. I’m going to teach them how authors often incorporate the ‘rule of three’ when crafting stories (“The Three Little Pigs”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”). In the beginning of the story, Peppe attempts to find a job. The author could have chosen to describe the effort in a figurative way. Instead, she decided to give three examples of where he looked for work: the butcher, the bar, and the candy maker.
Entry filed under: Female Authors, Picture Books. Tags: angling a story, appreciations/no put-downs, child labor, envisionment, family, historical fiction, inference, interpretation, lamplighters, New York, perspectives, rule of three, social issues, talking and writing about texts, tenements, work.