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Magical Adventures with Baking, Cats, and a Touch of Traveling Like Mary Poppins in a Delightful Chapter Book

Updated on July 10, 2018
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Delightful Adventures with Miss Petitfour and Her Sixteen Cats

Come along for magical adventures that are just like everyday happenings.
Come along for magical adventures that are just like everyday happenings. | Source

Baking, Cats, and a Touch of Flying Just Like Mary Poppins

Anne Michaels' The Adventures of Miss Petitfour is a delightful chapter book full of magical adventures with baking, cats, and a tablecloth that is used for flying when the wind is just right. Miss Petitfour has sixteen cats that share her adventures and are treasured by her as companions. The cats share Miss Petitfour's interest in books, arts and crafts, and of course the trips they take through the air with the tablecloth. And the tea parties are the best with tea, marmalade, and chocolate eclairs. The second adventure takes place with a fantastic adventure with a garage sale. Read along with the third adventure created with a special stamp. Who knew that a stamp collecton could spark a magical adventure? A birthday celebration and the beginning of autumn, Miss Petitfour's favorite season, round out the final chapters about two last adventures. By the way, the cats love autumn too.

Anne Michaels writes with delightful descriptions of her characters. The stories in each chapter are filled with wonderul choices of words that paint a picture of each character that is involved in the adventure. The stories will spark an interest in learning new vocabulary for young readers. Michaels highlights special words in orange print. She also introduces the term "digression" and words that help to teach this concept are highlighted in green throughout each story. She also includes some variety of word classifications that can take the story in another direction. How about some scary words like "tidal wave, turricane, and volcano"? The definition of "coincidences" are highlighted in pink print. Michales offers the opportunity to explore all of these uses for words in each story chapter. Young readers will want to add these words to writing assignments that they receive in school.

Emma Block contributes her talent as an illustrator to this delightful book. The pastel illustrations add a special touch to the book. The Adventures of Miss Petitfour was published by Tundra Books, a division of Penguin/Random House. It is recommended for young readers ages 8-12. It has an ISBN of 978-1-77049-500-5.

Illustrations Done in Pastels are a Delightful Addition to Miss Petitfour's Adventures

Wow!  Sixteen cats!
Wow! Sixteen cats! | Source
Tablecloth flying-a touch of Mary Poppins travel
Tablecloth flying-a touch of Mary Poppins travel | Source
Adventure at the garage sale
Adventure at the garage sale | Source
Storytime with the cats
Storytime with the cats | Source
Picnic tea time
Picnic tea time | Source
Time for flying home
Time for flying home | Source

Lessons Galore with Miss Petitfour

Anne Michaels' The Adventures of Miss Petitfour is a great book for teachers to use in their classroom if they teach English or reading classes to young readers in the later elementary or early junior high grades. Each chapter story offers opportunities for a variety of fun lessons to enhance the book. Writing assignments can also be a part of lessons after reading the stories. Each chapter can stand alone with opportunities for lessons.

*Read a chapter each day in a group reading session. Older children enjoy hearing their teacher read aloud in class and each chapter can stand alone. Children might also like to read the book as a whole for assigned projects.

*Magical vocabulary lessons are a part of this book that children will really love. Learning new vocabulary words does not have to be boring if teachers use the techniques that Michaels uses in her tales of adventures with Miss Petitfour. The first story introduces the term "digression". Michaels highlights special vocabulary words in a variety of colors that are easily noticed throughout each chapter. She enhances the new word with examples in the same highlighted color throughout the stories. Children will easily pick up this concept of learning new vocabulary words. They won't even realize that they are learning vobaculary when they read each adventure and come upon the highlighted words and definitions. Michaels includes a wealth of examples in each chapter adventure.

*The adventure with the special stamp presents a side opportunity to introduce the hobby of stamp collecting. Michaels would classify this opportunity as a "digression". Do students collect stamps? This adventure with Miss Petitfour might spark interest in stamp collecting.

*The final adventure with the beginning of autumn presents an opportunity to use imagination to perk up everyday activities. Miss Petitfour believes in creating adventures to make even toothbrushing exciting. Read the final chapter and offer students the opportunity use their imagination in a writing assignment about their least favorite activity that they must do every single day. How can they make this activity an adventure?

Chapter Books for Young Readers

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© 2018 Cindy Hewitt


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