Yesterday I read, Peter’s Place by Sally Grindley–a beautifully illustrated story about a young boy who’s place is his clifftop home above the ocean. He befriends the birds and animals but his world changes when an oil tanker crashes into the cliff one night, spilling the black oil everywhere. The story is filled with great vocabulary–“ravaged cliff face,” “turbulent ocean,” and “snug in their haven.” There are many opportunities to discuss inference and explain figurative language. Here are the segments from the book and a 10 year-old’s responses:
“seals and otters played and feasted on the sea’s riches”
They had a lot of good food in the sea.
The animals were “snug in their haven”
The animals were comfortable in their homes
“Leaving the tanker to fight its own battle”
The tanker couldn’t steer and had to fight the ocean.
“The seal’s once soft gray fur, now matted with oil, could no longer hold in its body’s warmth.” He will get cold, sick or maybe die.
“A guillemot plucked furiously at its matted feathers, poisoning itself.”
He is poisoning himself by eating the oil.
Why did the oil keep it from flying?
The oil keeps it from flying because the oil is heavy so the bird can’t fly.
Why is Peter crying?
Because many of his birds can’t fly and he loved the ducks.
“Peter marvels at the birds’ survival.”
He is amazed how the birds stayed alive through the oil spill.
“Between the rocks are ugly black scars that can never be washed away.”
Between the rocks, there is some oil that they can’t get off and it reminds them of what happened.
Compare Compare before and after the oil spill:
· Before the spill, the birds flew easily and after the spill the birds couldn’t fly because the oil got into the feathers and it would be heavy to fly
· Before the spill, the cliff was pretty and after the spill, the cliff was ravaged with oil
· Before the spill, the sky was nice and cool and after the spill, the sky was dark
· Before the spill, the water was calm and blue, pink and purple. After the spill, the water had oil in it and it was pitch black
· Before the spill, Peter enjoyed the free time with the birds, calling to them. After the spill, Peter was anxious because his favorite place was ravaged.
· Before the spill, people were fishing but after the spill, people were saving birds and animals
· Before the spill, the tanker was way out in the far ocean and after the spill, the tanker was up close and destroyed
Summarize the whole book:
This book is about a boy who loved a place which got destroyed by a tanker and oil spill and how he saved many bird’s lives.