Basil of Baker Street (The Great Mouse Detective) – Books to Read

The Great Mouse Detective - Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus: Review and Activities*This page contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

The Book

Title: Basil of Baker Street
Author: Eve Titus
Age Range: 6-9 years
Grade Level: 1-4

Basil of Baker Street (also known as The Great Mouse Detective) was first published in 1958.  Amazon now carries a republished version, as well as many more in the series. Basil is the star sleuth in this detective novel, with his sidekick Dawson. Both are mice living in the cellar of Sherlock Holmes’s house on Baker Street in London. They are soon approached by Mr. and Mrs. Proudfoot, a pair of mice parents whose young twin girls have gone missing.  Basil is quick on the case as he and Dawson set out to discover what has happened to Agatha and Angela.


My Thoughts

I have always loved a good mystery. The copy I picked up at my local library was titled “Basil of Baker Street.”  It wasn’t until I arrived home that I made the connection between this book and Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective.

This story is such a cute read.  I love how the author made Basil into a mouse version of Sherlock Holmes.  If you have a young detective in your home, this series is sure to entertain.  Some words may be a little more difficult for today’s reader, but it’s an excellent opportunity to grow vocabulary!

Since the twins are kidnapped by strangers, this also provides us as parents and teachers another chance to reinforce who strangers are, what kids can do when approached by a stranger, what steps to take if they are lost, as well as other concepts surrounding this topic.

As a side note, the movie The Great Mouse Detective, does not follow this book; however, the characters are based off the five books in the series.

Resources for Teaching




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Frog and Toad Stories – Books to Read

Today I’m beginning a new series of posts to review and recommend some other animal books you and your kids might enjoy reading. Don’t worry! I will still be writing about the Burgess books, but there are so many wonderful children’s stories about animals that are worthy of sharing. Some of these posts will include classics from years past and some will be more recent publications.  Whether you love certain books from your childhood or are looking for new ones to introduce to your child or in the classroom, I hope to provide you with more ideas to encourage and grow the animal lover in our children’s hearts (as well as our own!).

Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel: Review and Activities*This page contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.

The Book

Title: Frog and Toad Storybook Collection
Author: Arnold Lobel
Age Range: 4-8 years
Grade Level: PreK-3

No doubt you’ve heard of or already own the Frog and Toad books written by Arnold Lobel. This series of four books was republished into a treasury volume in 2013.  The books include: Frog and Toad are Friends, Frog and Toad Together, Days with Frog and Toad, and Frog and Toad All Year (each are also sold separately on Amazon).

Frog and Toad are best friends. Frog is upbeat and optimistic while Toad tends to be grumpier and more of a worrier. The books contain five chapters, each a story about Frog and Toad’s adventures and friendship.  Their days together include things like sledding, gardening, a lost button, swimming, looking for spring, eating cookies, and much more!  Geared toward a younger audience, this series has been a favorite of generations since their original publication in the early 1970’s.

My Thoughts

I absolutely adored these books as a kid and introduced them early to my own kids.  We have the audio version so we can listen in the car on long trips.  They love these stories!

Frog and Toad books include many opportunities to add character trait development into your reading lessons. I’ve mentioned some samples below (italicized words are the names of the chapters):

    • Kindness – The Surprise: Frog secretly rakes up the leaves in Toad’s yard while Toad does the same in Frog’s yard.  By the time they both come back home, the wind has blown all the leaves out of the pile and across their yards again. Each one feels so glad the other will be surprised they won’t have to rake.
    • Orderliness A List: Toad writes a list of all the things he wants to get done that day.
    • Patience – The Garden: Frog and Toad plant some seeds and Toad does all sorts of things to try and make them grow.  With Frog’s help he soon realizes patience was the most important part!
    • Self Control – Cookies: Toad bakes some cookies and shares them with Frog.  Neither of them can stop eating them so they try hiding them in order to avoid temptation.
    • Bravery – Dragons and Giants: Frog and Toad attempt to be brave by going out into the world and experiencing new things.
    • Tidiness – Tomorrow: Toad wants to rest but after realizing that there are many things to clean in his home, he decides it’s best to get them done and not procrastinate.
    • Acceptance/Uniqueness – A Swim: Toad wears a bathing suit to go swimming with Frog but is embarrassed when other animals want to see him in it.  They won’t give up so Toad gets out of the water and they all laugh.  He agrees with them that he does look silly, but by this point he has accepted it.


Resources for Teaching

Frog and Toad Videos for Kids

 

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