small text medium text large text

BLAST Elementary
Pete & Pickles

Pete & Pickles
Written by Berkeley Breathed

When Pickles the elephant turns his life upside-down, Pete the pig comes to realize that a perfectly predictable, practical, and uncomplicated life is not always preferable.


Open-Ended Questions

These questions can be used during an interactive read aloud to engage student interest.

  • Is this book fiction or nonfiction? How can you tell? (front cover)
  • Why would Pete reveal where Pickles is hiding? (page 10)
  • How would you describe Pete? (page 11)
  • What changes did Pickles make? How does Pete feel about them? (page 22)
  • Who is Paprika? Why is Pete so mad? (page 32)
  • What do you think the fireman found? (page 40)
  • How did Pete change? What caused him to change? (page 44)

Vocabulary Words

  • Predictable
  • Exhausted


Where is That?

Pete and Pickles "visited" places all over the world; Niagara Falls, Switzerland, Tahiti, Venice, Moscow, Tuscany, even Pluto! Break your students into groups and give each group a location from the story. Challenge the groups to find a picture of their location and to do a little research on it. The groups can share the information they find with the class and the pictures can become part of a world map bulletin board.

Cartoon Adventure

Berkeley Breathed got his start writing cartoons for newspapers and is probably best known for his work featuring Opus the Penguin and Bill the Cat. And, this story was inspired by a sketch that Berkeley's daughter did when she was 5 years old. Why not let your students have a little cartoon fun of their own? Discuss with your students all the imaginative journeys Pete and Pickles went on in the story. Brainstorm ideas for other fun trips Pete and Pickles can go on. Give each student their own comic strip outline with three or four story squares. Let them have fun creating their own cartoon adventure for the two characters. When they are all finished, you can compile them in a "Cartoon Collection" book.


Journal Questions

  • Draw a picture about something that could never happen in real life. Use your imagination! Include a caption describing your picture.
  • Write a fantasy story. Use your imagination!

Extending Books

Other books by Berkeley Breathed

Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster
by Berkely Breathed

After being framed by a jealous poodle, a dachshund is left for dead, but comes back with a group of mutts from the National Last Ditch Dog Depository to distrupt the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show and exact revenge on Cassius the poodle.


Flawed Dogs: The 2004 Catalogue of the Piddleton Dog Pound's Very Available Leftovers
by Berkeley Breathed and the Friends of the Piddleton Pound

"Unpolished gems! One-of-a-kind finds! Some minor blemishes. Presented for your consideration by Heidy Strudelberg: proprietor, Piddleton Dog Pound."


Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big
explained by Fannie Fudwupper; with Berkeley Breathed helping slightly

Edwurd's little sister comes to the rescue when Edwurd's humongous fib lands him in trouble with a three-eyed alien from another galaxy.




Mars Needs Moms!
by Berkeley Breathed

When a disgruntled boy sees his mother being kidnapped by Martians, he realizes he loves her and will go to any lengths to protect her.



Goodnight Opus
by Berkeley Breathedr

When his grandmother reads his favorite book for the 210th time, Opus the penguin departs from the text and gets carried away on a fantastical nighttime journey.