The Pea Patch Jig Picture Book Activities

Picture Books

Let us read and let us dance—two amusements that will never do any harm to the world. —Voltaire

Introduce children to gardening, adventure, humor and more, while connecting to literature.  Get the kids excited about reading with The Pea Patch Jig  Book extension activities.

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The Pea Patch Jig Picture Book Activities

Standard topics:

  • Behaving/Misbehaving
  • Gardening/Farming
  • Exploring new situations
  • Humor


  • To explore what it means to misbehave.
  • To show students how plants grow.
  • To present the concept of being brave and going on an adventure.
  • To connect literature with humor.

The Pea Patch Jig Picture Book Activities

The PeaPatch Jig is one of my new favorite books! I have been reading it to the kids at work and they all love the book. One child was having a tantrum (I wouldn’t let her eat paint.) so I went to the other side of the room and started reading The Pea Patch Jig. By the second page, she had stopped crying. By the third page, she came to sit next to me and by the fourth page she had completely forgotten her distress and was fully engaged.

Background Information on The Pea Patch Jig by Thacher Hurd

This beloved classic is finally back in print to be enjoyed by a new generation of eager readers

“Where the pole beans climb, where the tomatoes grow fat, where the onions smell sweet and the corn is yellow as the summer sun, that’s the garden of Clem — Farmer Clem.” So begins this story about Baby Mouse, a tiny mouse who loves to go exploring in the garden. But watch out! You never know what might happen when Baby climbs into a head of lettuce or up a tomato plant, or when there’s a fox on the prowl. These are some of the ingredients of The Pea Patch Jig — a book as refreshing as a summer evening in Vermont.

“Colorful, lively, funny, original.” — Starred Review, School Library Journal

“Lively visual humor, luminous color and a sure sense of design bring the simple text to vibrant life.”

— Kirkus

While you read The Pea Patch Jig:

  • Ask questions; sample questions are below.
  • Discuss what it means to misbehave.
  • Ask how it would feel to be the farmer, the parents, Baby Mouse.
  • Ask the children to point out different parts of the illustrations.
  • Have the children count how many vegetables they see in the pictures.
  • Have the children predict what will happen next.

Discussion Questions to Encourage Comprehension and Critical Thinking Skills:

  • What does a farmer do?
  • Why doesn’t Farmer Clem know the Mouse family shares his garden?
  • What is a Midsummer Party? Have you ever celebrated Midsummer?
  • What happened when Baby Mouse climbed into the lettuce?
  • What do you think would happen if Farmer Clem noticed that Baby Mouse was in the lettuce?
  • Is Baby Mouse behaving?
  • What would happen to you if you left the house and went outside by yourself?
  • What does the fox want to do? What does Baby Mouse do to stop the fox?

The Pea Patch Jig Picture Book Activities:

Additional Resources for The Pea Patch Jig Picture Book Activities:

Thacher Hurd is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including Mama Don’t Allow, Art Dog, and Mystery on the Docks. His most recent book is Bongo Fishing, his first middle-grade novel, a warm, funny trip around the galaxy with two friendly aliens from the Pleiades. Among many other honors, he has received a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and a New York Times Best Illustrated Award. He lives in Berkeley, California

Images and information about The Pea Patch Jig used with permission from Creston Books


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