Mr. Peabody's Apples

's apples

"Mr. Peabody's Apples takes place in 1949 in Happville, USA. Mr. Peabody is the beloved elementary school teacher and baseball coach, who one day finds himself ostracized when rumors spread through the small town. Mr. Peabody silences the gossip with an unforgettable and poignant lesson about how we must choose our words carefully to avoid causing harm to others.

Madonna dedicates Mr. Peabody's Apples to teachers everywhere."---from the publisher

40 pages                       9780670058839                         Ages 4-9

Keywords:  rumors, reputation, gossip, getting along, Character Building Curriculum, power of words, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old, teachers, communication, respecting others, understanding others, assumptions


Mr. Peabody, a beloved history teacher and baseball coach, is spotted taking an apple without paying for it one day by a quiet student named Tommy.  After Tommy sees his teacher take apples again and again without paying for them, he becomes concerned and he tells others what he has seen.  The gossip spreads quickly.  The power of the words begins to do its ugly work. Another student, Billy, confronts Mr. Peabody about the apples and discovers the real story.  But the damage done by the gossip, by not taking the time to find out that things are not always what they seem, that damage.... is done and cannot be undone.

Recommended by: Barb Langridge,


Inspired by a story about the damage than can be caused by spreading rumors about what one sees rather than by seeking truth, credited to Baal Shem Tov - "Master of the Good Name."---from the publisher

Editor's note:  Inspired by a 300-year old, Ukrainian folktale; Also credited to Hassidic master Baal Shem Tov

Lesson idea:

"This reminds me of a lesson I saw a teacher give with a tube of toothpaste. She told students that the toothpaste was their words and then she said mean and hateful things that kids often say as she squeezed the toothpaste out on her hand. Then she talked about how she couldn't put the toothpaste back into the tube and how they needed to be careful with their words because once the words are said you can't take them back. It was a powerful lesson and it would pair nicely with this book."---from Monica on Goodreads

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