Picture Book: Historical


Pig on the Titanic

Bibliographic information:

Crew, G. & Whatley, B.(2005). Pig on the Titanic. Harper Collins Publisher

Plot description:

Maxixe the musical pig tells its story of its adventure aboard the Titanic and how it was able to comfort the children during the tragedy. Maxixe was a good luck gift for a passenger Edith Rosenbaum who was a fashion buyer headed to Paris. The end page of the book gives an Authors note supplying more information about the book being based on actual events on the Titanic.

Quantitative Reading Level:

Suggested age: 5-8

Lexile: 200L-400L

Qualitative Reading Analysis:


Chronological order, first person point of view of Maxixe from the moment it is received as a gift to the end when they are rescued.

Language demands:

The pronunciation of Maxixe. “The maxixe (Mah-sheesh) and many other pronunciations” and “It is said that the maxixe fad was launced the same year as the Titanic and lasted about as long.” https://socialdance.stanford.edu/Syllabi/maxixe.htm

Also the pronunciation of some of the French words.

Knowledge demands:

The outcome of the Titanic and how not many people survived.


To inform younger readers about the events of the Titanic, to share lesser known stories of its passengers and items that aided them until they were rescued.

 This title does match the suggested quantitative level since the language and vocabulary is appropriate and the pictures are interesting to keep readers focused on seeing the outcome. The focus is not the loss of life it is alluded to however it is about Maxixe being a comfort.

Content Area:

Social Science, History of Titanic

Content Area Standard:

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Informational Text

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Curriculum suggestions:

Pig on the Titanic can be  great introduction to the history and what happened to the Titanic and a spring board of underwater exploration of artifacts, research about passengers on the Titanic. Also looking at the French terms and the origin of Maxixe’s name. Many classroom activities for the Titanic or if a student is interested specifically in this topic this may spark an way to narrow down such a large subject.

Links to supporting digital content:



“Students draft, edit, and publish a newspaper article on the Titanic after researching the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “why.” http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/summing-disaster

Artifacts-“The students will become familiar with artifacts as they relate to shipwrecks, specifically the Titanic.” http://www.cbv.ns.ca/sstudies/titanic/lessons/les5.htm


Historical Fiction, Picture book


Titanic, survivors, artifacts, passengers

 Character names/descriptions:

Maxixe-the good luck white musical box pig, main character, readers at first may think the pig is real yet it is revealed that Maxixe plays music when its tail is wound. The gender of Maxixe is neutral.

Edith Rosenbaum was a famous fashion buyer traveling to Paris who got Maxixe as a gift from her mother.


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