The Cricket on the Hearth

A Language-Illustrated Classic

By Charles Dickens, Michael Clay Thompson


Class sets 10 or more print books: $12.00 each
Order code: 8632S

The Cricket on the Hearth is the second book in the Dickens Trilogy of language-illustrated classic novels.


The MCT edition of The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens is reproduced in its entirety and includes Michael’s “language illustrations”—close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies. Challenging vocabulary is defined at the bottom of each page.

The Cricket on the Hearth is a short novel that was published in December 1845, two years after A Christmas Carol. It is one of Dickens’s “Christmas stories,” which are five short books that contain strong social and moral messages. Dickens described this novel as “quiet and domestic…innocent and pretty.” It is subdivided into chapters that Dickens sweetly called “Chirps.”

The Cricket on the Hearth was popular when it was first published as a book, and also as a play, about the ideal Victorian family and home. In the story, John Peerybingle, a slow but honest carrier, lives with his young wife Dot, their baby boy, and their nursemaid Tilly Slowboy. A cricket chirps on the hearth and acts as a guardian angel to the family. One day a mysterious elderly stranger comes to visit and takes up lodging at Peerybingle’s house for a few days. The plot becomes a complex love story that is resolved in time for a festive Christmas.


MCT Language Arts Curriculum
The Dickens Trilogy
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
MCT Language Arts, Novels
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