The Remarkable Christmas
of the Cobbler’s Sons
It’s Christmas Eve, but there is little cheer and no
holiday feast for the poor cobbler and his three sons.
Then a strange little man comes knocking at their door.
Could he be the legendary goblin king who brings
miracles and magic to one hut every year?
--- Conversation Questions---
(1) Describe your favorite part of the story.
(Follow Up) Tell why this was your favorite part.
(2) Assume you were one of the little boys. Tell how you would feel if
someone came in acting so mean and rude.
(Follow Up) Share a time someone was mean or rude to you.
(3) Imagine how the boys felt when oranges, candy, and money began
falling out of their pockets.
(Follow Up) Recall a time you were surprised by a gift.
(4) Compare your home to the hut of the three boys.
(Follow Up) Do you feel you live better or worse than they do?
(5) Define bulbous.
(Answer) Shaped like a bulb [a bulbous nose].
(Follow Up) Describe the shape of your nose.
(6) List three people the cobbler mended shoes for.
(Answer) Farmer, baker, and butcher.
(Follow Up) List the three things he received in return for his services.
(7) Name the nonsense words the cobbler used to tell what they were
having to eat.
(Answer) Schnitzle, schnotzle, and schnootzle.
(Follow Up) Does your family ever use nonsense words to make something fun?
(8) Tell who will pay the cobbler when he mends the soldier’s boots.
(Answer) A captain or a general.
(Follow Up) Share who pays for your shoes when they tear up.
(9) Search for what the wind whispered of Christmas eve night.
(Answer) Good fires in big chimneys, of the pines on the mountainsides, of snow
loosening and sliding over the glaciers.
(Follow Up) Tell what else the wind does besides whisper.
(10) Find page twelve. Describe what the goblin king looked like.
(Answer) Great peaked hat tied onto his head with deer thongs, round red face, a
bulbous nose, and big ears.
(Follow Up) Describe what you look like.
1. Make a list of the names of the characters in the story.
2. Pretend you are one of the three children and write a short letter to the
goblin king thanking him for his magic gifts.
3. Write a paragraph describing what the little hut looked like.
4. Write a paragraph telling what fell out of the children’s pockets when they
turned upside down.
1. Bring in an old shoe. Ask the children if they know the name for a person
who repairs shoes. Say, “Today we will read about a very poor cobbler, his
three sons, and a Christmas miracle”.
2. Draw a picture of a very poor looking hut. Ask the children if they or their
family have ever been able to help someone poor at Christmas. Say, “Today
we will read about a very poor family and a Christmas miracle”.
3. Copy and color a picture of the goblin king. Ask the children if someone
who looks so mean and grouchy could bring Christmas cheer. Say, “Today
we will read about this goblin king and the poor family he helps at
Book: The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobbler’s Sons
Author: Ruth Sawyer Illustrator: Barbara Cooney
ISBN: 0-14-054916-1 # of Text Pages: 19
Building Oral Vocabulary
8 porridge 12 hospitality 21 cartwheels
6 Tell what you think the dried brush was going to be used for.
11 Guess who was knocking at the door.
14 How do you think the boys will react to the little man taking the quilt?
This resource is made available by KYREADS-Barren County School system, an AmeriCorps program, funded in part by the
Kentucky Commission on Community and Volunteer Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service.