It looks like a winter blizzard has snowed out the Melvin family Thanksgiving. But wait! An unexpected visitor and his reindeer friends arrive to save the day-and the holiday. Isidre Mones's slightly retro illustrations enhance the sweet nostalgia of this storybook.
Have you ever thought that Christmas was much too close to Thanksgiving? Here is a story that puts Santa Claus at the Thanksgiving table and as far as the family is concerned, his arrival is none too soon. Joey is responsible, since he mistakenly sends his mother's Thanksgiving grocery list, instead of his own Christmas list, to Santa—before Thanksgiving. Mrs. Melvin is frantic when she cannot find her list, but Mr. Melvin persuades her to wait for their relatives to arrive so she can make another shopping list with their favorite recipes in mind. But when the guests arrive, it starts to snow and does not let up before Thanksgiving Day. Shopping is out of the question. Meanwhile, Joey continues with his favorite pastime—list-making. He lists all the relatives as they arrive and takes notes on what each cousin does best as they play games. He makes a list of the food they have in the house (sardines, peas, beets, pearl onions, etc.) and comforts his mother when she bursts into tears. As they set the table for a make-do meal, the sound of sleigh bells announces the arrival of Santa, who hauls in the Thanksgiving food on Mrs. Melvin's list. With the traditional meal prepared at last, Santa is a most welcome guest at this Merry Thanksgiving feast. The illustrations are brightly-colored and full of activity. Pre-readers and early readers can enjoy this one, along with their holiday-harried parents. The importance of keeping lists is underscored. 2005, HarperFestival/HarperCollins, Ages 3 to 7.
—Carol Raker Collins, Ph.D.
Natasha Wing is the best-selling author of several children's books, including The Night Before Easter, The Night Before Halloween, and The Night Before Kindergarten. She was born in Connecticut and currently lives in California.