An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

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A heartwarming story set in rural New Hampshire in the 1800s. As the Thanksgiving Day festivities are beginning, the Bassetts must leave on an emergency. The two eldest children are in charge of the household--they prepare a holiday meal like they've never had before! Full color throughout.

Follows the activities of seven children in nineteenth-century New England as they prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday while Mother is away ...

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An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

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A heartwarming story set in rural New Hampshire in the 1800s. As the Thanksgiving Day festivities are beginning, the Bassetts must leave on an emergency. The two eldest children are in charge of the household--they prepare a holiday meal like they've never had before! Full color throughout.

Follows the activities of seven children in nineteenth-century New England as they prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday while Mother is away caring for Grandmother.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
James Bernardin's illustrations gussy up an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving, which tells of Farmer Bassett and his family: "They were poor in money, but rich in land and love." When Mrs. Bassett learns that her mother has taken ill, Farmer Bassett escorts his wife on the long drive and, with the best of intentions, the older children set about making the holiday meal. Though a few recipes go awry, Bernardin's energetic paintings convey the warmth and love of a shared holiday event. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Mama is suddenly called away to help her sick mother, but the children, headed by oldest daughter Tilly, decide that they can handle the Thanksgiving dinner. After many mishaps, including an encounter with a neighbor boy dressed up in a bearskin, dinner is underway and happily Ma, Pa, and other relatives come to join in. The dinner isn't perfect, but the loving family and joy of being together makes this a perfect story for a family to share. 1995 orig.
Children's Literature
This is how Thanksgiving should be remembered. A soft snow cover, a feast of turkey and a happy, healthy family are all the ingredients for this festive, thankful, homespun holiday. Bernardin's illustrations present Alcott's classic tale in a picture-book format, clearly more attractive and concise than other editions of the story. It is the early to mid 1800s in New Hampshire and Mrs. Bassett is preparing her family's Thanksgiving meal, but is interrupted by someone " . . . comin' up the hill lively!" with news of her mother being very ill. Immediately Farmer Bassett and his wife leave to be with her, leaving the six children home to prepare the meal. Though none have ever cooked before—how difficult could it be? Their mother made meals so easily. When Pa arrives later with Ma, Grandma, Aunt Cathy, Uncle Mose and their children, all is well. (Grandma's illness was just a misunderstanding.) Was the children's first attempt preparing Thanksgiving memorable? You be the judge and make plans to weave this nostalgic story into your holiday traditions. Be sure to try out the recipe for Louisa May Alcott's "Apple Slump" which follows the text: very simple with ingredients probably already in your kitchen, or as a class project. 2005, HarperCollins, Ages 4 to 8.
—Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A picture-book adaptation of a story first told in St. Nicholas magazine in 1881. On a farm in New Hampshire in the 1800s, the Bassett children attempt to make Thanksgiving dinner when their parents are suddenly called away because their grandmother is ill. Tilly forgets to put sugar and salt in the plum pudding. Instead of marjoram and savory, Prue puts catnip and wormwood in the stuffing. The parents soon return along with aunt and uncle and cousins in tow. There was even a mistake about Grandma, who arrives in perfectly fine health. The turkey is inedible, but the apple slump is perfect (recipe included). This is a simple, old-fashioned look at family togetherness during the holiday. The colorful, full-page art is stronger than the story and gives a warm glow to the occasion through Bernardin's use of a golden-colored palette reminiscent of a room filled by the light of a fireplace and candles. However, how many times does this lackluster story need to be re-illustrated? Libraries that own previous renditions such as the one illustrated by Jody Wheeler (Ideals, 1993) or the version with wood engravings by Michael McCurdy (Holiday House, 1989) may not need another.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-A picture-book adaptation of a classic holiday story that retains most of the major elements of the original, including Gram's misunderstood illness, the feigned bear attack, and the sisters' culinary foibles. While the adaptor's changes seem aimed at making the story more accessible to contemporary readers, this pared-down version unfortunately lacks the spirit of Alcott's creation. Dialogue has been edited to make it simpler and more straightforward, but much of the poetry and language of the time has been lost. Also missing are the subtle but realistic details and descriptions that create the sense of the era. Sprightly line-and-wash illustrations complement the theme of good humor and family love. The full-page spreads are framed in country patterned borders, which add to the feeling of nostalgic storytelling. Like the text, the illustrations are adequate, but lack richness and character. Michael McCurdy's version Holiday, 1989 has more of the flavor of the original story, but offers less visual appeal to young children. A serviceable addition.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Newton’s Book News
“Perfect illustrations.”
Rocky Mountain News
“A new version of the classic tale.”
Newton's Book News
“Perfect illustrations.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Wholesome, timely story.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571020536
  • Publisher: Hambleton-Hill Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/20/1995
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.96 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Louisa May Alcott was both an abolitionist and a feminist. She is best known for Little Women (1868), a semi-autobiographical account of her childhood years with her sisters in Concord, Massachusetts. Alcott, unlike Jo, never married: "... because I have fallen in love with so many pretty girls and never once the least bit with any man." She was an advocate of women's suffrage and was the first woman to register to vote in Concord, Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Classic story for the young reader

    Most girls have grown up reading Little Women and possibly other books by famed author, Louisa May Alcott. She wrote beloved tales of life and holds an esteemed place in the hall of famous authors and trail blazers. Today we're going to look at a children's very short adaptation of Miss Alcott's story in picture book form - An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott published by Ideal Books.

    About the book: A sweet and humorous Thanksgiving tale from the beloved author of Little Women. When the Bassett parents are called away in the midst of busy preparations for Thanksgiving dinner, the children are left in the care of their eldest siblings. The spirited young Tilly and Eph, along with their merry band of siblings, decide to forge ahead with a Thanksgiving feast, despite their limited culinary skills. After a haphazard day full of the unintentional use of catnip, a run-in with a questionable bear, and other hijinks, the family is finally able to reunite for a truly old-fashioned good time. Lively watercolors add to the humor and delight of this tale of a Thanksgiving feast that almost wasn't.

    My thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed reading this shortened version of An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving. The illustrations are charming and speak volumes to the character of the individuals in the story - what they are thinking, what they are feeling, and how they are behaving. The artist uses bright bold colors as well as soft hues to bring realism and vibrancy to the story.

    As usual, a tale told by Miss Alcott is a good read at any age. This little book is a good introduction to Miss Alcott's writings for the young reader. Perhaps it will leave them hankering for a more thorough reading of this particular story (see link below) as well as full volumes of Miss Alcott's works.

    I encourage you to get your young child reading the classics and here is a good starting point.

    DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was received and opinions expressed are solely my own. I was not required to render a positive review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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