For Katie, nothing compares to Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. There’s an overnight ride to Grandma’s house on the train. There are the aunts and uncles, whom Katie loves to see each year. Most of all, there is Grandma, who stays close to Katie though they live far apart. But a cherished object is broken at dinner, and Katie blames herself for spoiling the day. Then Grandma shows Katie her memory cupboard. And Katie realizes that though we grow attached to our possessions, it is people who really matter. Charlotte ...
For Katie, nothing compares to Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. There’s an overnight ride to Grandma’s house on the train. There are the aunts and uncles, whom Katie loves to see each year. Most of all, there is Grandma, who stays close to Katie though they live far apart. But a cherished object is broken at dinner, and Katie blames herself for spoiling the day. Then Grandma shows Katie her memory cupboard. And Katie realizes that though we grow attached to our possessions, it is people who really matter. Charlotte Herman’s tender story and Ben F. Stahl’s rich paintings make a book that families will treasure.
When Katie breaks a gravy boat at Thanksgiving dinner, her grandmother shows her that love is more important than objects.
When Katie breaks the gravy boat (a childhood gift from Katie's mother to her grandmother) while clearing the Thanksgiving table, her grandmother shows Katie a "memory cupboard" crammed with other meaningful broken objects. Herman's (the Max Malone books) message focuses on forgiveness-stressing that people matter more than things-but the slow, stilted narrative serves only to deliver the moral, not to develop the characters. Stahl (The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh) portrays a certain warmth between Katie and her grandmother, but the other characters look stiff, the compositions static. Ages 6-9. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
How wonderful to see a contemporary book that has a family traveling by train to visit grandma for Thanksgiving. Once there, the family is welcomed by all of their distant relatives. The snow is falling on this Thanksgiving holiday so we can only assume that the setting is in the Midwest or even further west. Grandma keeps track of her young granddaughter's activities and we see the letters and drawing posted in the kitchen. The family has a great time with its traditions and remembrances. One of the items of great interest is the gravy boat with its blue flowers. Katie hears the story of how her mother and uncle broke their piggy banks to buy the gravy boat as a Mother's Day present. Imagine how Katie feels when that gravy boat slips from her fingers and shatters into pieces. Grandma however, shares a secret and readers and Katie learn about the Memory Cupboard and what is really important in a family. The pictures are realistic and contemporary and the story is a warm intergenerational one that should resonate with most kids. 2003, Albert Whitman, Ages 5 to 8.
— Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-A sweet, simple story with a heartwarming message. When Katie visits Grandma for Thanksgiving, she accidentally breaks her cherished gravy boat. As Katie bursts out crying, her grandmother quickly whisks her away to the guest room where she keeps her "memory cupboard," a special place full of beloved things that have become worn out or broken through the years. Each item has a story, and Grandma's loving reassurance comforts the child and allows her to see that things may get broken, but granddaughters are forever. Realistic acrylic illustrations depict a loving family happy to be gathering at Grandma's. A pleasant addition to holiday collections.-Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Charlotte Herman says, “After one of my daughters moved to Israel with her family, I often went to visit them. It was hard for us to be apart from one another, so when I wrote this story I knew just how Abby and her grandmother felt when they were separated.” Charlotte is the author of many books for children, including The Memory Cupboard and My Chocolate Year. She lives in Illinois.
Ben Stahl was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, but now lives with his wife on Prince Edward Island, Canada, in a 150-year-old Victorian farmhouse. He is a self-taught, award-winning artist who is included in The Illustrator in American Art, 1880 to 1980 by Walt and Roger Reed and Who’s Who in American Art. He has illustrated several books for children.