Diane Goode's pen-and-ink drawings spin out like ragtime, each squiggle denoting a rustle of silk or a whoop or whisper. One can imagine a child reading this book with a relative, picking out favorite characters -- what about the kids under the table? The boy who turns cartwheels? What happened to the aunt who was passing the cakes?
Youngsters will want to visit Goode's (When I Was Young in the Mountains) holiday table again and again, for some of the best Thanksgiving fare in many seasons. From the 4:00 a.m. alarm that wakes Grandma and Grandpa on the title page to the pair kicking off their shoes after the last guest has left, the lively couple strikes the perfect balance between hosts and team captains. Grandpa in his bow tie and suspenders and red-headed Grandma in heels and apron greet narrator Maggie and her family (Maggie's auburn-haired Mom is clearly the blood relation) and put them to work in the kitchen ("We all love to cook at Thanksgiving"). The happy hubbub unfolds through kinetic vignettes of the guests' arrival (the families wear color-coordinated outfits, for easy tracking) and everyone pitches in, building to a horizontal spread of mismatched tables and chairs where "we all have a place." Other visual subplots include a stray dog who joins the fray and finds its owner by the end, and a gift from one of the guests (clues to its contents appear throughout) presented in the penultimate spread. This tale bursts with the bounteous food and festivity that define the holiday. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
At Grandma and Grandpa's house the turkey goes in the oven when the sun comes up. Ding dong! The doorbell begins to ring. Everyone has come to help—Mom and Pop, Maggie and baby Jack and uncles and aunts and lots of cousins. Peel potatoes, roll out dough, move the piano and the sofa because "we need lots of room at Thanksgiving." All the tables are pushed together to make one big table with mismatched chairs all around—"but we don't mind. We all have a place at the table." Cranberries pop and cornbread sizzles while everyone yakkety-yaks until it is time for dinner. After giving thanks and unfolding napkins "we eat till we're full at Thanksgiving." Everyone clears and washes and dries dishes. And after naps and walks and much more yakkety-yakking, everyone hurries back to the table for pie. "...we're never too full for dessert." When the sun goes down, everyone kisses goodbye and tells Grandma and Grandpa not to worry. "We'll be back." Delightfully detailed watercolor-and-ink illustrations invite readers to take another look at this noisy, active family. This is a celebration of family and, as the author states, "a family is something worth celebrating." 2003, Harper Collins Publishers, Ages 4 to 7.
Anita Barnes Lowen
K-Gr 3-An appealing account of a family gathering with wonderfully warm illustrations. Grandma and Grandpa prepare for a Thanksgiving celebration and each ring of the doorbell brings a crew of happy, hungry relatives, awaiting their hugs. The pet bird and cat seem eager to join in the fun. After everyone helps with the preparations, Grandma rings the dinner bell and all convene for a memorable holiday. The humorously detailed, pen-and-ink and watercolor, cartoon artwork is exuberant, mischievous, and full of surprises. This Thanksgiving book has something for everyone.-Andrea Tarr, Corona Public Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A large extended family comes together at Grandma's house for an old-fashioned Thanksgiving. Everyone helps with the cooking, the eating, and the cleanup. There is just as much noise as there is dialogue and it's all incorporated into the text of this predictable little story. The swirling text of differing size might be a little confusing to read aloud, but small audiences will enjoy coming up with the stories behind the family's actions and expressions. Goode's signature watercolor-and-ink illustrations are full of drama, mystery, and delight as the family comes together for dinner, again for dessert, and then parts until next year. Sure to please families of any size at harvest season. (Picture book. 3-6)