Big Bob and the Thanksgiving Potatoes

Book review by
Wesley Sharpe, Common Sense Media
Big Bob and the Thanksgiving Potatoes Book Poster Image
Funny story regardless of the season.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Bob and Gloria deliberately fool their teacher.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that amusingly childish pictures and simple, if somewhat stilted language convey an entertaining story.

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What's the story?

Second-graders Big Bob and Big Gloria are best friends. When their teacher asks the class to make turkey decorations for Thanksgiving, Big Bob and Big Gloria tell him they are vegetarians. His response? \"Make Thanksgiving potatoes.\" Although written around a Thanksgiving theme, kids often want to read this funny, intelligent story, regardless of the season.


Is it any good?

In this funny, thought-provoking story, Bob mentions many disadvantages of being big that young readers may not have thought of, including the mean things other kids say. Author Daniel Pinkwater writes with humor and feeling, conveying Bob's difficulties in a way that will bring out children's empathy. Because Bob tells the story in first person, some readers may identify with him and learn to understand how he feels.

As a read-aloud, repetition and an odd avoidance of contractions sometimes make the language awkward, but most children reading to themselves will hardly notice. Jill Pinkwater's pictures are deceptively simple and have the look of something a talented child might draw. BIG BOB AND THE THANKSGIVING POTATOES encourages fluent and independent reading, and the book's excellent suggestions for helping your child before, during, and after reading the story will help you make the most of the experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about being different from the group. Bob stands out from his classmates because of his size and because he's vegetarian. Do you sometimes feel like the odd one out? How does that make you feel?

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