The Perfect Thanksgiving

 
(i)

 

Thanksgiving isn't about having the "perfect" day.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
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Language
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this story has a clear moral: that the success of a holiday celebration depends more on what you feel than on what you see (or taste).

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What's the story?

On alternating pages, the young narrator, along with two talking turkeys (one "real" and the other a cutout finger turkey), compare her own family's Thanksgiving celebration with that of her friend Abigail Archer's family. Abigail's family is quiet, polite, and formal, while the narrator's is loud, rather wild, and informal. Abigail's mother serves homemade pies with fancy whipped cream swirls, while the narrator's mother serves store-bought pie and jello mold with no whipped cream. Admittedly quite different in style, both families are loving and kind, so the narrator gives them both marks of "ultra perfect."

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Is one family's way of celebrating a holiday better than another's? The author of this colorful story says no. She compares and contrasts a "perfect" family's Thanksgiving Day with that of a more ragtag crew and finds them to be equally good because of the love that is apparent in each family: It is not the family's style that counts, but the feelings between the family members.

The humorous story is written from the child's point of view and focuses on just the sorts of things that a child might notice. As the young narrator goes down her list of things that are right about Abigail's family and wrong about her own, the reader can tell that she fears that her family will not make the grade. Happily, in the end, she can see beneath the contrasting exteriors of the two families to the close-knit feelings in each. The gouache, colored pencil, and collage art is zany, contemporary, and attractive.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes a holiday meaningful. What's important to you at Thanksgiving? What about the other holidays your family celebrates? How are your friends' celebrations similar to -- or different from -- your own?

Book details

Author:Eileen Spinelli
Illustrator:JoAnn Adinolfi
Genre:Holiday
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Henry Holt & Company, Inc.
Publication date:November 17, 2003
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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