Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thankful: Thank You for Thanksgiving by Dandi Daley Mackall

Pumpkin pie is in the air.
Sneak a taste? I wouldn't dare!
Set out fancy silverware!
Hurray. Today's Thanksgiving!

Make name cards--I know how.
I can smell the turkey--Wow!
Shouldn't Grampa be here by now?
Now that it's Thanksgiving?

Leaving Pilgrims and Indians behind for the moment, Dandi Daley Mackall's new-for-the-season Thank You for Thanksgiving turns attention to a child's-eye-view of the day in its role as a special day for the extended family. A young boy savors the sensory experiences of the holiday--cooking aromas wafting through the air while he anticipates the arrival of his whole family.

In the kitchen Mom is singing.
Here they come! Doorbell's ringing!
How much food is Grandma bringing?
Welcome to Thanksgiving.

Cousin Roger's at the door,
Looking taller than before.
Cousin Emma, many more.
Greetings on Thanksgiving.

As the big family crowds around the table, each one, beginning with Gramps, reveals what he or she is most thankful for on that day, and the young narrator begins to worry that there will be nothing left for him to say. His worry increases as each speaker in turn preempts his own thoughts. But inspiration doesn't fail the youngster when his turn comes, as he echoes the simple message of the first Thanksgiving celebration.

Mackall's charming verse pictures the homey excitement of this family-centered holiday, and John Walker's illustrations, with their expressive, Norman-Rockwellesque faces, are as warm and inviting as the smell of roasting turkey in the air. A thoughtful book for sharing at this holiday time.

For slightly younger children, see also Margaret Sutherland's Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks, which also focuses feelingly on what each member of the family has to be thankful for.



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