Gravy Gravitas: Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman
I AM PERRY ISAAC GIFFORD. TODAY'S THANKSGIVING DAY.
THIS IS MY EMPTY STOMACH... THIS IS THE BUFFET.
AND HERE'S A LITTLE SECRET. I'M THE THANKSGIVING PRO.
WHEN IT COMES TO TURKEY DAY, THERE'S NOTHING I DON'T KNOW.
When it comes to Everykid's Guide to Family Feasts, Percy Isaac Gifford is the Man with a Plan. In easy-going bouncy rhymes, Percy guides the modern kid through the etiquette of the day:
WHEN FAMILY OR FRIENDS ARRIVE, YOU HAVE TO BE POLITE!
BUT HERE'S A HELPFUL TIP; IT DOESN'T HAVE TO TAKE ALL NIGHT!
Percy reminds his agemates that getting neatly dressed and greeting the guests with a short "hello" and a smile goes a long way to getting you to the buffet table with charm and grace. "Moms like to set a mood," he counsels, and the sooner we get with that program, the sooner we all get to load our plates.
And don't be picky, Percy points out. There's bound to be a lot of food out there that looks a bit suspicious, but take a taste of it all and you may find your tastebuds' new best friend among the cornucopia of vittles everyone contributes. And be sure to thank the cooks!
And although Percy, like the Pilgrims, knows that the main point of a holiday feast is to feast, he also pontificates just a piddling bit on more than just the cachet of the buffet:
AND WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT, APPRECIATION IS A BIG DEAL.
TODAY'S THE DAY TO SHOW YOU'RE THANKFUL, AND NOT JUST FOR THE MEAL.
IT'S A DAY TO SHOW YOUR LOVED ONES JUST WHAT THEY MEAN TO YOU.
SO BEFORE THANKSGIVING'S OVER, THAT'S SOMETHING YOU MUST DO.
Thanks to her relaxed rhymes and Teresa Murfin's energetic illustrations, Laurie Friedman's Thanksgiving Rules (Carolrhoda, 2009), narrated by its own gourmand of the gravy, goes down as easy as turkey and all the trimmings, slipping in a marinade of manners and taste of gourmet tips with the treats of the Thanksgiving table. Be polite and bring your appetite!