At the Children's Table: Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Feast by Jane O'Connor
GRANDMA AND GRANDPA ARE HOSTING THANKSGIVING DINNER THIS YEAR!
What's fancier than a fancy dinner? A BANQUET!
Grandma has pulled out all the stops this year--her best china and crystal, sparkling silver and the whitest of white table linens, a giant turkey, her secret dressing and real cranberry sauce that doesn't come out of a can--and Nancy, her fancy-fancying granddaughter is very pleased. Nancy is the oldest of the cousins, and she can't wait to take her seat at that beautiful table to partake of the banquet!
Mais non! Nancy finds herself seated at the children's table, set, oh, woe, with a paper tablecloth, paper plates, and paper napkins!--with all the little cousins, her little sister JoJo and rest of the preschool bunch.
"BUT I'M SO MUCH MORE MATURE THAN JOJO AND MY COUSINS!" I SAY.
"I KNOW," POINTS OUT HER SENSIBLE MOM,"BUT THERE AREN'T ENOUGH CHAIRS AT OUR TABLE."
Nancy tries to be a good sport and tough it out despite her disappointment, eating with her pinkie up and dabbing at her mouth politely after each bite. However, JoJo forgets her manners altogether, puts her napkin on her head, and makes silly faces at the others, causing cousin Arthur to laugh until he spits cranberry juice all over the table. Nancy is appalled. How gouche!
Grandma is not unaware of Nancy's plight, and graciously offers to swap places with her so that she can keep a grandmotherly eye on the little ones, and Nancy gladly takes her place at last at the big table. Despite a little spillage from the gravy boat, Nancy makes it through the dinner with reasonable elegance, while the little kids chow down and finish way before the grownups are done with their second helpings. But Grandma has prepared for that predictable eventuality, too:
NOW EVERYONE AT THE KID'S TABLE IS COLORING WITH NEW CRAYONS AND PADS OF PAPER THAT GRANDMA BOUGHT FOR US. I'M NOT BRAGGING, BUT I AM A VERY TALENTED ARTIST.
"MAY I BE EXCUSED?" I ASK MY MOM. "I'M GOING TO HELP THEM DRAW STUFF."
Nancy can't resist those new art supplies and taking Grandma's place back at the kids' table, soon has everyone busy making turkeys by tracing their hands while the grownups get to enjoy coffee and conversation with their dessert. It's a real family Thanksgiving banquet, and Grandma's table has some new handprint Thanksgiving turkeys to treasure.
Jane O'Connor's newest Nancy holiday treat, Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet (Harper Festival, 2011) is an warm and insightful look at Thanksgiving, with its deep family meaning as well as its gravy spills and cranberry splashes, as Nancy proves that she is the most mature cousin, no matter where she is seated at the Thanksgiving banquet.