Thankful: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff) (Junie B. First Grader) by Barbara Park
Herb looked at the board and sighed."I have a feeling Mr. Scary really hates our Thankful List."
May threw back her head. "Of course, he hates our Thankful List! Just look how stupid it is!"
1. CRANBERRY JELLY (SHAPED JUST LIKE THE CAN)
2. EXPLODING BISCUITS (THE KIND THAT COME IN A TUBE)
3. NIPSY DOODLES
4. RAINBOW SPRINKLES
5. TOILET PAPER
"I don't see the problem," I said. "I think we have a nice little assortment there."
Mr. Scary had high hopes that his Room One (the "most creative first graders he's ever had") would be the only first grade ever to win the prize for the best Thankful List. What is it about their suggestions that is making Mr. Scary's face all reddish and maddish and his hair wildish and spriggish? He gets an even funnier look on his face when Sheldon shows him a picture of the turkey he's most thankful for--Larry, year before last's main course, on the platter, just before being devoured. Ever the primary grade optimist, Mr. Scary gives his concept of thankfulness one more shot:
"In our country we're lucky to have freedom," he said. "Freedom is one reason the Pilgrims came to America." He looked around the room. "Did anyone put freedom on your Thankful List?"
Roger stood up. "We're only six," he said. "We don't really have any freedom."
He thought for a second. "I'm not even allowed to cross the street by myself."
Mr. Scary has a pedagogic epiphany. Grownups may not award the prize to his class, but it's an honest list of what first graders are truly thankful for, and in its own way it speaks volumes about what Americans have to be thankful for. Mr. Scary semi-cheerfully adds Snausages (the treat that saved Shirley's dog Stinky's life when they hid his medicine inside them) and Junie B's and May's strangely identical and equally beloved stuffed elephants, Phillip Johnny Bob and Captain Police Sargeant Chuck, to the list on the blackboard.
May, ever the prim would-be teacher's pet, just has to point out that no grown-up judges are going to award the blue ribbon to Room One for that list, but the rest of the class doesn't mind, since the prize is a giant pumpkin pie made by lunch-lady Gladys Glutzman, and they all agree that pumpkin pie is yucky anyway.
But Mr. Scary is in for a surprise--and so is Room One when they actually agree to taste Mrs. Glutzman's prize-winning pastry at the Family Feast, in Barbara Park's long awaited new Junie B. book, Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff) (Junie B. Jones, No. 28) (Random House, 2012), already on its way to best-seller status. Get this Thanksgiving treat while it's hot, in plenty of time for the thankful season, because Mr. Scary's Room One is a real winner, and readers will be thankful for this delish holiday addition to a notable series.