Always Room for One More: Thanksgiving Graces by Mark Moulton
AND THE DINNER TABLE'S SET.
THE HOUSE FEELS WARM AND COZY,
THOUGH NO GUESTS HAVE COME BY YET.
But just wait. Mom and Grandma are busy slicing and stirring in the kitchen, and a boy and girl are adding some colorful gourds and tiny pumpkins to the table decorations, and the house has a quiet but expectant feel about it. Then Dad bursts in with a surprise guest. "Here's Charlie!" he says, ushering their old friend in to a big welcome. Brother fetches another chair for the table. Charlie has something to give to the feast as he agrees to join them:
“I WILL, ON ONE CONDITION.
YOU LET ME WASH THE POTS AND PANS
AND TIDY UP THE KITCHEN!”
As Charlie rolls up his sleeves and suds up the cooking utensils, there’s an energetic knock at the door. It’s Jim, home from college, with a dorm buddy in tow. But no sooner are they welcomed than an aunt from out of town and her son arrive with a a bouquet of fall flowers for the table.
“LOOKS LIKE WE’LL NEED A FEW MORE CHAIRS!”
GRANDMA SAYS WITH A WINK.
“AND MAYBE ONE MORE TABLE IS IN ORDER,
DON’T YOU THINK?”
But before the seats are matched to present company, the phone rings. It’s Bonnie, asking if she can bring along her mother and her cousin.
The little sister looks worried. Grandma is not too busy to notice.
“WILL THERE BE ENOUGH?” SHE WHISPERS.
“THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT SEEMS TO WORK.
THE MORE YOU LOVE AND CARE,
THE MORE THERE ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE
FOR EVERYONE TO SHARE.”
There’s always room for one more at the Thanksgiving table in Mark Moulton’s THANKSGIVING GRACES (Ideals, 2011). Moulton’s straightforward rhymes and artist’s Rockwellian illustrations, done up in proper autumnal palette, give this story of a modern family recreating the first thanksgiving feast’s unexpected guests puts the idea of joining together in thankfulness in a context that even youngsters can appreciate. Pair this one with Eve Bunting's classic tale of the Thanksgiving table, A Turkey for Thanksgiving, for a look at the true meaning of gathering together in thanksgiving.