I admitted in my last post that most Thanksgiving books do not appeal to me but here is one more city-based holiday book to seek out.
In the opening pages of Joy Cowley's Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey, Miguel and his family head out to the train station to pick up a package his father has sent to him. As soon as you read "There was a large box with holes in it. Through one of the holes poked a head with a beak and eyes," you cannot help but roll your eyes at such a ridiculously unrealistic gift for a city boy, but you also laugh because you just know nothing but amusing trouble can come from such a set-up. Although livestock and the city are not always a good match, Miguel's turkey quickly becomes part of the community. As you might imagine, Miguel grows increasingly distressed as others speak of "Gracias," as Miguel has named his friend, and "ovens" in the same sentence. How will this ever be resolved? I found myself pleasantly surprised and amused at the mode of Gracias' rescue. Joe Cepeda's vibrant oil paint illustrations convey are appealing and I like his surprising use of color: purple stoops, pink fences, green and blue buildings are eye-catching but don't seem at all out of place.
Don't worry, all the big Thanksgiving themes are present: family, gratitude, community, celebration, the Macy's parade and poultry. Still, no pilgrims.
The few Spanish words in the text don't interfere with with the understanding of the text, most of them will be familiar anyway, but there is a glossary in the back, just in case.
Big Kid says: I don't think I want a pet turkey.
Little Kid says: Gobble Gobble!