Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving for Toddlers (copy)

It is Turkey Time!
Have you thought about books to prepare your toddlers for the event? As they sit around the kiddie table being teased by the older kids, they may lack the understanding of the event. Why all the food? Why am I stuck here at this table and not with mom and dad? What is this red stuff in a perfect circle on my plate? Why does grandpa rush to his easy chair and sleep through football? Why are all the women in the kitchen and the men in the den?

I pulled some children’s books to share with you in hopes that some time will be spent in preparation for the event. This is the Turkey by Abby Levine and illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye explains the day through rhyme.

The book opens with, “This is the turkey to shout about! And Max is the one who picked it out.” Max, our main character, is old enough now to comprehend Thanksgiving for the first time. He is a lucky little boy. He and the rest of the younger members are allowed to sit at the grown up table. There they all join hands and bless with, “This is the thanks for all that’s good: home and family and friends and food.”

In The Perfect Thanksgiving by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi, a family comparison is made by our little unnamed narrator and her friend Abigail Archer.

Speaking of Abigail’s home our friend says, “Their turkey is plump and golden. Their napkins are made of lace. Their table is lit with candles. They all hold hands for grace.” She then says about her own family, “Our smoke alarm is wailing. Our turkey, burnt as toast. Dad spills the gravy down his shirt—a less-than-perfect host.”

Percy Isaac Gifford has all the rules little ones need to make it through their first Thanksgiving. In Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman and illustrated by Teresa Murfin, we find Percy very helpful. He says, “The first thing you should know: moms like to set a mood. They like to control everything from your clothing to the food.”

I leave you with a picture book that begs you to grab the kids and cozy into a soft chair. Saving Grace: A Prayer of Thanksgiving written by Virginia Kroll and illustrated by Timothy Ladwig, tells the story of pioneer prayer. The author claims that mealtime blessings originated in North America with the early settlers. That is a nice thought.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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