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Author: Spinelli, Eileen
Two families--one that is perfect and one that is far from it--celebrate Thanksgiving in their own loving ways.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.50
Points: .5 Quiz: 73457
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.80
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 35436
Common Core Standards
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Craft & Structure
Grade K → Reading → RL Literature → K.RL Integration of Knowledge & Ideas
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 1 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 1.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 2 → Reading → RL Reading Literature → 2.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 2 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/03)
School Library Journal (09/03)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (11/03)
Full Text Reviews:
Bulletin for the Center... - 11/01/2003 Let’s face it, most of our holiday feasts resemble a Norman Rockwell painting about as much as a real turkey resembles one drawn around a kindergartner’s handprint. This is precisely the visual joke that runs through Spinelli’s quatrains highlighting the differences between Abigail Archer’s family holiday and the narrator’s. Thanksgiving at the Archers’ is perfect: “Their turkey is plump and golden./ Their napkins are made of lace.” Not so the narrator’s: “Our smoke alarm is wailing./ Our turkey, burnt as toast.” Of course, the comparisons become comically hyperbolic; one doubts even the perfect Archers live up to such press as “Abigail’s older cousins/ read books in velvet chairs./ The younger ones bring favorite toys,/ and everybody shares.” Nonetheless, the contrasts are funny and recognizable enough even for small children, even though they may miss some of the irony. The jaunty rhymes beg to be read aloud, and the energetic collage illustrations add to the chaos and situate the story on the narrator’s end of things rather than the Archer’s. Rich fall colors predominate, and the paper turkey and the real turkey turn up at odd moments, showing a kind of solidarity despite differences. Indeed, the narrator predictably but wisely points out that families can be “ultra-perfect” in the love department, even if their whipped cream is not perfectly swirled or they call their peas legumes. Thematically similar to Smith’s Turkey Monster Thanksgiving, reviewed above, but for a younger audience, this is a fine holiday treat for kids of messies and Marthas alike. - Copyright 2003 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2003 PreS-Gr 3-In this tale of two Thanksgivings, a young girl compares her own family's chaotic and less-than-genteel holiday celebration with that of another family, which "is perfect in every way." At that house, "Abigail Archer's father/serves white meat all around./Everyone takes dainty bites,/and no one makes a sound," while at her own home, "My grandpa chews the gizzards./My brother chomps the wings./My sister slurps. My uncle burps./And Aunt Clarissa sings." The jaunty, rhyming text continues to reveal the many contrasts between the two clans, until the final page, when the narrator points out one important similarity, highlighting "-just how loving/our different families are." Combining gouache, colored pencil, and collage, the mixed-media artwork extends the humor of the story. The child-friendly tone is set on the title page, which shows a close-up of the girl's arms, one hand tracing the other with a crayon. The resulting hand turkey, finished off with feathers and features, runs through the pages, taking part in the action and making sly comments. Whether reflecting the serenity at one household or the chaos at the other, the vivid double-page artwork is filled with action and energy. Colorfully clothed characters, vibrant backgrounds, and almost touchable textures make each page fresh and appealing. Filled with warm humor and taking a fresh approach, this title is the perfect antidote to ho-hum holiday books.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. - Copyright 2003 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.