Friday, November 8, 2013

Thanksgiving With Me by Margaret Willey

Thanksgiving With Me by Margaret Willey, illustrated by Lloyd Bloom

Rating: 3.5 stars

Stockings, tree skirts, lights and holiday wrapping paper already overwhelm me.  We are a few steps into November, but stores are already throwing Christmas at me.  What about Thanksgiving? I want to yell in some effort to fight back.

Thanksgiving is a much simpler holiday; no one is making millions on it.  Everyone defines it a little differently; my definition involves family.  Years ago when my parents were first divorced and I was thousands of miles away at Seattle University, I found new ways to avoid returning home for Thanksgiving.  The "in between" holidays, as my sister and I called the years in between our childhood family that was now gone and the families we'd one day make on our own, were going to be tough.  They were but, thankfully, they are over.

Author Margaret Willey's definition of Thanksgiving must be similar to mine.

In Thanksgiving With Me, she writes of a mother and daughter waiting, not so patiently, for the girl's beloved uncles to arrive and take over the house with joyful chaos.  Willey provides a nice rhyme that lets the mother introduce each of her brothers to the reader, and tells of Thanksgivings past where they ate like wolves and lions and bears.  A feast is required for these hungry men!

Best of all, after dinner, the mother promises her daughter that the "kitchen will quake / the oven will roar / the music will flow / from the window to door!"  Her father will play his banjo and they will dance all evening. Their Thanksgiving promises to be delicious, heart-warming, and downright fun.

Finally, the girl looks out her window and her wait is over.  Her uncles--the life of the party--are here!

This is a sweet book about childhood impatience to see loved ones.  It and a few others are helping us get in the mood for the next holiday--we like to take it one holiday at a time around here and at least attempt to live in the moment while Target unpacks their tinsel!

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