Thanksgiving dinner is fraught with potential for humiliation.
Roiling with indignation, an 8-year-old flower- and sequin-bedecked girl fumes at being made to sit with babies and toddlers at a separate holiday table laden with sippy cups, plastic dinnerware, and diners who carouse with their dishes and gloppy food. In sometimes-amusing but clunky verse that doesn’t scan well, the child argues her case for a seat among the grown-ups, itemizing all that she knows how to do. Scansion isn’t the only casualty: Ostensibly for the purpose of mining some not-very-humorous comic moments, the author sends internal logic on holiday, too. Would it not have occurred to anyone that an 8-year-old might balk at sitting with much-younger children? Would parents of such small fry not help their little ones eat or supervise their table time? All is resolved when the offended child’s mother gently explains that her daughter need only have expressed her desires beforehand. When finally invited to eat with the adults, the girl has a grand time, assists with cleanup and farewells afterward, and realizes things weren’t so bad after all. The colorful, energetic illustrations, embellished with emphatic display types that match the irate white girl’s protests, are expressive and feature secondary characters of diverse skin tones, ages, and sizes (final art not seen).
While making a point and playing up a scenario that’s probably familiar in some households, this doesn’t earn a place at the head of the table. (Picture book. 5-8)