A gentle rhyme scheme and a palette that brings to mind folk art shape a nostalgic and rather sentimental view of the holiday.
The narrator is one of the small boys of the featured household, and he, with his red hair and russet waistcoat, is in every frame. Each family member has a task. Daddy fills the wood stove, Mama prepares the turkey, Brother bastes it, Grandpa makes the cranberry sauce, and so on. All of the activity is related in an easy, pleasing rhyme. “Sister, knead the rising dough. / Punch it down, then watch it grow. / Line your loaves up in a row. / Sister, knead the dough.” The narrator assists wherever he can, though he needs Grandpa to hold him up to stir the berries, and it is his idea to make Pilgrim hats for place mats. While the clothing and kitchen items evoke the Victorian era, this is meant more as memory or imagination than history. One might quibble that a family this well-to-do would probably have had servants doing much of the cooking, that the menfolk would very likely have left the cooking duties to the women, and that the dog and cat who also figure in most of the scenes might not have gotten along quite so well (or been so present in the kitchen).
It may be a romantic view, but it is nevertheless a very appealing one. (Picture book. 4-7)