A kid’s perspective on Thanksgiving Day points out all the inconveniences of the holiday.
Emily Ann counts her woes instead of her blessings on this particular Thanksgiving: Her brother’s mean, her sister’s interested only in makeup and magazines, everyone is too busy with preparations to play with her, and visiting, snoring Grandpa takes her bed, relegating her to the floor. So, the devious Emily Ann decides to play a prank that will get everyone’s attention. Just as she is enacting her plan, a comment from her mother about what she perceives as Emily Ann’s helpfulness unrealistically causes a complete turnabout in Emily Ann’s attitude. “And there in that room, / Emily Ann saw the truth. / Her family had come together; / from Uncle Mark to little Ruth….And she was a piece of it, / from her top to her toes. // They really didn’t matter, all her Thanksgiving woes.” Johnston’s verses sometimes sacrifice ease of reading for the rhyme scheme and meter, but the shortness of the text is good for younger listeners. Brantley-Newton’s illustrations capture the familiar sights of a family Thanksgiving, though Emily Ann’s facial expressions are rather static.
While there are few books that even mention kids’ complaints about the November holiday, the majority of Thanksgiving-themed books address gratitude much more meaningfully (and realistically). (Picture book. 3-5)