An interview and book giveaway in partnership with Carole P. Roman
The Children’s Book Review
With its focus on celebrating friendship, thoughtfulness, and togetherness, Mrs. Rabbit’s Friendsgiving Dinner is another heartwarming story from award-winning children’s author Carole P. Roman. In this conversation, Carole dishes up plenty of thoughts on family, gratitude, her favorite Thanksgiving foods, and the inspiration for Mrs. Rabbit herself. Read on!
Be sure to checkout the BOOK GIVEAWAY shared at the end of this interview for your chance to win a signed copy of Carole P. Roman’s Mrs. Rabbit’s Friendsgiving and a plush Turkey toy!
What does Thanksgiving mean to you?
I love Thanksgiving. I enjoy the food, the company, and the anticipation of guests coming to share a special meal. I did all of our family holiday dinners for the past forty years and cherished each one of them. It’s funny how the food served over time reflects the changing diets of my family!
Many years ago, when I graduated, I was a substitute teacher and had to make lesson plans to keep the students engaged. One of my favorites was to ask them to write their Thanksgiving menu. When we compared dishes, the other students were able to identify their backgrounds, and it was as fun as it was informative. Based on the dishes, we were able to learn about different cultures and environments that shape them.
What was the inspiration for Mrs. Rabbit and her lonely holiday? Do you think this is something a lot of readers can relate to?
I wrote it when I ate my turkey dinner over a zoom call during COVID. I was alone and missing the companionship of my friends and family. It was a tough time. The excitement of the meal wasn’t the only thing taken during the pandemic. The planning of the menu, buying the supplies, and setting a festive table was canceled by the circumstances.
Mrs. Rabbit is an unusual choice of protagonist for a picture book – her problems are probably more familiar to the grown-ups reading the story! What made you choose to write a story with no child characters at all?
Holidays are about more than food. It’s a time when generations connect. Children learn from older relatives. Stories are handed down. Maybe it’s really a story about making the best of the situation when you can’t change your circumstances. I think both parents and children suffered during the lockdown and faced disappointments. We all had to cope with unprecedented issues.
So, Friendsgiving has become a popular alternative to “Thanksgiving” in the media – what do you think the difference is, and why does Thanksgiving need a new name?
Just the name Thanksgiving conjures family, food, football, and fall weather. What happens when you can’t have that? I heard about Friendsgiving from a friend of mine. She doesn’t see her family and misses the festiveness of the holiday. She organized a Friendsgiving, inviting people with similar circumstances. Maybe there was a fracture in the family, perhaps they live too far away, and lastly, sometimes it just can’t happen. No one should feel alone. We always included people who had nowhere to go during our holidays. After all, I think that must be part of the intent.
Thanksgiving has become controversial in recent years. What message do you have for families who are maybe not sure they want to celebrate Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be politically polarizing or steeped in anyone’s ideology. The approach to celebrating doesn’t have to be dogmatic. Embrace it in ways that change the representation of the holiday. We have a new tradition. Every holiday, no matter what it is, we ask my four grandchildren and children what they are thankful for. We identify what they relate to, and believe me; it’s not history, politics, or religion.
What advice do you have for readers who might like to plan their own Friendsgiving celebration?
Make it fun. Invite each person and ask them to bring a dish that represents their ethnic background. Let it be an exchange of ideas and culture.
What is your favorite Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving recipe?
I love all the leftovers. I squeeze everything into a sandwich and eat it cold the next day. But if I had to pick one thing, it’s the sweet potatoes. No, wait, it’s the stuffing. But I sort of love the cranberry sauce, and then there’s my grandmother’s potato pie. You’ll notice turkey did not make the list.
This story has a slightly different feel to some of your other books, like the joke books or Captain No Beard. What made you decide on a more serious tone for this book?
I seriously wrote it while eating the food delivered from a deli. Ugh.
Can we look forward to more holiday-themed stories in the future?
Oh, Susannah! Things that Go Bump is not about Halloween. It’s about facing your fears, but it does take place right around the end of October. I liked writing about holidays again and maybe there’ll be something next year that will happen and inspire me.
What other Thanksgiving-themed stories would you recommend to readers who want to get into the holiday mood?
I like the book “I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Pie” by Alison Jackson. She’s hilarious. I also like “Turkey Trouble” by Wendi Silvano.
About the Book
Mrs. Rabbit’s Friendsgiving Dinner
Written by Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by Mateya Arkova
Ages 4+ | 34 Pages
Publisher: Chelshire | ISBN-13: 9781950080052
Publisher’s Book Summary: Mrs. Rabbit’s large family is all too busy to come home for their annual holiday dinner.
She is feeling a bit lonely, and out of habit, she prepares a large feast.
To her growing dismay, she realizes she has no one to share it with.
Her doorbell rings, and one by one, her furry forest critter friends ask to join her.
Soon enough, her holiday table is brimming with tasty dishes.
The best part of a holiday dinner, she learns, is not the food but the company that shares it with you.
Buy the Book
Book GiveawayMrs Rabbit’s Friendsgiving Dinner Book Giveaway
About the Author
Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of over fifty children’s books. Whether it’s pirates, princesses, spies, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children of all ages.
Her best-selling book, The Big Book of Silly Jokes for Kids: 800+ Jokes! has reached number one on Amazon in March of 2020 and has remained in the top 200 books since then.
She published Mindfulness for Kids with J. Robin Albertson-Wren.
Carole has co-authored two self-help books. Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing with Julie A. Gerber, and Marketing Indieworld with both Julie A. Gerber and Angela Hausman.
Roman is the CEO of a global transportation company, as well as a practicing medium.
She also writes adult fiction under the name Brit Lunden and has created an anthology of the mythical town of Bulwark, Georgia with a group of indie authors.
Writing is her passion and one of her favorite pastimes. Roman reinvents herself frequently, and her family calls her the ‘mother of reinvention.’ She resides on Long Island, near her children and grandchildren.
For more information, visit http://www.caroleproman.com/.
This interview—Carole P. Roman Discusses Mrs. Rabbit’s Friendsgiving Dinner—was conducted between Carole P. Roman and Dr. Jen Harrison. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Carole P. Roman, Fact Books, Humorous Books, Interactive Books, and Joke Books.
Awesome book with great life lesson!
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I love the idea of Friendsgiving
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Kids would enjoy this book.
Thanks for this chance to everyone involved in the giveaway!
This is a book about friendships and people you care about.
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This book seems like it tells a heartwarming story about friendship.
Carole P. Roman fan!
My daughter would love the turkey.
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this is a book learning about friendship and thanksgiaving time to gether zay would lvoe
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Zay has been to a lot of thankssgiving meals that are full of friends and family sounds like a good book
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Books with lessons help kids learn without them even realizing it.
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Celebrating family is perfect
This sounds like a fun book to share with family and friends.
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Carol P. Roman is a family favorite. My daughter would love this.
would love to win for my cousins
I would love to win this giveaway because this book would be a great addition to my nieces book case! Plus, I am looking forward to reading it to/with her. And I love the cute plush turkey!!
Sydney is in love with the turkey and I like the message in this book
This would make a great gift for my great niece and nephew.
my grands would love it
I would love to have this to read with my grandson!
Hurrah I got the winner’s notification. Thank you!