Review: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
By Louisa May Alcott (Author), Jody Wheeler (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Ideals Children’s Books (2010)
What to expect: Thanksgiving, Fall, Family, Tradition
Although Transcendentalist author Louisa May Alcott is primarily known as the creator of Jo March, the determined heroine in her classic novel Little Women, she penned over thirty books in her lifetime. Her short story An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving is a heartwarming selection for the holiday season. When the good-natured Barrett family are beginning to make preparations for their Thanksgiving celebration, Mrs. Barrett is called away suddenly to attend to her ailing mother. She puts her eldest daughter Tilly in charge of cooking the feast in her absence. Tilly undertakes this colossal challenge with confidence and the help of her siblings, but fails to pay attention when stuffing the turkey with catnip and neglects to add sugar and salt to the plum pudding. As her little sister Prue is prettily setting the table, her brothers discover a bear coming toward the house. Wielding axes and rifles out the door, the boys are shocked to find Tilly’s sweetheart in disguise. Disaster averted, Mrs. Barrett returns with cousins and aunts and uncles in tow and the happy news that their Grandma is well. The entire family savors the delicious dinner, despite its few shortcomings, and praise Tilly and her siblings for pulling off a Thanksgiving they will always remember. The Barrett family has much to be thankful for- their family and friends, good health, and love and laughter. Old-fashioned or not, you’ll enjoy reading this delightful tale with your family.
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Nicki Richesin is the editor of four anthologies,What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To, and Letting Go of Their Daughters; Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond; Crush: 26 Real-Life Tales of First Love; and The May Queen: Women on Life, Work, and Pulling it all Together in your Thirties. Her anthologies have been excerpted and praised in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, Redbook, Parenting, Cosmopolitan, Bust, Salon, Daily Candy, and Babble.