A big, bustling family gathers at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house in the country for a Thanksgiving feast. Everyone’s busy, companionably pitching in to help prepare. But the youngest of all, a small boy, feels left out. The adults scoot him away from sharp knives and the hot oven, and the bigger kids tell him to go out and play while they work.
Luckily, Grandpa notices the child’s dejection and invites him on a ramble to find chestnuts for roasting. They return home triumphantly, greeted with glad cries by all.
This empathetic little story is told with great simplicity and naturalness, and Catherine Stock’s watercolors radiate plenty of family warmth and seasonal coziness.
Thanksgiving Treat is one of six holiday stories in a series by Stock called The Festive Year, designed to help very young children enjoy the sometimes-overwhelming celebrations and deal with normal anxieties. I expected the books to be earnestly utilitarian. Instead, they succeed as pleasant, reassuring stories in their own right, their charm heightened by the lovely and not too saccharine illustrations. B+