It is the week of Thanksgiving in the U.S. and I am delighted to discover this new, old-fashioned Thanksgiving story. Written by the author of one of my favorites from a few years ago, Sophie’s Squash, and illustrated by the same person who created the beloved Little Blue Truck; this is a beautifully crafted story about preparations, food, and family. Warm your heart this Thanksgiving with Sharing the Bread by Pat Zietlow Miller & Jill McElmurry, 2015.
Beginning with the mother, each spread gives instruction to a member of the family of how to prepare the Thanksgiving meal. From Mother and Father, Sister and Brother, grandparents, Auntie and Uncle, all the way down to the baby, everyone has a job to do to “baste, boil, bake” and “mash, top, pour” so that all will be fed.
The text is written in a rhyming, repetitive way, adding an even more comforting and soothing tone to the commands and the feel of the book. The narrator is the little boy of the bunch who fancies himself the manager of the preparations and gives the final call to the table when the meal is set. His job is making pilgrim hat table mats, the only part that makes me cringe given the concerns about historical accuracy in Thanksgiving decor. Perhaps it is an activity particular to the era being portrayed here, but I do wish it had been rethought.
The color palette is marvelously earthy and autumnal. I find the choice of time period very interesting. I would actually love to see a version of this book done as a companion with modern day attire. It would be so interesting to see each task interpreted visually into a current Western household.
But I digress. And I recognize that I have never been one drawn to this particular time period, but I can appreciate its representation and beauty here.
Thanksgiving is a time of family, gratitude, and sharing a feast. This book celebrates quite beautifully the team effort of a holiday gathering and the overflowing hearts that put such amazing spreads together for their loved ones.
I hope your Thanksgiving week is low-stress and full of warm kitchens and abounding in family. I think the heart of this book is perfect for the meals we gather for: “Grateful to be warm and fed, we will share the bread.”