SYLVIE Written and illustrated by Sylvie Kantorovitz (Walker Books US; $24.99, Ages 9-12)…
LITTLE CRITTER: JUST A SPECIAL THANKSGIVING
Written and Illustrated by Mercer Mayer
(Harper Festival; $4.99, Ages 4-7)
One of the very first picture books I ever bought for my son was by Mercer Mayer. I love Little Critter’s character: rambunctious, sweet, and fun-loving – someone who kids of all ages can relate to. Much like other series books I enjoy (The Berenstain Bears and the Froggy series), Little Critter’s books give us an opportunity to see the central character in different snippets of life. In Just a Special Thanksgiving, we celebrate the holiday alongside Little Critter and learn that, though Thanksgiving activities and events may not go as planned, realizing the spirit of the holiday is what matters.
From the get-go we feel that exciting sense of “Thanksgiving is in the air.” In the classroom, Little Critter and his friends are drawing pilgrims and turkeys. When school is out, he must rush home to change into his turkey costume for the Thanksgiving play. While you can probably guess what his lines are, poor Little Critter forgets them and opts to sing a song.
At the “big Thanksgiving Day Parade” early next morning more surprises from Little Critter are in store for all participants. Tired from marching, our hero hops on a float proudly waving to his parents who, along with law enforcement and other parade goers, have become quite irate by his actions.
I love how Little Critter’s innocence tugs on our heartstrings and how blissfully unaware he is of the commotion his actions cause. What’s even more touching is the way he tries to “right” his wrongs (particularly in the scenes at the grocery store) which lead to even more disaster. Kids will enjoy the humor implicit in Little Critter’s goof-ups. At the same time, parents will be reminded that, no matter how bad things may seem, our children’s intentions are good; their hearts are in the right place. Little Critter’s excitement with helping cook and serve the meal at the community center reminds us what’s at the heart of the Thanksgiving holiday.
A great book to curl up with your little one-perhaps while the turkey is roasting in the oven! (Includes 20 stickers).
- Reviewed by Armineh Manookian
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