This installment finds Moo musing about gratitude on Thanksgiving
morning: "We have so much to be thankful for, and yet I feel a sadness in
the air." When turkeys Zeke and Zack emerge and beg to be hidden in an
oak tree, the seed for the first-ever Thanksgiving tree is planted.
In a less frivolous vein, Robert Merrill Bartlett explains the origins
of the holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in "The
Story of Thanksgiving." Reissued this year with luminous drawings by
Sally Wern Comport, the narrative puts the holiday in the context of a
long tradition of harvest festivals before describing the pilgrims'
Also recently added to library shelves is "Squanto's Journey," Joseph
Bruchac's story about the Patuxet Indian who helped the first New England
colony survive. Geared for children from age 4 through 8, the
fictionalized account reflects the view of a Native American who saved
the pilgrims even as he was losing his family and tribe.
Young readers might follow that up with Kate Waters' "Samuel Eaton's
Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy," a photo-essay told in the first
person in the vernacular of the 1620s. After learning about a 7-year-old
pilgrim boy's first experience at helping with the rye harvest and
persevering despite blisters on his hands, they may come away with
newfound thankfulness for their lives.
When it's time to focus on preparing the holiday repast, cooks will
find recipes for what Bon Appetit editors call "the most important meal
of the year" in "Bon Appetit Holidays." There are three possible
preparations for a turkey, as well as advice on carving and variations on
the turkey theme in this lavishly illustrated volume.
Once all have had their fill, fire up the VCR for "What's Cooking," an
affectionate look at four families (one Hispanic, one Vietnamese, one
African American, one Jewish), all preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
Mercedes Ruehl, Alfre Woodard, Joan Chen, Julianna Margulies, Kyra
Sedgewick and Dennis Haysbert star in this sympathetic portrait of family
conflict and togetherness that underscores the power of connecting with
what really matters this Thanksgiving.
* CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public
Library. This week's column is by Melissa Adams, in collaboration with
June Pilsitz. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by
accessing the catalog at o7 http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org.