|A Thanksgiving Wish by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by John Thompson.|
Blue Sky Press (an imprint of Scholastic), 1999.
Only one more Thanksgiving title to share with you this year. (See yesterday's and previous years' books.)
A Thanksgiving Wish is a gorgeous picture book. It was published fifteen years ago, but it has such a timeless quality that I was surprised to see it's out of print.
In the story, we meet Amanda, and we learn about her family's Thanksgiving tradition. Every year, Bubbe, her grandmother, works several days to create an entire Thanksgiving feast for her large Jewish family. Everyone crowds into various rooms of Bubbe's small house, enjoying the fabulous made-from-scratch meal. Then at night, Bubbe visits each of her grandchildren one-on-one, offering them a choice of wishbones she has saved over the course of the year. She asks them how big their wish might be. That determines which size wishbone they pull apart.
But this year is different. Bubbe has passed away, and Amanda's family has opted to host the large gathering at their new old house. The family tries to recreate Bubbe's recipes, but they don't give themselves much time.
It's a dreary, rainy Thanksgiving day. Both sets of aunts, uncles, and cousins arrive safely. Dinner isn't ready yet, and everyone is soaked from the rain. Every appliance in the house is running, causing the fuse to go out. There will be no electricity until the hardware store opens the next day.
But there's a knock at the door. An elderly grandmother, Mrs. Yee, has noticed the electricity has gone out. She offers the family the use of her kitchen. When they run out of room there, she takes them to the homes of other neighbors. Amanda's family meets the people in their neighborhood, and they kindly help them finish preparing their feast.
By the time dinner is ready, everyone is too hungry to compare the food to Bubbe's. Mrs. Yee is invited to stay, and everyone has an enjoyable meal, until Amanda starts to cry. She has noticed the wishbone, which reminds her of Bubbe, and the tradition they shared.
The family tells her that it's hers, as she is the youngest and had the fewest years with Bubbe. She misses having Bubbe there to pull apart the bone, but Mrs. Yee offers to act as Grandma in her place.
Amanda admits that her wish cannot come true, as she wished her Bubbe was still alive. Her mother tells her that Bubbe's wish, every year with every grandchild, was that the child should win the larger piece of the bone. After all, what Bubbe wanted most was for her grandchildren's wishes to come true.
While Amanda's Bubbe cannot come back, a new tradition is born. Her family takes over the Thanksgiving hosting and cooking, and Mrs. Yee continues to join them, every year.
How sweet and beautiful and real is that?
I will have my Thanksgiving Thankful Thursday post tomorrow, but in case you don't see it, I'll let you know that I'm thankful for my readers, my blog friends, and for books.
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