07 December 2008

Cranberry Thanksgiving

Who Owns the Sun was a timely choice for the election, kind of by accident. Cranberry Thanksgiving, by Wende and Harry Devlin, was our choice for the weeks around Thanksgiving by design. I am beginning to suspect that all of the books in this series are going to be morality tales. The lesson from this one was, in essence, not to judge people by appearances.

The girls enjoyed this book for the story and the language. They liked the phrase, "Too many whiskers and not enough soap!" that the grandmother used to describe the old tar that Maggie invites to their Thanksgiving dinner. Grandmother asks Mr. Horace, a lonely city slicker who smells of lavender, to join them. Guess who steals the recipe for Grandmother's famous cranberry bread?

The authors provided us with that recipe, no theft necessary, and it provided us with the chance to talk about halves and quarters. TJ gets the concept, but I have to phrase my questions just right. Asking one half plus one half doesn't work for her yet. "If I give you half a cookie, and then I give you the other half, how many cookies did you eat?" That one she knows. That one little PJ knows! To think that I never liked word problems.

We visited my parents one day during our Cranberry Thanksgiving experience. Without my prompting, the girls used the toys in my old Sesame Street Little People playhouse to act out the story. TJ used a lot of the dialog word for word from the story as she played. That was neat to see.

The cranberry bread recipe at the center of the story is a good one. It is a quick bread that verges on being a cake. I suppose I could post it here if there is interest. Grandmother won't mind, as long as I give her credit.

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