Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'

by Eileen Spinelli

Paperback, 2004



Local notes

R Spi




HarperCollins (2004), Paperback, 32 pages. $5.99.


When calamity stalks every step of the preparations for the Tappletons' Thanksgiving dinner, they realize that there is more to Thanksgiving than turkey and trimmings.

Physical description

32 p.; 10.56 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member patsila
In this story, everyone has a job to do to contribute to the big Thanksgiving meal. But everyone messes up somehow, and instead of coming clean, they try to cover up their mistake and trick everyone else into thinking everything is going just fine. So when they all sit down to Thanksgiving, there
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are a bunch of empty bowls and boxes and then everyone has to come clean about how they messed up their part. There is a nice prayer about how turkeys and dressing aren't the important things in Thanksgiving, but I do wish there had been a bit more focus on how everyone should have just been honest in the beginning.
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LibraryThing member kimbrady
Eileen Spinelli's story describes a series of mishaps leading up to the Tappleton family's big Thanksgiving dinner. The story is light and humorous, but contains deeper themes including the true meaning of Thanksgiving and holiday spirit, and the importance of family. The illustrations by Megan
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Lloyd are very funny and highly colorful and expressive. This is a great story to read as a family during the holiday season, or anytime. The reading level is appropriate for lower to middle elementary. I would recommend this as a good addition to a public library children's collection.
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LibraryThing member SJoachim
A funny tale of all of the things that go wrong while the Tappletons are preparing their Thanksgiving feast. They learn an important lesson about what makes Thanksgiving so special, and it is not the feast that everyone looks forward to.
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
The path to Thanksgiving dinner doesn't run smooth for the Tappleton family in this amusing holiday picture-book, as one disaster after another destroys all of the traditional dishes, from turkey to pies. Although each family member attempts to hide their own role, in failing to produce the
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expected delicacies, when everyone sits down to dinner, the truth is revealed. Then Grandmother Tappleton steps in with her blessing, reminding the family what Thanksgiving is supposed to really be about...

Although I do understand some of the online criticism I have read of Thanksgiving at the Tappletons' - it mostly centers around the lying the family does, after each mishap - I have to say that I had a different interpretation. It is an unfortunate reality that many people panic, after having made a mistake, or done something wrong, and attempt to cover it up. If anything, the story here demonstrates that such efforts are futile in the long run, as whatever one is attempting to hide will inevitably come to light. The humorous treatment of this theme, and the heartwarming resolution, which emphasizes the importance of family rather than feast, makes this an engaging holiday story for me. The artwork by Maryann Cocca-Leffler looks a little old-fashioned (especially the haircuts!), but does capture the humor of the story. I understand that the text of this version, published in 2015, is somewhat edited, and that the artwork, done in 1992, is different from the original 1982, making me curious to see the first edition. I'm not sure I'm curious enough to track it down, but it did make me wonder what changes had been made. Recommended to anyone looking for Thanksgiving picture-books that emphasize family togetherness in a humorous way.
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(19 ratings; 3.4)
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