Eileen Spinelli, Author, Jean Gralley, Author, JoAnn Adinolfi, Illustrator , illus. by JoAnn Adinolfi. Holt $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-6531-2

Hailing from a frenetic family akin to the stars of Spinelli's Thanksgiving at the Tappletons' (noted below), a girl narrator despairs of her relatives' ineptitude as she contrasts her holiday table with that of Abigail Archer: "Their turkey is plump and golden./ Their napkins are made of lace." In puckish mixed-media compositions, Adinolfi (Halloween Hoots and Howls) portrays Abigail's family members dressed to the nines, heads bowed in prayer. With a turn of the page, chaos reigns in the narrator's household: "Our smoke alarm is wailing/ Our turkey, burnt as toast./ Dad spills the gravy down his shirt—/ a less-than-perfect host." Adinolfi shows guests gaping at the smoking turkey in horror as the narrator covers her eyes in shame. But the fun factor is considerably higher at the narrator's: overnight guests camp out in the kitchen, sneak leftovers and take 2:00 a.m. bubble baths, while Abigail's guests sleep uneventfully in private rooms. Readers will likely wonder why Abigail is enviable; the premise begins humorously but ultimately fizzles. Ages 4-7. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/22/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-312-37505-8
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