Kid’s Book Corner: Books to be Thankful For In November

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alisonfreebairnsmith90BY JO PERRY

November is a time for the things children cherish most: family, food, affection and tradition. It means preparing the Thanksgiving green-bean casserole that no one really likes exactly the same way it’s always been made, and Aunt Betty’s alien-green Jell-O mold in its place of honor on the table.  What follows are three of my favorites, still deliciously fun after all these years, for your kids and you enjoy together:

hobochixDaniel Pinkwater’s hilarious and sly The Hoboken Chicken Emergency begins when Arthur Bobwicz is told to bring home a turkey for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner. After Arthur searches every shop in Hoboken for a holiday gobbler, he sees a sign posted in an apartment window:


Even though he doesn’t have an appointment, Arthur is desperate for fowl. He buzzes the buzzer and asks if the bathrobe-clad Professor might have a chicken to sell. In exchange for sixteen dollars, the Professor gives Arthur “‘… the best poultry bargain on earth,” a 266 pound super chicken wearing a leash and dog collar. Arthur names her Henrietta and walks her home:

“That night the family had meatloaf, and mashed potatoes, and vegetables for Thanksgiving dinner: Everybody thought it was a good meal. Henrietta especially liked the mashed potatoes, although Poppa warned everybody not to feed her from the table. “I don’t want this chicken to get into the habit of begging,” he said, “and the first time the children forget to feed or walk her out she goes.”

Poppa had decided to let Arthur keep Henrietta. “Every boy should have a chicken,” he said.

The Trolls coverPolly Horvath’s The Trolls is a smart and bittersweet story of what happens when Aunt Sally comes to stay with her two nieces and young nephew while their parents are out of town. The kids soon discover that Sally is fun — she serves fiddlehead ferns, wears lots of makeup, plays games tirelessly, and tells fantastic stories about growing up with their father and their on Vancouver Island. The kids learn about Maud, the killer of eighty cougars, Great Uncle Louis, who urges everyone to chew on sticks for fiber, Mrs. Gunderson, and the Fat Little Mean Girl. But the darkest and most important story concerns Aunt Sally, their father, and the evil Trolls.


I warn you now, Mud Pies and Other Recipes: A Cookbook for Dolls by Marjorie Winslow is out of print, but used copies are available from online booksellers. It’s worth hunting down and cherishing.  With Erik Blegvad’s beautiful illustrations, Winslow offers girls and boys serious irresistible recipes for  “Wood Chip Dip,” “Mud Puddle Soup,”  “Roast Rocks” and “Pine Needle Upside-Down Cake” and other delectable soups, sandwiches, and cakes — all made with leaves, mud, sticks, and other materials found outdoors.

Jo Perry has a Ph.D. in English, taught literature and writing, and worked as a college administrator and as a television writer and producer. She is a reviewer for and is an ongoing contributor to kidsLA Magazine for which she writes about the city, children’s books, and conducts interviews. For two years she wrote the Kids’ Book Club column for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room page.

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.