The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter written and illustrated by Randa Handler


The true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has just been announced as a holiday in the US and eight-year-old little American-Japanese girl Takari is very excited. Her father is still in Japan however, all her other relatives in America are coming over and Takari wants to help her mother with the preparations. 

They have in America her Grandma Toshi’s very special platter, which is traditionally used for the celebration. Takari’s  mom explains to her all about the Japanese Thanksgiving day which has a different name Kinro Kansha no Hi. Little Takari wants to help, and her mother reluctantly agrees, however, an accident happens and her mother is very angry so she goes to play with her friend Little Sparrow.

When Takari, and Ruffles her dog arrive at his house they find him making cornmeal, which he tells her he is making in the traditional Wampanoag Indian way, with a wooden pestle and mortar, just as it was made it at time of first Thanksgiving. Sadly, she tells him all about her accident and his father offers to help her.

The children make cornbread together discussing their different ways of celebrating Thanksgiving, and then Takari discovers that Little Sparrow is taking the cornbread to the Veterans Hospital. Thanksgiving is about helping others as well as giving thanks for what you have, he explains to her, and so she joins him and discovers for herself the pleasure which can be gained by helping others.

This is a lovely multi cultural story with bright illustrations. The author has managed to gently open children’s eyes to the wider world, teaching them not only about the history behind American Thanksgiving Day but also explaining that many countries around the world celebrate their own kind of Thanksgiving days, perhaps with different names, but they all have nearly the same meaning.

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and Barnes & Noble here

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