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The Great Thanksgiving Escape

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  290 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
A hilarious, kid-friendly take on Thanksgiving — full of family, food, and lots of fun!

It’s another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. Gavin expects a long day of boredom and being pestered by distantly related toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it — out of the kids’ room to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn’t so sure, especially when the
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Candlewick Press
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Sep 08, 2014 Shelley rated it liked it
I liked this book--LOVED the "Hall of Aunts". I wish the "Hall of Butts" had been called something else.
Sep 12, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Thanksgiving would be great, if it wasn't for all of the family stuff that goes with it. At least, that's what I used to think as a young child, and finally there's a Thanksgiving book that would have suited me at the age of the main character.
Gavin is left by his parents to play with much younger relatives, and is rescued by his cousin Rhonda. They navigate a series of relative-filled dangerous adventures, while making their own fun.
Delightful stuff, with great illustrations, but may be too sub
Sep 09, 2014 Selena rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile, read-aloud
Alternate title could be "How to Survive A Family Gathering". This one made me LOL! Perfect for those kids that don't quite fit in with the older kids but aren't babies anymore. They have a hard time finding their place in these settings. Best thing to do is "make your own fun" and they do. It was fun for us too.
Oct 18, 2014 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Funny. Love children's books and collect them
- get this from my mom who was a school librarian. Great perspective of Thanksgiving from a child's point of view.
Oct 06, 2014 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
This is a great storytime read!
Traci Bold
Dec 01, 2016 Traci Bold rated it it was amazing
Took me back to my childhood but with a lot of funny exaggeration. I laughed and snickered and hooted while I read this. made me wish my Thanksgivings now were just like what Gavin and Rhonda experienced.

Fun read to have on hand at Thanksgiving time. Author/illustrator gets it just right with the aunts, wall of butts and zombies.

Published by Candlewick Press.

#PB #Thanksgiving
Nov 21, 2016 DeAundra rated it really liked it
This is a great picture book for the holidays. I read it today during storytime the children loved it too. It's funny and is great for narrative study as the reader follows the tale of a young boy and his cousin trying to find some fun on Thanksgiving day. I will definitely read again.
Jarrett Bell
SO FUNNY! I died laughing. Fearing should have chosen a better title, the story's situation is so much more applicable than just to thanksgiving. Fantastic art. Similar style as a whole to "No, David!"
Nov 07, 2016 Lindsay rated it it was ok
Shelves: preschool-read
My four-year-old seemed to think the story was pointless. The "fun" the kids make for themselves at the end is lame and doesn't seem like much fun at all.
Nov 23, 2016 Elaine rated it liked it
Shelves: storytimes
The illustrated ending page is awesome!
Nov 19, 2016 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: pb, 2014
Really fun and relatable.
Adults and older kids will get a kick out of this!
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Nov 28, 2014 Erik This Kid Reviews Books rated it it was amazing
This is a hilarious book, and a great take on the traditional Thanksgiving story. Mr. Fearing has written an amazing book here! I love how Rhonda, using her imagination, crafts a super-thrilling, slightly dangerous (“vicious” wiener guard dogs!) adventure, and takes Gavin along with her! The illustrations are amazing! I like how there are tiny little details through out it. My favorite part has to be the “The Great Wall of Butts” the kids have to navigate around. It’s a good thing to remember ...more
Jun 12, 2015 Lorie rated it really liked it
Gavin knows his Thanksgiving Day will be boring until his cousin Rhonda plans an escape that will lead them to the swings in the back yard. After successfully passing such obstacles as the “Hall of Aunts” and the teenage “Zombies”, they are finally free only to find that it is raining outside!

This is the author’s first picture book that he has both written and illustrated. It has a cleverly executed concept and will be a good addition to any holiday story time for school age kids. The large co
Nov 26, 2014 Becky rated it liked it
How much fun will Gavin have on Thanksgiving at his Grandma's house? More fun that he expected at any rate, in large part due to his cousin, Rhonda. These two sneaky kids team up. The mission: escape the house and actually have some FUN. But it won't be easy. There are obstacles on the path to freedom. And one of those obstacles is "the GREAT WALL OF BUTTS!" There are also zombies to avoid. (Who are the zombies? The teenagers in the basement that are playing video games or on their ...more
Oct 10, 2014 Paula rated it really liked it
It's another Thanksgiving at Grandma's. Gavin expects a long day of boredom and being pestered by distantly related toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it - out of the kids' room to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn't so sure, especially when they encounter vicious guard dogs (in homemade sweaters), a hallway full of overly affectionate aunts, and worse yet, the great wall of butts! Will they manage to avoid the obstacles and find some fun before turkey ...more
Mikayla Baker
Feb 22, 2016 Mikayla Baker rated it really liked it
This book was so cute. The whole family is gathering together for another Thanksgiving feast. Gavin gets put in the room with the little kids. His cousin Rhonda wants to go on an adventure to the swing set. They try to go out the front door, but the dogs were in the way. Next, they come up to the "Hall of Aunts," then they passed the "Hall of Butts." Do they make it out to the swing set to make there own fun?
I loved the illustrations of this book. The expressions on the faces reflected what was
Bailey Forkner
Feb 23, 2016 Bailey Forkner rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! It starts out with a young boy, Gavin, who is not excited at all to go spend Thanksgiving with his crazy family, but his cousin Rhonda soon convinces him to participate in an adventure with her to reach the backyard. It is so good about putting in to words just how fascinating the imagination of children truly is. Normal things such as seeing your family standing in a hall turns into "The Hall of Aunts", which may as well be certain death. Fantastic read for around ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Mindy rated it it was amazing
Gabby and Jasper have had me reading this one over and over all month. It is quite funny and they've even been acting it out themselves, which is absolutely entertaining and adorable. "Oh no! They are going to pinch our cheeks," they yell while diving from room to room. I'd say the mark of a truly great children's story is if it inspires creative and imaginative play, so The Great Thanksgiving Escape deserves a spot among our most favorite children's books.
Sara Bland
Apr 24, 2015 Sara Bland rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
A very comical, wonderfully illustrated, picture book to share with children of many ages. Probably most appropriate for 2nd-3rd grade. This is a hilarious story of two cousins who face many obstacles on their journey to go outside and play during Thanksgiving dinner. Each page is full of fabulous pictures and big words to really emphasize the fun. Definitely one for the holidays! Don't miss out on this mischievous, fun little story!
Karen Johnson
Jan 03, 2015 Karen Johnson rated it it was amazing
What fun. First--this book has great drawings. But the story the drawings tell - ha! That's what makes it great. It's told from the kids' perspective of Thanksgiving. It's all about food and escaping the attention of adults.

Spoiler alert - laugh out loud parts for me were "It's the hall of aunts," and there is a "wall of butts." As I read it I totally recognized my own family in it.

The best part is that stuffy Gavin learns to make his own fun.
Oct 22, 2014 Mary rated it really liked it
Haha! This Thanksgiving book has nothing to do with giving thanks, turkeys, or pilgrims. It's about avoiding family - drooling babies, zombie teenage cousins, cheek-pinching, smooching aunts. Gavin's cousin, Rhonda, encourages him to join her in a great escape to the swing set in the backyard. Kids will laugh at their antics as they try to make their way through the house full of relatives to the safety of the backyard.
I can't wait to read this picture book for story time. The story of two children trying to "escape" the confines of the family celebration is a very funny read. The children will find humor in the attempts and the pictures...I appreciated the age old awkwardness for children of being surrounded by the extended family! A fun read.
Nov 24, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
This is a story we can all relate to about being at a Thanksgiving get together with extended family. I remember having to sit at the "kiddie table" even when I was in high school, so this book brought back memories of that.

I like the message the two protagonists have about sometimes you just have to create your own fun. :-)
Dec 07, 2014 Susie rated it really liked it
There were several laugh out loud pages in this book: the hall of aunts, the wall of butts (watching the football game), and especially the zombies in the basement (teens playing video games) The expressions were great! I was a little disappointed in the end, but I think most readers will identify with part of this book.
Inspired by the author's own holiday memories, this read aloud is a kid's take on Thanksgiving spent with the extended family.

Pencil illustrations were finished digitally and add humor to the story. PreK-2.
Jan 15, 2015 Pamela rated it really liked it
This was a lot of fun. For anyone--of any age--who's felt trapped at a family gathering, there are some hilarious and familiar situations. The humor is a bit older--maybe elementary school kids, and I found myself giggling as an adult. A bit long for storytime, but fun for one-on-one.
Jan 20, 2015 June rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Thanksgiving requests
A tongue in cheek story of what Thanksgiving can be like for a child" "Hall of Aunts," "Wall of Butts" ("It's certain death to get between them and the TV.) I might try this next year for my early elementary class visits. Not sure if it is a 4, but I rounded up because it made me smile.
Aug 26, 2014 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Bring on the turkey, but watch out for the hordes of cousins, pinching aunts, football fannies and teenage zombies! Thanksgiving was never really this bad but everyone will recognize it just the same ;-) Laugh- out loud illustrations and a great conclusion - make your own fun!
Jennifer Autry
Dec 05, 2015 Jennifer Autry rated it really liked it
It was definitely one of the best kids Thanksgiving books I have read. One that didn't make you feel bad about eating turkey. I loved the wall of butts in the story and all of the pictures were so fun and added so much to the story.
This is a fun and unique look at Thanksgiving without it being overtly related to the holiday. It could be any other family get-together. There are stereotypical images and characters that make the book funny, and the illustrations are large while the text is small. Great for young children!
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Mark Fearing is the author-illustrator of the graphic novel Earthling! and has illustrated several award-winning picture books. The inspiration for The Great Thanksgiving Escape, the first picture book he has both written and illustrated, were memories of the unexpected, unplanned events at family gatherings-"the fun that was discovered, not mandated." Mark Fearing lives in Oregon.
More about Mark Fearing...

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