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Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  242 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Mrs. Tappleton gets up early to prepare the turkey. Mr. Tappleton sets off to buy the pies. Kenny makes the salad, and Jenny mashes the potatoes. Then all the relatives arrive for an enormous Thanksgiving dinner.But this year nothing seems to go right. First the turkey slides down the icy hill and into the pond -- "plop! splash!" Then the bakery sells out of pies. It looks ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 1st 1992 by HarperTrophy (first published January 1st 1982)
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(showing 1-30 of 401)
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Ah, lots of fun '80s charm in this engaging and humorous picture book by Eileen Spinelli. One thing after another goes wrong leading up to the Tappletons' Thanksgiving dinner, but no one wants to 'fess up to ruining their part of the dinner preparations. Of course, it all comes out when its time to sit down to dinner, and the resolution is charming and very funny. This book definitely looks dated compared to all the zippier and shinier picture books out there these days, but it's still worth a l ...more
Nov 17, 2012 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This has suddenly become one of my children's favorite Thanksgiving stories. They laugh at each little mishap and the misguided attempts to cover things up in hopes that their part of the meal will be the only one missing (though how they expect no one to notice is beyond me!) They each seem too worried about ruining the holiday to confess to what they did until the last minute when they no longer have time to make things right. Everyone ends up finding out about all the mishaps, making for one ...more
Nov 05, 2010 Doreen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone/anyone
Recommended to Doreen by: Sandy from the children's room at work
What a fun and funny story! As a result of several silly, laughable, unfortunate events, the Tappleton's find themselves without a Thanksgiving dinner. The importance of Thanksgiving, being with the people in your life that you love, is the story's message. It's told in a sweet, adorable way that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. I need to buy a copy of my own!

I read the edition pictured here. It's illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler using round faces and comical facial expressions an
Nov 16, 2008 ABC rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: kindergarteners and early elementary
Shelves: younger-kids
In my book, the illustrations are different: the family is represented by foxes. Other than that, I think they are the same.

Each member of the family flubs up the food the are supposed to prepare for the Thanksgiving dinner, and they are left with no dinner. They end up eating sandwiches and applesauce and remember that the best part of Thanksgiving is togetherness. Awwwwwwww!

I don't think my son really liked this book, perhaps he is still a little young for it.

Update: Well, last night my son a
Feb 24, 2016 Adrianne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thanksgiving
A Thanksgiving tale to remember! Mmm...liverwurst.
Nov 30, 2015 Aylea rated it liked it
This review posted at The Children's Book and Media Review

Thanksgiving is always a big day for the Tappletons, but this year everything seems to be going terribly wrong. First the Thanksgiving turkey slides out the door, into the street, and finally into the pond. When Mr. Tappleton goes to buy the pies there are completely sold out. Their son Kenny had fed all of the vegetables for the salad to the rabbits in Mr. Butterworth’s class the day before. Jenny doesn’t put the blender lid on all the w
Nov 28, 2015 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Entertaining tale about the true importance of Thanksgiving. The narrative is quite silly, but the message is good. The illustrations are colorful and cartoonish. We enjoyed reading this book together.

This version was illustrated by Megan Lloyd and features wolves as the main characters in the story. We also recently read the version featuring human beings, illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler.

Our girls preferred this version. They really liked the anthropomorphic wolves, but our youngest wonde
Apparently there are different versions of this story, depending on the illustrator. The version I had marked "to-read" had a human cast of characters. The one I actually got from the Library has wolves (I only know this because it says on the back of the book...they could've been foxes). That's quite a different take on the story! Anyway, one mishap after another leaves the family without a Thanksgiving dinner. They're quite sad until Grandma points out that they still have each other. Liverwur ...more
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Dec 12, 2015 Erik This Kid Reviews Books rated it it was amazing
This is a pretty funny book. I like how everyone means well, but still messes up. It makes for a really nice message at the end. The illustrations are nice, and remind me of our family’s Thanksgiving get-togethers. The story really captures the sense of family. Especially the fact that Uncle Fritz and Grandpa Tappleton keep saying that they are getting hungrier (“I could eat four elephants!”). I found that pretty realistic (sorry, Dad! ;) ).
*NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for a
Susan Howson
Nov 22, 2015 Susan Howson rated it really liked it
Shelves: littles
There's a real dearth of thanksgiving books!

I had never thought much about them before, but I really didn't feel like encouraging my son's "Halloween and then Christmas" obsession so I checked out a few in order to sidetrack him.

Anyway, really cute, funny, and goes into the meaning of Thanksgiving. Plus lots of opportunities for voices, which is my jam!
Nov 28, 2015 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Entertaining tale about the true importance of Thanksgiving. The narrative is quite silly, but the message is good. The illustrations are colorful and cartoonish. We enjoyed reading this book together.

(We read the version featuring human beings, illustrated by Maryann Cocca-Leffler.)

Aug 21, 2015 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-stars
A great Thanksgiving story. At first, I wasn't sure about this book. I was like "Is this going to be a weird story about how they find their lost turkey?" Instead it is a great story about being thankful for what is most important!!
Nov 17, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it
This book actually made me laugh out loud. Crazy story...we all have those crazy relatives! Definitely checking this one out from the library again next Thanksgiving! El will enjoy it for many Thanksgivings to come.
Rosa Cline
Nov 02, 2015 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, thanksgiving
This was an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving day book! A family along with extended family realizes what the holiday is really truly about. Not necessarily the food or items but about each other. Wonderful book.
Jan 25, 2015 Relyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, students
Recommended to Relyn by: Janie Norrick, fellow teacher
Shelves: lawsonland
This was a great book to read to my second graders for Thanksgiving. What fun! The message was wonderful, too. The important part of Thanksgiving isn't the food, it's friends and family. I loved this story!
Edward Sullivan
A comical holiday story originally published in 1982 and featuring a family of wolves (or foxes?).
Nov 03, 2013 Pam rated it liked it
This humorous Thanksgiving book is about several calamities that befall members of the Tappleton family, who are responsible for different courses for Thanksgiving dinner. The colorful illustrations by Maryann Cocca-Leffler really work with the Eileen Spinelli's story. While this book could be a great tool for teaching children about adaptability, the story line falls short because none of the family members take responsibility for their losses when they occur and as a result the family has no f ...more
Nov 30, 2015 Yolanda rated it it was amazing
Love this story. Thanksgiving is more than what is on your dinner table.
Mary Ann
New illustrations work great for this very funny Thanksgiving story.
Bvlmc Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School
Every Tapppleton is responsible for a task in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner, but none want to confess what went awry with their part in the dinner plans. The humorous results quickly become apparent when the family all sits down for the meal. A wonderful lesson in honesty and what makes the Thanksgiving holiday truly important.
Apr 06, 2014 Mckinley rated it really liked it
Due to a mix up with food, we see what Thanksgiving means to one family.
Oct 23, 2015 Cosette rated it it was amazing
The true meaning of thanksgiving
Mar 07, 2008 Esther rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
My family loves this book and we have read it every year at Thanksgiving for several years now. It is a funny read about a Thanksgiving dinner going wrong and what one family does about it. There is a new version of the book that keeps the story the same but the illustrations are with foxes. I'm still fond of this version.

I just found out an interesting tidbit that the author Eileen Spinelli is Jerry Spinelli's (author of Manic Magee) wife.
Nov 13, 2013 Teri rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Teri by: Kimberly
I LOVE this story. I think it will be a family favorite for many years to come. It has a nice moral to the story that I appreciate. The blessing of having family together is accentuated. There is a newer version with animals, but when I saw there was a version with people I thought we might enjoy that one and found a used copy. Happy to have this grand addition to our Thanksgiving books.
Dec 19, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Desire, deception and thwarted plans merge into an entertaining and page turning plot in this picture book. Well-chosen repetition of key phrases and key events.

I read this book every year in November. It is my favorite Thanksgiving book. My copy is worn out. I must buy a new book for myself.

I have the version with people.
The non-people version sounds less desirable.
Traci Mitchell
Dec 16, 2015 Traci Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anlie-s-shelf
We got this book from the library, the illustrations are different but the story is the same.
I believe that children's book should be reviewed by children and my daughter loved this story, so it gets 5 stars.
Nov 24, 2011 Susie rated it really liked it
This book was used for a read aloud on Thanksgiving Eve at one of my elementary schools. It's sort of a wolf version of an O'Henry Thanksgiving story. Everyone has secrets to hide, but ultimately, family and thanks are the most important things for a family gathering. (The kids correctly identified the moral of the story.)
Dec 07, 2010 dblue rated it really liked it
This has become a favorite of our family to read at Thanksgiving. It is a series of mishaps that lead to a very interesting Thanksgiving dinner. It is great for younger children. I understand it has been re-illustrated and from the cover I do not think it will come across the same as the original.
Nov 13, 2009 Marcia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: K-4
A favorite Thanksgiving book. It's funny that I had to explain what a "milkman" was to the kindergarten! Through a series of unfortunate events the Tappletons don't have a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving and instead feast on Liverwurst sandwiches, thankful that they are together.
Nov 18, 2009 Megan rated it liked it
Every member of this family is responsible for one part of the Thanksgiving meal. One by one, they all lose or ruin their assigned foods. Nevertheless, they learn that this holiday is not about what's on the table, but what's in your heart.
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Eileen Spinelli, wife of famed children's author Jerry Spinelli, is an award winning children's book author from southeastern Pennsylvania.
More about Eileen Spinelli...

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