Sharing the Bread – Pat Zietlow Miller

Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller, Jill McElmurry
Published by Schwartz & Wade on September 22, 2015
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational
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four-half-stars

Celebrate food and family with this heartwarming Thanksgiving picture book. We will share the risen bread. / Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread. / Grateful to be warm and fed. / We will share the bread. In this spirited ode to the holiday, set at the turn of the twentieth century, a large family works together to make their special meal. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, Sister kneads, and Brother bastes. Everyone—from Grandma and Grandpa to the littlest baby—has a special job to do. Told in spare, rhythmic verse and lively illustrations, Sharing the Bread is a perfect read-aloud to celebrate the Thanksgiving tradition.
"A warm and wonderful holiday treasure." —Publishers Weekly, Starred
"A paean to the pleasures of Thanksgiving, with rhymes so musical readers may just burst into song." —The Wall Street Journal
"A delightful holiday book that shows the heartwarming tradition of food and family." —Booklist 

Thanksgiving is the season for getting together, fixing a big meal, and enjoying family. There’s something about table fellowship that really brings people together and Thanksgiving fellowship especially.

That’s begun to get lost in this era of Black Friday chaos and even Thanksgiving Day sales as the season to be grateful for what we have is overshadowed by the season of wanting what we don’t. McElmurry and Miller take us back to a simpler time to a simple story of a family coming together to prepare a special dinner.

Each page of the book details a family member’s special contribution to the meal. Mama gets the cooking pot, Daddy makes the fire hot, Sister kneads the dough, Brother bastes the turkey…you get the idea. Though it’s never explicit, the central theme of the story is the idea of family and community. Each family member works together and therein lies the success of the meal. Heady stuff for a children’s book, but it’s couched in a simple and catchy rhyme perfect for reading aloud.

Sharing the Bread is an old-fashioned Thanksgiving story that deserves to be read aloud the year round. The simple rhyme scheme—A-A-A-A-B-B-B-B—creates a lyrical pattern that relies on the syllable structure of each line to carry the rhyme’s flow forward. That makes it a unique sounding read and one that will stay in your head once it’s been read aloud.

But strong mechanics only work with an underlying theme and there are a number of factors that pull the theme together. Community, family, table fellowship…all of these things make the book more than just rhyming words on a page and into a quaint little book that’ll warm your heart.

four-half-stars

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