I pulled two books out of the bag and loved them both fiercely almost on sight. Conveniently they both have to do with the subject of immigration making them easy to discuss in one quick post.
The Thanksgiving Door, by Debby Atwell is the story of a family of immigrants who came to America and opened up a restaurant, the New World Cafe. It is also the story about an elderly couple named Ed and Ann who were planning to spend the Thanksgiving holiday all alone. However, unfortunately, Ann accidentally burnt their dinner! Ed suggested that they try out the New World Cafe which had recently opened so off they go to try out the fares at the new restaurant, feeling rather glum because they were all alone and couldn't even have dinner together as they had originally planned it.
The immigrant family originally found the two to be un-welcomed company. Their restaurant was actually closed for Thanksgiving, but Ed and Ann didn't realize it. The grandmother of the immigrant family speaks out on behalf of Ed and Ann, encouraging her relations to make Ed and Ann feel welcomed, without informing them of their mistake. The book concludes with Ann and Ed being the most grateful for having burnt their meal at home because it introduced them to a wonderful family that they grew to know and love. Instead of being alone on Thanksgiving day, they found themselves part of a big and happy family. A totally win-win situation! A total win-win book!
Silent Movie, by Avi is just too cool. (Can I leave my "review" at that?) When you open up the title page you discover the author/illustrator information laid out like on a silent film. The cast of characters are also listed, as well as a brief description of them. All of the pages in this book are black and glossy and are illustrated with white lined drawings, pen & ink style. Totally classy in every single way.
The story is set in 1909 and Papa Hans is sailing for America. His family eventually joins him and his son is noticed by some film producers who end up starring him in a silent film. Naturally, he will be paid very well and the immigrant family is grateful for the opportunities they are afforded in America - and at such speed! The story is rather unusual, and certainly not many families could identify with it. However, this book is a fantastic introduction both to the world of silent films (with information given in more detail at the end of the book) and methods of travel for people immigrating to America. I just think this book is stellar and unique and worth a look if you get a chance! Very nicely done.
I'm labeling these two books as "Mommy Favorites" because, well, they are.