STARRED REVIEW
November 02, 2015

For the love of traditions

By Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Review by

No microwaves or football kickoffs here; a cast-iron stove, candles and a hand-pump sink fill the background in Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story. Pat Zietlow Miller and Jill McElmurry collaborate to bring us this charming peek into America’s past, reminding us that while the trimmings may have changed, our Thanksgiving tradition of family and feasting remains strong.

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No microwaves or football kickoffs here; a cast-iron stove, candles and a hand-pump sink fill the background in Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story. Pat Zietlow Miller and Jill McElmurry collaborate to bring us this charming peek into America’s past, reminding us that while the trimmings may have changed, our Thanksgiving tradition of family and feasting remains strong.

Told from the perspective of a young boy, Sharing the Bread brings readers into an 1800s farming family’s home, where everyone has an important job. But even before the turkey is ready, the family is celebrating. The kitchen crowds with loved ones, honoring each contribution, sharing the cooking tasks and anticipating the feast. As dinner comes together—bread rising, cider jug emptying—readers may be surprised at how familiar it feels.

Miller (Sophie’s Squash) uses rhyme and alliteration to create a story that feels both fresh and sweetly old fashioned. She recreates a voice that has been handed down from generations before, engaging us with fun, song-like patterns. Two-line refrains break up the narration, keeping the message focused on the meaning of Thanksgiving. McElmurry, illustrator of Little Blue Truck, invites us into every page with warm country colors, a variety of textures and patterns, and food that looks warm and tasty. Each scene is comfortable and cozy, a nostalgic event that brings us together every autumn.

Whether you read this story aloud before your own feast, or curled up later—turkey-full and content—this story will help keep the Thanksgiving feeling alive all season. Every family has their treasured Thanksgiving traditions; Sharing the Bread is bound to become one as well.

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Sharing the Bread

Sharing the Bread

By Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Schwartz & Wade
ISBN 9780307981820

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