Around the Table That Grandad Built
Melanie Heuiser Hill, Author
Jaime Kim, Illustrator
Candlewick Press, Fiction, Sep. 10, 2019
Suitable for Ages: 3-7
Themes: Holidays, Traditions, Multigenerational, Thanksgiving, Diversity
Opening: This is the table that Grandad built. These are the sunflowers picked by my cousins, set on the table that Grandad built.
In a delightful take on the cumulative classic “This Is the House That Jack Built,” a family gathers with friends and neigbors to share a meal around a very special table. The table brims with memorable associations: napkins sewn by Mom, glasses from Mom and Dad’s wedding, silverware gifted to Dad by his grandmother long ago. And of course there is a delightful spread of food — the squash and potatoes from the garden, bread baked by Gran, and pies made by family and friends. All give thanks.
Why I like this book:
Melanie Heuiser Hill’s Around the Table That Grandad Built is a joyous celebration of family, friends and community. It is sure to become a favorite family treasure, perfect for Thanksgiving or any holiday feast.
It also is a multigenerational book that quietly emphasizes diversity through food, faces and culture. Grandad’s table is a gesture of openness and inclusivity. Coming to feast at the table is a time to build upon memories, show gratitude, recognize similarities and give thanks. The children are the new generation honoring the old but making new memories.
The cover showcases Jaime Kim’s bold and colorful Illustrations, as well as the joy and anticipation on the childrens’ faces. Who wouldn’t want to dine at this table!
Resources: As the holidays approach, include them in the special activities like setting the table, making the table decorations, helping with the food preparation and baking. Talk about inviting a veteran or someone who is alone to join you. Create some new traditions.
Melanie Heuiser Hill is the author of the middle-grade novel Giant Pumpkin Suite. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and children. About Around the Table That Grandad Built, she says, “I have a fondness for long tables crowded with food food and loved ones — and homemade pie for dessert.” Visit Melanie’s website where she shares stories of her large family and photographs.