Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a funny Thanksgiving story that is great for telling a kid’s perspective of the holiday! 🙂


thanksgiving_escapeThe Great Thanksgiving Escape

by Mark Fearing

32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Candlewick on September 9, 2014


Theme/Topic- Thanksgiving / family

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “It was another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s.


Synopsis (taken from the inside jacket) – “It’s another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. Gavin expects a long day of boredom and being pestered by distantly related toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it — out of the kids’ room to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn’t so sure, especially when they encounter vicious guard dogs (in homemade sweaters), a hallway full of overly affectionate aunts, and worse yet, the great wall of butts! Will they manage to avoid the obstacles and find some fun before turkey time? Or will they be captured before they’ve had a taste of freedom?

Why I liked this book- This is a hilarious book, and a great take on the traditional Thanksgiving story. Mr. Fearing has written an amazing book here! I love how Rhonda, using her imagination, crafts a super-thrilling, slightly dangerous (“vicious” wiener guard dogs!) adventure, and takes Gavin along with her! The illustrations are amazing! LOOK!


Image from

Image from

Isn’t Gavin’s expression priceless? I like how there are tiny little details through out it. My favorite part has to be the “The Great Wall of Butts” the kids have to navigate around. It’s a good thing to remember that family get-togethers may not be as exciting for kids compared to adults. It’s great how the kids turn every-day boring things into an awesome adventure. As a kid, I can say Mr. Fearing got the Thanksgiving dinner kid-perspective spot on! You’ll get a bunch of laughs from this book!

Activities and Resources-
Mr. Fearing and Candlewick Press have a great activity kit to go along with the book! There is a maze, word search, drawing activities and an activity for us to remember to be thankful. Check it out HERE.

Create your own “Thanksgiving Adventure” – take the events that happen at your Thanksgiving celebration and exaggerate them into a full-blown adventure! Maybe have your kids color a picture or write a short story. Hmmm… Ms. Hill? I see another writing contest here… 😉

If you have a Thanksgiving celebration at your house, try to plan something fun for the kids to do – games (pin the feather on the turkey!), toys, coloring pages, etc. Maybe let them go outside! 🙂

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9, Perfect Picture Book Friday

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48 replies

  1. It does sound hilarious–from a kids’ point of view!

  2. Ha! You made me laugh out loud. This picture book I think my boys would enjoy, lol.

  3. The great wall of butts? Oh my word! That’s exactly the way a child would see it. HaHa. I want to get this one for my collection.

  4. I’ve been looking for a great Thanksgiving picture book. Thanks for the tip.

  5. Sounds hilarious. Love the reminder of how kids may view holidays differently from adults.

  6. You gave me my chuckle for the day. Love escape in the title. What a fun read. And, I’m sure there are many kids who feel this way during family gatherings. Got to buy this one. Love the cover and the illustration. The look on that boys face! Ha!

  7. Your review was hilarious. You have a knack for introducing us to the new and the fresh. Thanks, Erik. I can’t wait to add this to our Thanksgiving menu.

  8. Erik, this sounds like a bum-tickler! I love this sort of humor!

  9. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia, but I’ve heard and read enough that I can easily imagine how kids might view it. This sounds hilarious, and I love the pictures!

  10. I read this recently, Erik. I agree…very funny! Great review.

  11. Like Elle, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here but this sure is one hilarious book. Loved how it’s taken a celebration like that and really viewed it from a kids point of view. Great find Erik!

  12. Yes, Gavin’s expression is priceless. How fun!

  13. I LOVE these illustrations…and poor little mites definitely need to excape and be a bit naughty!

  14. Gavin’s expression IS priceless, Erik. This book sounds hilarious! I’ll be looking for this to show my grand neices and nephews at Thanksgiving day. I think they’ll like it. And I could use a laugh. 🙂

  15. Who could resist the Great Wall of Butts?! Hilarious, along with Gavin’s expression. Ok, I’m sold. Thanks, Erik!

  16. OMG! How fun for Thanksgiving! I’m going to try and find this for turkey day to share with the youngsters. Great review, Superkid!

  17. This book sounds awesome. I love that it is a funny book and that it is Thanksgiving from a kid’s point of view. The illustrations look unique and fun. Thanks for sharing- I will be looking for this one. 🙂

  18. what fun! sounds like something I need to read before the relatives descend for Thanksgiving!

  19. I canNOT say enough about the illustration here. The expression behind the eyeglassed, scarf-covered face is fantastic! lol

  20. This looks really hilarious!! I’m with you on that wall of butts!

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