About the Holiday
Sponsored by The Young Chefs Academy, today’s holiday encourages kids and teens to become more involved in planning and cooking meals. When children and teens have more of a stake in what they’re eating, they become more experimental in food choices, more knowledgeable about food issues, and more invested in eating healthy. Being part of the preparation of meals can even contribute to better understanding in science and math as they measure and weigh ingredients, cut fruit and veggies, and serve portions. To celebrate today, have your kids participate in cooking and/or baking. They may just find another activity to love!
By Ethan Long
The monsters were all gathering for their Thanksgiving feast. It was a real neighborhood affair. Virginia the werewolf brought the sweet potato casserole, Sandy the witch had made stuffing, and Mumford the mummy supplied the cranberry sauce. Vladimir the vampire always roasted the turkey because “he knew how to cook it just right.”
Just as he was basting the bird, he heard an unfamiliar HONK! HONK! It was his Uncle Gus, Aunt Bessy, and the twins Joey and Shmoey. Even their dog Spike had come along for the ride. “Vladdy” was thrilled to see his family and brought them inside to meet his friends. Sandy was excited to show Aunt Bessy the “mashed potatoes…with garlic,” but Bessy just hisssssed and “whipped up another batch. This time with eyeballs and earwax.”
When Uncle Gus saw Vladimir roasting the turkey over an open fire, he had a better idea. Gus hooked it up to an electric machine and gave it a good jolt. And thanks to Joey and Shmoey, Fran Frankenstein’s pumpkin pie “turned into lump-kin pie” with the addition of maggot meatballs. Although Vladimir loved his family, he didn’t love what they were doing to the annual feast. They even had to close the window and sit in the dark because Vlad’s family was sensitive to the rising sun.
“Maybe the food will taste better if we can’t see it!” someone said. But then they all heard a crunching sound. They turned on the light to discover that “Spike had devoured everything!” Vladimir exploded. His family looked at him with sad eyes. They couldn’t understand how they had “ruined Thanksgiving.” After all, they were family. Seeing their hurt expressions, Vladimir realized they were right. It was time for a dinner re-do. Everyone cooked all day, creatively using whatever ingredients they had left. And if the turkey looked a bit corn(dog)y, it was still delicious. “So on that fourth Friday in November” Vladimir’s family and friends all gave thanks for such delicious food “to die for.”
Mixing the frightfully funny ghastliness of Halloween with the family-embracing gratitude of Thanksgiving, Ethan Long cooks up a hilarious “Ewww-inspiring” story for sweet little monsters everywhere. As the neighborhood Thanksgiving feast goes awry with the arrival of Vladimir’s family, readers will revel in images of kid-pleasingly repulsive additions to traditional treats. As Vladimir, his friends, and family learn to cooperate in making a meal everyone can enjoy, readers learn that the holidays (and any day) really are more about family, friends, and feelings than about food or other fleeting things.
A laugh-out-loud complement to the autumn holidays and beyond, Fangsgiving would be a fun addition to home and classroom bookshelves, especially if paired with fun cooking, drawing, or writing activities.
Ages 3 – 6
Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2018 | ISBN 978-1681198255
To learn more about Ethan Long, his books, and his art, visit his website.
National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day Activity
Vampire Goodie Box
Would you like your gift of homemade or store-bought cookies, candy, or other treats to have a little bite to it? Deliver them in this vampire box you can make yourself!
- Recycled pasta box (or any box with a cellophane window in it)
- Black Paint
- Silver Paint
- Black felt, 8 ½ x 11 sheet or heavy stock paper
- Red felt, 8 ½ x 11 sheet or heavy stock paper
- Googly eyes
- Black paper, heavy stock or construction paper
- Fabric glue
- Regular glue or double stick tape
- Hot glue gun (optional)
- Paint brush
- Paint the entire box silver, leaving the window unpainted, let dry
- With the black paint create the pointy hairstyle, with the point descending about 1 inch from the top of the box and the curves ending about 1 ½ – 1 ¾ inches from the side of the box (see picture).
- Paint around the sides and back of the box in line with the ends of the curves
- From the black paper make eyebrows—these can be pointy or rounded
- From the index card make the nose and teeth
- I painted the nose darker silver by combining silver and a little black paint
- With the glue or double stick tape, attach the eyebrows and nose to the box
- With the glue or double stick tape, attach the teeth to the window, fitting them slightly up into the rim of the window.
- Attach the googly eyes
To make the cape
- Holding the black felt or paper horizontally, cut a piece about 4/5 as tall as the box
- Holding the red felt or paper horizontally, cut a piece of red felt so that there will be a ½-inch border of black along the top and sides
- With the fabric glue attach the red felt to the black felt. Use craft glue on paper. Let dry
- With the hot glue gun, fabric glue, craft glue, or double stick tape, attach the felt or paper to the back of the box
- Fold the felt or paper around the sides of the box and attach along the bottom edge with tape or glue
- Fold the top of the felt or paper back to make the collar
- Attach the bottom portion of the collar to the box near the front edge with the tape or glue.
Fill with your favorite treat!
You can find Fangsgiving at these booksellers
Picture Book Review