The Kiddie Table – Colleen Madden

I’ve read this book so many times over the past couple of months, trying in vain to change my opinion about it. I’m sorry; I just don’t get it. Part of it may be that I come from a small family and everyone fit around one table when we had meals with extended family. We also don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia but I don’t think that has any relevance to the way I feel about this book.

This story recounts the tale of an eight year old girl who is relegated to sitting at the kiddie table during her family’s Thanksgiving meal. She’s surrounded by babies and toddlers. For some reason she’s given a bowl of food and a spoon to eat with, and she’s supposed to be drinking out of a sippy cup. I’m not sure what bright spark thought that was a good idea but possibly her parents as the meal is at their home. Throughout the meal our already cranky eight year old becomes increasingly angry until she explodes at the indignity she’s had to suffer.

During her tirade she makes the argument that she knows how to behave and winds up her tantrum with a defiant, “I DESERVE A SPOT AT THE ADULT TABLE!” Now this may well be an indication of why I should never be a parent but if this little brat was my kid I would quite cheerfully explain to her that her dummy spit had proven exactly why she’s not ready to sit at the adult table yet. Like it or not she’d be apologising to the other guests, including all of the kids she freaked out and we’d be having a long chat about her behaviour and acceptable ways to ask for what you want once the guests left.

This kid’s mother is not me. This kid’s mother empathises with her daughter about how she was feeling (that would have been part of my after dinner chat) but then she lets the tantrum kid sit at the adult table! This kid gets rewarded for her bad behaviour! I’m not okay with that.

I liked the illustrations. They’re colourful and make our tantrum thrower’s discontent very clear from the get go.

The rhymes didn’t work for me as the meter was off, so the rhythm would feel awkward if read out loud.

I’ve put off writing this review because I hate it when books and I don’t connect. Just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean you won’t though so please don’t just take my word for it. I’d encourage you to check it out for yourself or at least read some 4 or 5 star reviews before deciding if it’s the book for you or not.

Thank you very much to NetGalley and Capstone for the opportunity to read this book. I really wanted to love it.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

At every Thanksgiving there are two tables — the kiddie table and the adult table. So why in the world would an 8-year-old girl be stuck at the kiddie table? She is NOT a baby. She is NOT a toddler. She is a grown-up! She can do two-digit multiplication and knows how to cut her own food. She deserves to be at the adult table! And after an empowered speech and mini-breakdown, the girl is moved to the adult table. Growing up is never easy, and author Colleen Madden brilliantly tackles that issue in this delightful picture book.

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