Review By JESSICA ALMY
It’s no secret that Nathalie VanBalen’s Garlic- Onion- Beet- Spinach- Mango- Carrot- Grapefruit Juice gets me totally, TOTALLY pumped! Or that ever since my husband and I started making our free-form garlic mashed potato pie stuffed with kale, carrots, and leeks (a veganized version of an old Vegetarian Times recipe), Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. So imagine my excitement when I learned that VanBalen had created a new Thanksgiving coloring zine especially for vegetarian and vegan kids!
Let me tell you: this zine does not disappoint.
Not only does VanBalen’s view of Thanksgiving mirror my own — to “give thanks for all that is living — on the ground, in the sea, in the sky” — but she does not shirk away from aspects of the holiday that can make it painful:
The “whys” gently deal with turkeys as food and our relationship to indigeneous people.
These questions and the coloring book format invite kids to engage with what Thanksgiving really means, and how we can shape its meaning both in our lives and in the broader culture. VanBalen’s subtle approach also allows parents and teachers to discuss these issues in an age-appropriate way.
Add in that the illustrations are beautiful, the paper is 100% post-consumer recycled, and the price can’t be beat ($5 includes shipping), and you have my hearty recommendation that this coloring zine should become part of your Thanksgiving celebration. Get copies (update: link is private now) for all the kids at your table (maybe the adults too!) and share in reading it aloud as you sit down to a cozy meal of potatoes, carrots, beans, greens, cranberries, and apple pie.