Gather Together. . . Now Please Get Lost
By Diane deGroat.
Review by: Jerrie
In the fifth book of the popular children's
series about Gilbert, the precocious possum wakes up late on the day of
the class Thanksgiving trip to Pilgrim Town. From the moment his mother
exclaims, "It looks like you got up on the wrong side of the bed
today," Gilbert's morning quickly goes from bad to worse as he
misses breakfast, which makes his stomach grumble all the way to school,
only to find that being late means he will be stuck with slowpoke and
tattletale, Phillip, as his buddy for the day. Phillip, who couldn't run
fast or catch a ball, and was always picked last for everything.
Relegated to the back of the bus, Gilbert has to watch the other pairs
of students play checkers, Travel Battleship, and reading comic books
while he and Phillip do nothing at all and which makes him determined to
escape the pesky duck Phillip once they reach Pilgrim Town and buddy up
as a third with his one of his other friends and their partner.
Driven by his feelings and without
considering the consequences of his actions, like most young children,
Gilbert runs away from Phillip and locks himself into a restroom,
figuring that Phillip will give up when he can't find him and join the
teacher instead. This will free him, Gilbert figures, to buddy up with
A little while later Gilbert realizes the
lock has stuck and he is trapped in the restroom, which suddenly becomes
a very scary place when he thinks of what it would be like to have to
spend the night there in the dark alone.
Phillip becomes the unlikely hero and the
class Thanksgiving lunch, complete with pumpkin pie and pilgrim hats,
provides the opportunity for Gilbert and the other students to reflect
on what being thankful is 'really all about'.
Although I wasn't sure this was a
book I wanted to peruse by its name, I was glad afterward that I decided
to take the title in the humor with which it was intended. It really is
a charming and cute book for young children as well as providing a
valuable lesson on true friendship and being thankful.