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Library : Book Reviews > We Gather Together...

We Gather Together. . . Now Please Get Lost
By Diane deGroat.

Review by: Jerrie DeRose

     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 another student.
      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.

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