We Gather Together...Now Please Get Lost

Written and illustrated by Diane deGroat
SeaStar Books 2001
ISBN 1587170957
Ages 4 - 8

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Uh-oh! It's the morning of the class trip to Pilgrim Town, and Gilbert wakes up late. That means he gets stuck with that annoying tattle-tale Philip as his partner for the whole day. Gilbert's determned to have fun on the trip - if only Philip would just get lost! But soon Gilbert realizes you must be careful what you wish for... For anyone who's ever gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, Diane deGroat's fifth book in her popular series about Gilbert is a cheerful reminder that there is always something to be thankful for: sometimes even in the most unexpected places.

From Booklist It's Thanksgiving time in this fifth book featuring Gilbert, the hapless porcupine. He's excited about his class visit to Pilgrim Town, but on the day of the field trip, he gets up late and he has to partner with the only kid left--goony Philip. Pilgrim Town is a neat place, but Gilbert spends most of his time trying to ditch Philip, who is a tattletale as well as a nerd ("I'm telling Mrs. Byrd that you called me a tattle-tale"). Gilbert hides out in the bathroom, only to get locked in. Will the partner he's been avoiding all day try to find him? As in Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink (1996) and the other books about Gilbert and his multispecies class, deGroat captures the ups and downs of school life. Much of the humor in the art comes from the kids; gangly Philip, a goose-boy, dressed like an adult in a trench coat, is a case in point. At the end, Philip does go searching for Gilbert and saves the day. The last scene, in which the classmates dressed as pilgrims enjoy a thankful lunch, will resonate with children.

From School Library Journal... this low-key story captures the emotions and behavior of early elementary students. deGroat's watercolor illustrations add charm and humor to the straightforward text. The home and school environments are cozy and familiar, while details of the park scenes offer potential topics for further discussion. Teachers and librarians in search of a fun read-aloud for Thanksgiving (a rare bird indeed) will welcome this title.