Our family book club struck again! This time we read the Pushcart War by Jean Merrill. Don’t let the 1969 publicationdate throw you; this is a timeless story of big vs. little and the importance of playing nicely. Delivery trucks get a little too big for their britches and forget to the spirit of cooperation in the New York City traffic. Venders and their small handcarts seem like easy targets to relieve some of the city’s congestion. But the pushcart venders aren’t going down without a fight. Kids from early elementary on up will enjoy the battle story.
We celebrated the completion of reading the Pushcart War with a game of Pushcarts vs. Trucks. We divided into two teams; the pushcarts and the trucks. At first no one wanted to be a big, bad truck, but the idea of bulldozing the pushcarts was pretty tempting. Don’t worry, the pushcarts weren’t completely unprotected. They were armed with Nerf guns. We had a base for each the pushcarts and the trucks. The pushcarts had to retreat to their base, or Maxie Hammerman’s shop, for repairs. When the trucks were hit with a Nerf “pea shooter”, they returned to base to repair their flat tire. Both trucks and pushcarts had to count to 20 while they were getting patched up. After about 10 minutes or so, the teams switched places so everyone could experience being a truck and a pushcart.
We closed our meeting in true New York fashion, with Papa Peretz homemade pretzels. We had two varieties, salted and cinnamon and sugar.
This short and sweet meeting was all that was necessary for an effective book club. So don’t be a truck and find a book to read with your kids today. Then come back and share what you are reading!