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When I think back to my childhood, I can think of a lot of Christmas books and Halloween books that I read with my mom. Today, I have many that I now read with my own kids. But when it comes to Thanksgiving books, they are hard to come by for some reason. We have found some gems though, and hope you will love them too. They focus on the values of this season and the history of the holiday. We want our kids to know that this holiday is about more than football, shopping, and turkey (although that part is pretty awesome!).
Sharing the Bread: An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Story. In this beautifully illustrated book, the entire family lends a hand to make the thanksgiving dinner happen. The story is told in short, rhyming stanzas, and the cadence just adds to the delight. We love that the family works together, enjoying one another’s company all the while.
Cranberry Thanksgiving. You will not be able to resist Mr. Whiskers, a loveable, salty character who Grandmother isn’t too sure of. Misperceptions get turned on their heads in this book, teaching children to not judge a person by their appearance and to always look out for the lonely on holidays. Bonus: grandma might just share her top secret cranberry bread recipe with you at the end of the book!
Andy and the Lion. Published in the 1930s, this is a retelling of the classic tale of Androcles and the Lion. Although it isn’t a traditional Thanksgiving tale, the lessons are exactly the kind we want to be focusing on during the holiday season – that kindness can be shared with ALL.
Thankful. Another book told in rhyme, this one full of blessings to be counted. From community helpers, to little daily joys, this would be a perfect conversation starter to get your children thinking about what little things they are thankful to have every day.
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving. I may have geeked out a little bit that this one was written by Laurie Halse Anderson. She writes some great historical fiction middle-grade books along with young adult fiction. I didn’t know until I found this book that she delved into children's books as well! This book gives the story of how Thanksgiving became a national holiday and why Sarah felt it was so important to keep advocating for that. She was an amazing example of perseverance and that one person can make a big difference.
Balloons Over Broadway. My grandparents always had the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on TV every Thanksgiving morning. We lived in the same small town so I was usually able to make my way over there to watch some of the parade while we used their oven for the big dinner. A true tale of perseverance and following your dreams, this adorable book gives a history of the puppeteer who brought the famous balloons to the parade. You won’t want to miss this one!
A Turkey for Thanksgiving. Mr. Moose goes out in search of a turkey for his wife. When he finds the turkey, along with other friends along the way, he insists that the turkey come home with him. The hesitant turkey is in for a big surprise. He gets to sit AT the table instead of ON the table and it is a happy Thanksgiving for all!
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