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Thanksgiving is next week and we have been reading lots of Thanksgiving themed books at bedtime. Unfortunately, many Thanksgiving themed books involve a turkey trying not to be eaten. We did find that some books focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving including being with family and friends and showing gratitude. Finally, some other books focus on an aspect of Thanksgiving, like sitting at the “kids table.” Whatever your preference, there is a Thanksgiving book out there to fit it! Here is a collection of Thanksgiving picture books that we have read.
Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey’s Cautionary Tale by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
The authors sculpted the characters in this picture book out of clay and hand-sewed the outfits that they wear. The kids loved the pictures, especially the hens getting their “nails” painted. The use of “egg” puns got a little redundant after a bit. I personally found some of the hens a little scary looking. Overall, this was an okay read.
Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet by Jane O’Connor
My daughter was a huge Fancy Nancy fan when she was younger. Unfortunately, I’ve found that once an author gets children hooked on a character (ex. Fancy Nancy, Pinkalicious) they then churn out way too many books after that, which aren’t up to par with the original. Surprisingly, this was one of the better Fancy Nancy books we had read in awhile. It addresses the issue of the “kids” table at Thanksgiving.
Gus, the Pilgrim Turkey by Teresa Bateman
There’s a common theme to many Thanksgiving books, where the turkey tries to escape being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner. This book was no different. It was cute in some parts, especially when Gus travels to the South Pole and meets the penguins. It also shows children the meaning of the word pilgrim in a different context to what they are used to. Overall, this was an okay read for us.
The Little Kids’ Table by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle
This picture book was published this past September. Told in rhyme, this book depicts the fun that is had at the little kids’ table. While technically not a “Thanksgiving” book, it describes a situation that many children experience during the holidays!
Round the Turkey: A Grateful Thanksgiving by Leslie Kimmelman
In this picture book, various family members tell what they are thankful for in different poems. This is an AV2 book, which includes an online code where you can access the book online and have it read aloud.
Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller
This picture book was published this past September. Told in rhyme, the book shows a 19th century family preparing for Thanksgiving. Each family member has a job to help get the meal prepared, which they share together at the end. The illustrations help children compare and contrast Thanksgiving in the past and present.
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
Halse Anderson is the famed author of young adult fiction including Speak and Wintergirls, which I’ve read both of. This picture book tells the story of Sarah Hale, the woman who petitioned to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. This book’s main focus is on the accomplishments of Hale and not on the holiday of Thanksgiving. It’s a great book about an important woman in history. I can’t believe that prior to reading this book I had not heard of Hale!
The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell
When Ed and Ann’s Thanksgiving dinner burns, they find the door open at a local restaurant. They end up joining an immigrant family who are celebrating their first Thanksgiving in their restaurant and having a memorable Thanksgiving celebration. This book showcases what Thanksgiving is all about.
Thanksgiving for Emily Ann by Teresa Johnston
This Thanksgiving picture book is told in rhyme. Everyone in her family is busy and Emily Ann feels bored and alone. She attempts to play a trick with the Thanksgiving turkey, but her family comes in at the nick of time and reminds Emily Ann of all that she is thankful for.
Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman
In this rhyming picture book, a little boy describes his 10 rules for Thanksgiving. The humorous illustrations help add to the story!
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
When Mrs. Moose wants a turkey for Thanksgiving, Mr. Moose sets out to find her one with the help of some friends. When they finally find turkey and bring him home, turkey gets an unexpected surprise. If you look closely to the illustrations, you will notice that the animals are vegetarians and end up having a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.
Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
In this picture book Turkey tries to disguise himself to avoid being eaten on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, his disguises don’t fool the other animals. But, he is able to come up with a disguise to fool Farmer Jake, which results in a happy Thanksgiving for everyone.