Thanksgiving is a time for traditions, family, food, and books. Try these new and old favorite books about the holiday traditions.
“The Pilgrims of Plimoth” by Marcia Sewall, Aladdin, 1986, ages 7 and up.
This story based on facts, told from the pilgrims’ view, describes the determination and hardships faced by people with a dream. Realistic paintings enhance the vivid descriptions of everyday life organized around the topics of menfolk, womenfolk, and youngfolk. Winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, The Pilgrims of Plimouth serves as an authentic representation of our country’s beginnings.
“Three Young Pilgrims” by Cheryl Harness, Aladdin, 1992, ages 5 to 10.
Mary, Remember, and Bartholomew sail with their parents from England to Plymouth in 1620. Cheryl Harness, a noted children’s author of informational books, creates a realistic account of the Allerton family’s adventures told through the eyes of the children. Research for this book was done at the Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The story and illustrations eloquently contrast the early struggles faced by the pilgrims with the three day celebration of the first Thanksgiving.
“Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior” by contributions by various children’s illustrators, Dial Books, 2011, ages 5 and up.
The family gatherings of Thanksgiving call for children to use their best manners. Manners Mash-Up uses humor to share etiquette tips for everything from table manners to being a good visitor. Various children’s book illustrators contributed the illustrations for each setting, including Tedd Arnold (Hi! Fly Guy), Judy Schachner (Skippyjon Jones), and Henry Cole (A Nest for Celeste).
“The Great Big Book of Families” by Mary Hoffman, Illustrated by Ros Asquith, Dial Books, 2010, ages 5 and up.
Time spent with family at Thanksgiving is a good reminder that the families of today come in all different shapes and sizes. Watercolor illustrations and simple text describe the rich diversity in family life, including holidays, celebrations, food, and homes. Children can find many connections to their own family and traditions.
“Turkey Trouble on the National Mall” by Ron Roy, Random House, 2012, ages 6 to 10, 89 pages.
The United States President traditionally pardons one turkey as a Thanksgiving tradition; however KC, the president’s stepdaughter, comes up with the idea for the senators and representatives to each pardon a turkey. Soon over a hundred turkeys are living on the National Mall in Washington D.C., until the turkeys are mysteriously gone. KC and her friend Marshall, with the help of the vice president and FBI plan a sting operation to retrieve the turkeys. Mystery, danger, and a lot of gobbling make this easy chapter book a fun adventure for middle level readers.
Make reading a part of the family Thanksgiving tradition by sharing a favorite book.
Review by Elizabeth Dobler