Time to bring out the next set of holiday books!  Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful, and I am thankful for my family, my friends, and of course, books!  I am also very thankful to all of you for reading and supporting my blog.  Thanksgiving books for children are a little harder to find but there are a few memorable ones out there.  Here are some of our favorites.

Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc Brown
Arthur is in charge of directing the Thanksgiving play, The Big Turkey Hunt. He has to deal with diva actors, messed up dialogue – our favorite was Buster’s line “in 1620, we sailed to America on the cauliflower” – and of course, finding someone to play the lead – the turkey!!  He advertises over the school announcements, he tries to entice his family, and he even attempts to use a real live turkey.  When the show looks to be a disaster, the true spirit of the celebration rings through.

Arthur as a cartoon show was a favorite of my children.  Although the illustrations in the book are very different, the story is delightful and teaches a great lesson about following through on your commitments and the meaning of being a good friend.  You also have to love Buster as Governor Bradford and Francine’s performance in her movie-star glasses.

Today is Thanksgiving! by P.K. Halliman
The story takes a family through all the traditions of Thanksgiving.  From cooking to parade watching to playing football with cousins to getting dressed up for dinner to sharing the day with family, the story highlights all the special memories of families and traditions.

P.K. Halliman is one of my favorite holiday children’s book authors.  The prose is written in rhyme and has a very sweet, melodic quality.  Halliman’s books were always my go-to books if I was asked to share a story at my children’s preschool on a holiday.  The message of family and sharing and thankfulness are presented in a non-preachy way.  My kids loved comparing the traditions that the family in the story had to our own; they especially loved that the family watched the parade on TV.  The illustrations are very sweet; it is a delightful book to read and share.

The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing
This book also shares the traditions of a family, including the setting of the table, the parade watching, and the fun times with cousins. Of course, there are also the “real” aspects of Thanksgiving, like Mom almost dropping the turkey on the floor, pets being underfoot, and Uncle Norm being stuck in a storm.  But in the end all, the family comes together to share the meal.

I love the Night Before series.  The familiar rhyme makes it easy to read aloud and for children to follow the story line.  The pictures in this book are especially entertaining because of some of the tongue-in-cheek humor.  The olives on the fingers, the dog trying to get the pie, and the cat playing with the good china are all fun little tidbits that children can watch for as the story is read.  The book also ends with a reminder of one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions – leftovers!

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson
The old lady comes for Thanksgiving and she starts to eat.  As she works her way through a pie, some cider, a squash, a salad, a turkey, and so on, she grows larger and larger.  Finally she becomes so large, the family ties a string on her and she becomes a balloon in the Thanksgiving Day parade.

My son especially liked this book.  The story, and the illustrations, are a little perverse; I mean, the woman just eats and eats and gets bigger and bigger.  However, most kids are familiar with the “I Know an Old Lady” song and they find the humor in this adaptation.  I admit I often think of this book as I am contemplating that third helping or extra slice of pie!

Not too many Thanksgiving books to choose from.  Anyone have any other favorites?


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