Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ten Terrific Thanksgiving Tales

Since I fessed up to being a librarian last month, I figured now would be the perfect time to share my favorite Thanksgiving picture books with you. These are great read-aloud stories that my kids love, and I usually try to get them whenever I taught preschool in November.

Here they are in no particular order, other than I thought they looked pretty arranged like this!

Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr
It is Thanksgiving day and turkey is trying to disguise himself as other farm animals to avoid becoming the main course for dinner. When his diguises are not quite successful, the animals and readers alike encourage him to "run, turkey, run!". Does turkey fool the farmer and escape his fate? This is one of my boys' absolute favorites and they never get tired of it!

The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene
The illustrations in this book are beautiful, the prose is simple, and my boys (and I) loved it. An excellent book for briefly and engagingly covering the history of American Thanksgiving. I loved this book as a way to explain why we celebrate Thanksgiving to preschool and young elementary-age children.

One is a Feast for a Mouse: A Thanksgiving Tale by Judy Cox
Mouse creeps out from his hidey-hole and spies what remains of a Thanksgiving feast. He starts by picking up one pea, but soon he spies more goodies and his pile grows. The repeated phrase “one is a feast for me” gets funnier as he tries to juggle “just one” cranberry, olive, carrot stick, and then a plate holding one scoop of mashed potatoes, etc. Mouse loses most of his feast when Cat wakes up, but still remembers to “give thanks” for what he manages to save — that single green pea.We love the illustrations and my boys can't help but laugh at Mouse as he goes overboard getting "just one" of just about everything!

'Twas the Night before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
Dav Pilkey is hilarious and this book is no exception. Told in the style of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas", this book tells the tale of some children are off to a turkey farm on a school field trip just before Thanksgiving. When they learn what will happen to those turkeys, the children take action and save the turkeys!

Thank You Thanksgiving by David Milgrim
This is a simple story about a girl who goes on a last-minute errand for her mother. Along the way, she thanks all the familiar things she loves—her warm boots, the song of the birds, the pretty clouds in the November sky. This book has very short text with simple illustrations which would make it a good read-aloud for toddlers and beginning readers.

This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed
This book counts from one to twelve to discuss how the Pilgrims and the Wanapanoag Indians prepare for their Thanksgiving feast. One of my favorite parts of this book are the beautiful illustrations! My boys and I love to find the things hidden in the pictures as they learn about the first Thanksgiving.

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
This book is similar to Run, Turkey, Run! because it is about a turkey doesn't want to be served for Thanksgiving dinner. Throughout the story Turkey dons various disguises to avoid becoming dinner. Though the stories are similar, the lively and hilarious illustrations set this tale apart. This book had my boys and me laughing out loud and we loved the clever ending.

Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
This book with its lovely pictures and simple rhyming text is a wonderful reminder of what Thanksgiving is really all about- giving thanks! This book shares the many little details that make each day enjoyable, and emphasizes that what is most important is being able to share them with family. I love this book!

The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing
This book is another a spin on the Christmas classic, "'Twas the Night before Christmas". This book follows a traditional family as they watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, greet friends and relatives, prepare the feast and give thanks. Even if your family's Thanksgiving isn't as traditional as the one in this book, it's worth reading to learn how others celebrate a truly American holiday.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
Mr. and Mrs. Moose invite all their animal friends for Thanksgiving dinner and the only one missing is Turkey! When they set out to find him, Turkey is quaking with fear because he doesn't realize that his hosts want him at their table, not on it. This is a really fun read and I love the illustrations!

So there you have it! If I were to go out and buy any Thanksgiving picture books, these would definitely be on my list. Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know!>

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  1. Twas the night before Thanksgiving is one of my favorites!!!

  2. Awesome!! Thanks for sharing these, I want to get a couple for my own girls :) Stopping by from Friday Favorite Things, have a blessed day!!