Thanksgiving Books

As Thanksgiving approaches I often hear, “What books can I read to my students?” Here are some of the Thanksgiving books we have in our library.

Image result for thank you sarahAnderson, Laurie Halse. Thank you, Sarah. Illustrated by Matt Faulkner. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2002.

Laurie Anderson tells the story of how Thanksgiving became a national holiday in Thank you, Sarah. In preparation for this book she completed a lot of research. She shared this research with Matt Faulkner so that he could incorporate what she learned in his illustrations. She also included “A Feast of Facts” at the close of the book. Sarah Hale was a crusader for many things; making Thanksgiving a national holiday was just one of those things. She approached four presidents before approaching Abraham Lincoln, who finally made Thanksgiving a national holiday. When she thought something was important, she did not let go of it until she achieved her goal. Matt Faulkner used India ink, colored inks, watercolor, and gouache to create his illustrations. He goes beyond the text and it is quite evident that he had fun creating them. If you are looking for a different type of Thanksgiving book – check out Thank you, Sarah.

Image result for a turkey for thanksgiving buntingBunting, Eve. A Turkey for Thanksgiving. Illustrated by Diane de Groat. New York: Clarion Books, 1991.

I previously discussed this book on my blog. You can find that post here.

Image result for thanksgiving day at our houseCarlstrom, Nancy White. Thanksgiving Day at Our House: Thanksgiving Poems for the Very Young. Illustrated by R. W. Alley. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1999.

Nancy Carlstrom has written 15 poems which celebrate Thanksgiving. This book would most likely be appropriate for a secular audience – while many of the poems say “thank you” or “give thanks” only three mention God. R. W. Alley used pen-and-ink as well as watercolor to create his whimsical illustrations which go beyond the text. If you are looking for a source for Thanksgiving poems, Thanksgiving Day at Our House may just give you what you need.

Image result for the thanksgiving story by alice dalglieshDalgliesh, Alice. The Thanksgiving Story. Illustrated by Helen Sewell. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1954, 1982.

I previously discussed this book on my blog. You can find that post here.

Image result for the very first thanksgiving dayGreene, Rhonda Gowler. The Very First Thanksgiving Day. Paintings by Susan Gaber. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002.

I previously discussed this book on my blog. You can find that post here. 

Image result for the first thanksgiving haywardHayward, Linda. The First Thanksgiving. Illustrated by James Watling. New York: Random House, 1990.

The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward is a Step 2 book making it a great Thanksgiving book for early readers in grades 1-3. The story seems to be historically accurate. James Watling painted beautiful pictures to illustrate the text. They help a young reader to visualize parts of the text which may be unfamiliar to them. Both Linda Hayward and James Watling received help from the research staff at Plimouth Plantation.

Image result for off to plymouth rockMackall, Dandi Daley. Off to Plymouth Rock! Illustrated by Gene Barretta. Nashville, TN: Tommy Nelson, 2003.

Dandi Mackall has written many excellent books for young people. Off to Plymouth Rock! is no exception.  In this book, she summarizes the story of the Pilgrims into short rhyming phrases. Gene Barretta illustrated the book with comical pictures which go beyond the text. Children will enjoy the rhymes and the funny illustrations. If you are looking for another Thanksgiving book for your collection, Off to Plymouth Rock! deserves your consideration.

Image result for the pilgrim's first thanksgiving by mcgovernMcGovern, Ann. The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving. Illustrated by Elroy Freem. New York: Scholastic, 1973.

Ann McGovern’s The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving is an oldie but goodie. She includes details that help children better understand details of the Pilgrim’s life. “The Mayflower was as big as two trucks.” The children “had no toys. They had to leave most things behind.” The children are the focus of her text. The book takes the Pilgrims through their first year and seems to be historically accurate. Elroy Freem illustrated the text. His illustrations seem a bit flat by today’s standards but they are well-done. If you are still looking for Thanksgiving titles, The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving is one you should think about it.

You can purchase these book from Amazon. If you use my affiliate link, you will help support this children’s literature blog.
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
A Turkey for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day at Our House: Thanksgiving Poems for the Very Young
The Thanksgiving Story
The Very First Thanksgiving Day
The First Thanksgiving (Step-Into-Reading, Step 3)
Off to Plymouth Rock
The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving

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