Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Here it is again.  

The day to eat, of course, but also a day to take a moment for reflecting on all of the things we have to be grateful for, and, as we pull out our chairs to sit with family and friends, to remember those who aren't with us at the table anymore. It's a day to give to others who might need something hot to eat. It's a day to appreciate the history of our country and to encourage our children to know what we are celebrating.

There are any number of children's books about this holiday, but here are a few that my family has read and that are on our bookshelves to read again and again.

If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern, Anna DiVito (Illustrator)

In lively question-and-answer style, this fact-filled book answers all sorts of questions about the Pilgrims' journey on the Mayflower and their first year in America. Why did the Pilgrims leave England to live in America?  What items did they bring with them on the Mayflower? What were the hardships they endured? What was The Mayflower Compact?

We liked this one because the author shared details about the Pilgrims' everyday life.

Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn : The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols by Edna Barth, Ursula Arndt (Illustrator)

Each of our holidays has its own familiar traditions: Trick-or-treating on Halloween, eating turkey on Thanksgiving, waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas, exchanging cards on Valentine's Day. But where do these customs come from, when did they begin, and why do we continue to observe them?

Edna Barth explores the multicultural origins (something dear to my heart) and evolution of the familiar and not-so-familiar symbols and legends associated with our favorite holiday. This book is full of  historical details and little-known stories, that are shared so that kids enjoy learning about that time in our history.

We also like Laurie Halse Anderson's book, "Thank you Sarah:The Woman who Saved Thanksgiving." It's a story about Sarah Hale an editor who recognized this holiday was in danger of being forgotten. She set out to "show" everyone just how mighty that pen could be, and she saved the day we'll be celebrating on Thursday.

Hope you'll share some of your favorite books about Thanksgiving and tell us what you're thankful for. And may you have a most wonderful day, no matter how you spend it. Now where did I last see that turkey?


  1. I'm working on my thankful post for Wednesday. So much to put on the list this year. :)

    My daughter likes the Dora the Explorer Thanksgiving book. We have others, too, but she's asleep and the titles are not coming to mind right now. I'll have to stop back later, when her nap is over.

  2. These look lovely. I'm not familiar with any Thanksgivings books, but now I am. :)

  3. Lovely post! Happy Thanksgiving to you.

  4. I can't seem to think of any Thanksgiving books at the moment. Thanks for sharing these titles.

    I'm particularly thankful this year to be able to spend the day with family. Last year my parents were each in a different nursing home, in different towns. Although I visited with both of them, it wasn't the same as being together. Sadly, my father will not be with us this year, but my mother is home again, and for that I'm very thankful.
    Wishing you the best of days!

  5. Love it! My daughter's class did a play about Sarah Hale. My favorite line was her kids saying "We sure are glad our mom writes stories for magazines!" LOL

  6. I'm thankful for everything. God, family, friends, shelter, etc. Even mistakes, so long as I learn from them. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. these all sound like great books that I should have been reading to my DDs *hangs head in shame*

  8. I hadn't heard of these books before, but they all sound great! In a few years, my grandkids will be old enough for me to read these books to them. I want to teach them these things!

  9. I used to love reading Arthur's Thanksgiving with my kids - we loved all the Arthur books. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  10. Aw, what a great list! I can't think of anything Thanksgiving books at the moment... so thank you!

  11. The first book you mentioned comes in a series I actually use with some of my students - they're pretty good!

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  12. Hey Lee! Just wanted to say thanks for joining the IWSG. Look forward to your first post in December.

  13. Lovely post! Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you!

  14. These books sound great. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.

  15. I'm back and settling in after T'day. Loved all of your messages and hope your day was special with those you love.

    Can you believe we are almost at Dec? I can't. Shock! Guess there's an evergreen indoor tree to be considered soon. And kids' presents. They always get books, so no problem. The big people get hugs and their gifts are donations to causes in their names.


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