Great Books for Thanksgiving

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Great Books for Thanksgiving

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The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune by P.J. Lynch
Grades: 4-6
At a young age, John Howland learned what it meant to take advantage of an opportunity. Leaving the docks of London on the Mayflower as an indentured servant to Pilgrim John Carver, John Howland little knew that he was embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. By his great good fortune, John survived falling overboard on the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, and he earned his keep ashore by helping to scout a safe harbor and landing site for his bedraggled and ill shipmates. Would his luck continue to hold amid the dangers and adversity of the Pilgrims’ lives in New England? John Howland’s tale is masterfully told in his own voice, bringing an immediacy and young perspective to the oft-told Pilgrims’ story. P.J. Lynch captures this pivotal moment in American history in precise and exquisite detail, from the light on the froth of a breaking wave to the questioning voice of a teen in a new world.


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Thankful by Eileen Spinelli
Grades: PreK-2
Thankful, by bestselling and award-winning children’s author Eileen Spinelli, combines charming rhymes and whimsical illustrations to convey the importance of being thankful for everyday blessings. Like the gardener thankful for every green sprout, and the fireman, for putting the fire out, readers are encouraged to be thankful for the many blessings they find in their lives. Spinelli exhibits her endearing storytelling with this engaging poem, reminding children how blessed and special they are. Meant to be read aloud, this heartwarming picture book will be a treasured keepsake for parents and children alike.


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The Thankful Book by Todd Parr
Grades: PreK-2
Todd Parr’s bestselling books have taught kids about unconditional love, respecting the earth, facing fears, and more, all with his signature blend of playfulness and sensitivity. Now, The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, Todd inspires readers to remember all of life’s special moments. The perfect book to treasure and share, around the holidays and throughout the year.


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Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrations by Jill McElmurry
Grades: 1-3
Celebrate food and family with this heartwarming Thanksgiving picture book. We will share the risen bread. / Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread. / Grateful to be warm and fed. / We will share the bread. In this spirited ode to the holiday, set at the turn of the twentieth century, a large family works together to make their special meal. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, Sister kneads, and Brother bastes. Everyone—from Grandma and Grandpa to the littlest baby—has a special job to do. Told in spare, rhythmic verse and lively illustrations, Sharing the Bread is a perfect read-aloud to celebrate the Thanksgiving tradition.


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Bright Baby: Happy Thanksgiving by Roger Priddy
Grades: Toddler-PreK
What is Thanksgiving? It’s turkey and pumpkin pie, but most of all it’s a time to spend with family and friends. With photographs to look at and Thanksgiving words to learn, this sturdy board book is ideal for adults to read and share with very young children to introduce them to this special holiday.


 

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The First Thanksgiving: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Nancy Davis
Grades: Toddler-PreK
Nancy Davis recreates the excitement and wonder of the first Thanksgiving–how the pilgrims came to America and how the Native Americans taught them to plant and then joined them in a Thanksgiving feast. Parents can use the simple text and the bright, graphic illustrations of this lift-the-flap book to introduce a very young child to this holiday.


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Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson, Illustrations by Matt Faulkner
Grades: 2-5
From the author of Speak and Fever, 1793, comes the never-before-told tale of Sarah Josepha Hale, the extraordinary “lady editor” who made Thanksgiving a national holiday!

Thanksgiving might have started with a jubilant feast on Plymouth’s shore. But by the 1800s America’s observance was waning. None of the presidents nor Congress sought to revive the holiday. And so one invincible “lady editor” name Sarah Hale took it upon herself to rewrite the recipe for Thanksgiving as we know it today. This is an inspirational, historical, all-out boisterous tale about perseverance and belief: In 1863 Hale’s thirty-five years of petitioning and orations got Abraham Lincoln thinking. He signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation that very year, declaring it a national holiday. This story is a tribute to Hale, her fellow campaigners, and to the amendable government that affords citizens the power to make the world a better place!


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Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet
Grades: 1-5
Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America—the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Parade. Winner of the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal and the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award.


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Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano, Illustrations by Lee Harper
Grades: K-2
Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving . . . and you’re the main
course. But Turkey has an idea–what if he doesn’t look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?
After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!


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Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving by James Dean and Kimberly Dean
Grades: K-2
Join Pete in New York Times bestselling artist James Dean’s Pete the Cat picture book series as Pete celebrates Thanksgiving in this groovy lift-the-flap book!

Starring in the school Thanksgiving play would make even the coolest cat nervous. But when Pete the Cat gets onstage, he makes learning the story of the first Thanksgiving fun. With thirteen flaps that open to reveal hidden surprises, this book is sure to be a holiday favorite for every Pete the Cat fan.


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The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving by Ann Mcgovern, Illustrations by Elroy Freem
Grades: 1-3
The Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving lasted three whole days. Ann McGovern’s simple text introduces children to the struggles of the Pilgrims during their first year at Plymouth Colony and the events leading to the historic occasion we celebrate today.

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