Staff Picks for Children
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Recommended by Liz at West Kendall Regional
Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey
By Joy Cowley
Miguel’s trucker father hopes he will be in town for Thanksgiving dinner, so he sends his family a turkey to fatten up for the holiday. Miguel’s abuela, abuelo and his tía Rosa are not sure where to put the turkey in their New York apartment, but Miguel finds a way. He names the turkey Gracias, and is soon taking her for walks and declaring she is his friend and that he loves her. Naturally, no one has the heart to eat Miguel’s new companion for Thanksgiving dinner, and Abuela and Abuelo find the perfect home for Gracias.
A heartwarming story of friendship and the importance of family and community make this a great Thanksgiving read‑aloud. Joe Cepeda’s illustrations are full of humor and warmth, particularly the depiction of Miguel’s love for Gracias.Check Availability
Thanksgiving Is Here!
By Diane Goode
A family gathers at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for an old‑fashioned Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone is peaceful as meal preparations begin, but throughout the day more and more relatives arrive, and the house grows more and more chaotic. Finally, 28 people and one stray dog sit down for dinner. Everyone has a story to tell, from the glamorous aunt to the uncle with a sliding hairpiece, to a relative bringing a huge wrapped present that holds a special surprise.
Diane Goode’s illustrations are delightful and offer secrets and discoveries on every page. Romance, grudges and mischief are all part of this Thanksgiving Day celebration, as is the love that ties the family together.Check Availability
Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’
By Eileen Spinelli
The Tappletons are ready to prepare their Thanksgiving feast, and each member of the family has an assignment to make a dish for dinner. However, everyone’s efforts meet with disaster: Mrs. Tappleton’s turkey ends up in the pond, Mr. Tappleton goes to the bakery too late to buy the pies, Kenny fed the salad to the animals at school, and Jenny loses all the potatoes to a mixer accident. Everyone tries to hide the truth of their culinary failures, but once dinner begins everyone must come clean, and the family realizes they have nothing for Thanksgiving. Grandma Tappleton points out that they may not have a holiday feast, but they have each other, and they pull together dinner from leftovers in the kitchen. The humor and heartfelt celebration at its end make this story a favorite for a holiday read‑aloud.Check Availability
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
By Laurie Halse Anderson
Starting with a challenge – “You think you know everything about Thanksgiving, don’t you?” – Thank You, Sarah tells the story of Sarah Hale, best remembered for writing a favorite childhood song, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Hale was an activist, magazine editor, author and teacher who fought for 35 years to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, finally convincing President Abraham Lincoln to declare the holiday in 1863. The endnotes give more information about Hale’s inspirational life as well as the history of Thanksgiving Day.
Matt Faulkner’s illustrations are full of fun details and show Hale’s determination in her long fight for the holiday. The final picture of a joyous Thanksgiving feast illustrates the importance of Hale’s legacy.Check Availability
This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story
By Laura Krauss Melmed
Pilgrim and Wampanoag children prepare for the first Thanksgiving feast in this entertaining counting book. The children pull up parsnips for soup, dig clams for stew and bring in the maize from the cornfield. The rhymes are fun and informative and, along with the vibrant illustrations by Mark Buehner using fall colors and the landscape of New England, this book sets a festive mood. Hidden animals appear throughout the book and children will enjoy finding and counting the rabbits, squirrels and other animals frolicking on every page.Check Availability