Thanksgiving Books to Tempt your Reading Palate

Gobble up these books.

Samuel Eaton’s Day, Sarah Morton’s Day, and Tapenum’s Day are three nonfiction books written by Kate Waters that show readers what it was like to live during Pilgrim times. The photographs that appear in the books were taken by Russ Kendall at the historic setting of Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts. The books take you through the day of each child, showing what type of clothes they wore, the type of food they ate, and their daily chores. The authenticity of these books makes them excellent resources for teachers and students alike.

Thanksgiving Mice! written by Bethany Roberts and illustrated by Doug Cushman is a perfectly delightful book for young children. Four mice are putting on play about the First Thanksgiving for their animal friends. The illustrations show the mice making the scenery and presenting the play. The rhyming text is short and fun – just right for preschoolers. Children will enjoy acting out the story once you’ve read it to them.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Diane de Groat finds Mr. and Mrs. Moose inviting all of their friends for Thanksgiving dinner. When turkey is invited, he fears for the worst, but all turns out well when he is seated at the dinner table and not on the dinner table as the main course. Turkey’s expressions are priceless.

Just for fun. Jim Arnosky’s I’m a Turkey! offers up interesting facts about wild turkeys, including how they communicate, how they fly, and how they protect themselves. What makes this book even more enjoyable is that you can download the song “Talkin’ Turkey” that follows along with the book and is sung by Jim Arnosky.

Minnie and Moo and the Thanksgiving Tree, an easy reader book written and illustrated by Denys Cazet, is hilarious. In this adventure, the turkeys ask the cows, Minnie and Moo, to hide them so they won’t become part of Mrs. Farmer’s Thanksgiving dinner. The cows hide the flock of turkeys in an oak tree. Soon Minnie and Moo find themselves helping all the farm animals hide in the tree just in case Mrs. Farmer is looking for something other than turkeys for dinner. When an egg falls out of the tree onto the tofu loaf Mrs. Farmer has prepared for a picnic, her cousins declare the tree a Thanksgiving Tree. The story becomes truly comical when the animals in the tree mistakenly think there are bees in there. Suddenly, animals are falling, jumping, flying, and bouncing out of the tree. This is just one of the uproarious adventures in the series of Minnie and Moo books.  

Molly’s Pilgrim written by Barbara Cohen is a classic story and one of my favorites. Molly is a Russian Jewish immigrant who is being teased by her classmates. When Molly’s homework assignment is to make a Pilgrim for a class project, her mother says she will help. Molly’s mother makes her Pilgrim look like a Russian girl and not like a Mayflower Pilgrim. Her classmates laugh at her for not knowing what a Pilgrim is. Molly explains to her teacher that her mother is a Pilgrim, too, because she came to America for religious freedom. Her teacher speaks to the class and explains that the Pilgrims got the idea for Thanksgiving from reading the Bible about the Jewish harvest holiday, and then she places Molly’s Pilgrim in a special place on her desk for all to admire. This book defines the true meaning of a Pilgrim and is an excellent tool for discussions about bullying, tolerance, and acceptance.

Are there other Thanksgiving books that fill your reading appetite?

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2 Comments on “Thanksgiving Books to Tempt your Reading Palate”

  1. Ruth Says:

    Excellent selection. A Turkey for Thanksgiving is my favorite read aloud. Happy Thanksgiving!


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