Kiddosphere: Thanksgiving Tales

Posted by Aaron on

With just days until we celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at some top-notch children’s books about the big day. 

For a historical take on the festivities, 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving is a fascinating look at the actual events of the first Thanksgiving. At just under 50 pages, this is an accessible read for both independent readers and adults who want a basic (re)introduction to the 1621 observance.

If it’s simply not Thanksgiving morning without watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, check out Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. Melissa Sweet’s charming information picture book is a must read for all parade watchers.

Looking for a funny chapter book read for a road trip? Take along The Hoboken Chicken Emergency. What happens when you go to pick up your Thanksgiving turkey and return with a 266 pound chicken? Although this was first published in 1977, it still remains fresh and hilarious.

Otis the tractor’s stories are very popular with our patrons, so a Thanksgiving-themed board book was sure to be a hit! Otis Gives Thanks is a simple board book perfect for introducing this character to very young listeners, as well as a great discussion starter on “things I’m thankful for” for older listeners.

Did you know that Thanksgiving wasn’t an official public holiday until 1863? Thank You, Sarah! The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving pays tribute to the woman who persisted through five administrations until Abraham Lincoln made it official.

Ever wonder why the President pardons a turkey every Thanksgiving? Although declaring which president was the first to officially pardon a turkey is up for debate, the first White House pardoning of a turkey is probably thanks to young Tad Lincoln, who intervened on behalf of a turkey presented to his father and destined for the White House Thanksgiving feast. The Lincoln boys were, by all accounts, over indulged and spoiled. When Tad became the only child living at the White House after his brother Robert left to attend college and brother Willie was lost to tuberculosis, the Lincolns found it hard to resist any plea from Tad. When Tad learned that the turkey he had adopted as a pet was going to be the Thanksgiving turkey, he begged his father to reprieve him, which he did. Thanksgiving in the White House is a charmer!

Finally, Thanksgiving Is… is a great introduction to the history and traditions of Thanksgiving for young readers and listeners. Gail Gibbons informational picture books are “just right” for young learners and this one definitely fits the bill for a read aloud nonfiction book for kindergarten students and up.

For more Thanksgiving suggestions, check out Warrenton Youth Services’s recent Staff Picks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

For program highlights and staff suggestions for children and young adult readers, make Kiddosphere your source for all the latest on what to read and what to do for kids!

Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library

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