13 Thanksgiving Books We Love

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Whenever I put together a compilation of favorite holiday books I do my best to ensure that I would own absolutely every single book on the list. Nothing half-hearted here. Meaning these carefully curated books feature stories and illustrations exciting enough to engage both children and parents. Some of the books I mentioned last year on Instagram and are certainly already familiar to you, but I figured it was time to make an official list. Thanksgiving, to me, is the start of slowing down and savoring life. Which makes reading the perfect activity leading into the calmer season of the year. I hope you retreat into some of these picture books over the coming month. And do let me know if I missed one of your favorite Thanksgiving reads.
  1. Thanksgiving is Here! by Diane Goode - This book, a celebration of large families gathering for the grandest feast of the year, is new to me, but the movement and energy of the illustrations take me back to my grandparent's house and all the long table meals we shared there. 
  2. A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman - What's a town to do when all the turkeys go missing every autumn? Host an art show, of course. This lyrically rhyming book is a festive romp, certain to entertain even after multiple reads. 
  3. Thankful by Eileen Spinelli - Gratitude is a lifelong lesson and this book celebrates everyday blessings, woven together with playful images and a sweet text. Perfect for a bedtime read-aloud.
  4. Thanksgiving With Me by Margaret Willey - With a bevy of brothers, a sumptuous spread, rhyming verse, and a banjo, this book is a celebration of family and food, with every detail accounted for in vibrant exuberance. 
  5. Handscrabble Harvest by Dahlov Ipcar - I've never met a Dashlov Ipcar book I didn't like. This one may be a little hard to find, but it's worth the hunt. With bold vintage-like illustrations, the book follows a steadfast farmer, who literally scrambles after his crops, ensuring there's enough left for his family once harvest rolls around. An altogether familiar tale for anyone that has had to fend off unwanted garden critters. 
  6. Sharing the Bread: An Old-fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller - I read this book last year and was completely smitten after one read. With such a sense of love and community, this family reminds us how many hands it takes to truly make a loving meal. And since eating is universal, the story feels both fresh and well-worn.
  7. The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell - I believe I stumbled across this book via Goodreads and I'm SO glad I did. Especially because it features two older adults (grandparent like), who, after having burnt Thanksgiving dinner, stumble upon a neighbor's open restaurant door and end up having a celebration of cultures they never could have anticipated. 
  8. Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano - Two weeks until Thanksgiving and this bird's got trouble. With a few creative costume changes, Turkey almost pulls off his barnyard doppelganger ruse to avoid becoming the table centerpiece. 
  9. Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet - Take a trip from Harlem to Herald Square as you learn about Tony Sarg, the man who made upside-down marionettes soar. A whimsical nonfiction story about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, told through Sweet's unparalleled collage and paint illustrations.  
  10. In November by Cynthia Rylant - The air is chilly and the trees are bare, each animal makes a burrow for winter and the hearth smells of cinnamon and squash. My favorite sequence is the concluding page. 
  11. Over the River and Through the Woods by Lydia Marie Child - There are numerous versions of this beloved Thanksgiving poem, but the over-the-top illustrations in this one make it my favorite rendition. 
  12. Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin- It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a secret family recipe and a little drama. Plus this book comes with a delicious sweet bread recipe in the back (be sure to omit the raisins). 
  13. The Very Stuffed Turkey by Katharine Kenah - Turkey is the guest of honor at not one, but five thanksgiving dinners. With grace and humor he somehow manages to make his way through each meal. A favorite amongst preschoolers. 
Itching for Christmas books? Check out this popular post and stay tuned for a brand new children's advent list coming very shortly.

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