The day to eat, of course, but also a day to take a moment for reflecting on all of the things we have to be grateful for, and, as we pull out our chairs to sit with family and friends, to remember those who aren’t with us at the table anymore. It’s a day to give to others who might need something hot to eat. It’s a day to appreciate the history of our country and to encourage our children to know what we are celebrating.
There are any number of children’s books about this holiday, but here are a few that my family has read and that are on our bookshelves to read again and again.
If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern, Anna DiVito (Illustrator)
In lively question-and-answer style, this fact-filled book answers all sorts of questions about the Pilgrims’ journey on the Mayflower and their first year in America. Why did the Pilgrims leave England to live in America? What items did they bring with them on the Mayflower? What were the hardships they endured? What was The Mayflower Compact?
We liked this one because the author shared details about the Pilgrims’ everyday life.
Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn : The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols by Edna Barth, Ursula Arndt (Illustrator)
Each of our holidays has its own familiar traditions: Trick-or-treating on Halloween, eating turkey on Thanksgiving, waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas, exchanging cards on Valentine’s Day. But where do these customs come from, when did they begin, and why do we continue to observe them?
Edna Barth explores the multicultural origins (something dear to my heart) and evolution of the familiar and not-so-familiar symbols and legends associated with our favorite holiday. This book is full of historical details and little-known stories, that are shared so that kids enjoy learning about that time in our history.
We also like Laurie Halse Anderson’s book, “Thank you Sarah:The Woman who Saved Thanksgiving.” It’s a story about Sarah Hale an editor who recognized this holiday was in danger of being forgotten. She set out to “show” everyone just how mighty that pen could be, and she saved the day we’ll be celebrating on Thursday.
Hope you’ll share some of your favorite books about Thanksgiving and tell us what you’re thankful for. And may you have a most wonderful day, no matter how you spend it. Now where did I last see that turkey?