Wednesday, November 18, 2020

TIMELY THANKSGIVING TITLES by Sherri Jones Rivers

      Fall is a wonderful, refreshing time of the year and especially the Thanksgiving season and all it means to friends and family. Lots of great children's books are out there that celebrate the season. I contacted the children's librarian, Heather McCue, in Columbia, SC, at the Richland County Library. They have a fabulous, up-to-date collection of kidlit books. She was gracious enough to send me a list of the more popular books in her downtown library. She broke them down into three categories--Families and Food, Gratitude, and Thanksgiving. I decided to pick two from each group. You may have your own favorites, but maybe you will add some of these to your list.


                                                              FAMILIES AND FOOD


All for Pie, Pie for all by David Martin.

This  is a cute book with whimsical illustrations that are detailed and denote a warm and cozy feeling. An especially good book for preschoolers that features animals--cats, mice, and ants. Each group feasts on the Thanksgiving pie leftovers, with the ants finishing the last crumbs. I could see children joining in on the repeated phrases--Little brother ate a piece, big sister ate a piece, momma cat ate a piece, poppa cat ate a piece and Grandma cat ate a piece. Once the pie is gone, hunger sets in and with a joint effort from the cats, the mice and the ants, a fresh pie is produced--this time it's blueberry.





Grandma's Tiny House by Janay Brown Wood 

This is a sweet story I think children can relate to. Even
though social distancing seems to be in order for now, they can remember times of big family get-togethers and
can look forward to more in the future. The cast of diverse characters gives children their place in the book. The rhyme draws you in and it's nice to have a counting book that goes past the number ten. There is always something new in the illustrations that the reader may not have noticed before. The young reader will be excited to see that a child has the solution for the too-full house.






                                                                      GRATITUDE



We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorrell.

This book rings true because Traci's mom was a part of the Cherokee nation, and Traci herself lives within that nation. The book starts with fall, since that represents the Cherokee New Year, and goes through each season with bright and colorful illustrations of everyday things that are celebrated. This book is good for all ages and introduces Cherokee culture in a charming and relatable way. For added interest, the illustrator decided to put a pileated woodpecker in each spread so the reader would have something to look forward to.




Gracias Thanks by Pat Moira 

A young Mexican/Caucasian boy shares everyday things to be grateful for. The acrylic illustrations by John Parra are full of fun details that pop with color and vibrancy. From the moment he wakes up to the bright sunshine's warmth until he goes to bed to the sound of chirping crickets, he gives thanks for the things and people in his life. The poetic writing on each page gives us the Spanish version of what's being said. (I got to practice my Spanish) This bilingual book would be a great read-aloud for classroom story time. The author's endnote challenges the reader to make a list of what he's thankful for.


                                                                    THANKSGIVING


One is a Feast for Mouse by Judy Cox.

What a fun book with lively and engaging illustrations. Mouse peeps out of his hidey hole and spies the leftovers of a big Thanksgiving feast. One green pea catches his eye and seems to be the perfect feast for one little mouse. Or is it? Reading the online reviews, I especially liked one idea of a home-schooling mom who concocted a sequencing activity. She traced the  mouse and drew a picture of each food that he adds to his stack. The kids colored and cut out the mouse, along with the foods. Then, she had them recall the foods added and glue each item  in order, just like in the book. Maybe some other families would like to try this idea.





I Know an Old Woman who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson 

Lots of versions of the "Old Lady" stories exist, but this one is perfectly suited for a Thanksgiving read. Things that might show up on the readers' table are mentioned here--pie, turkey, squash, salad, rolls, etc. The illustrations are whimsical and chaotically fun, getting more and more ridiculous. The ending is clever as she is finally big enough to be a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. In a review, one mother said she made a cardboard cut-out of the old lady, cut out a stomach, and let the kids draw and color their favorite foods to "feed" her with. Cute idea for a theme-related activity.




Some other books you might want to add to your list are Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson, and Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller. Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!



10 comments:

  1. Great multicultural list, Sherri. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. I enjoyed learning about these books.

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  2. Great list! I've read 3 of them, so thanks for the new titles!

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  3. Great list. I am a big fan of Grandma's Tiny House. Thanks for the post.

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  4. What a great list of books to read this holiday.I especially like Traci Sorell's book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga.

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  5. Thanks for adding to my TBR pile, Sherri. I've only read a couple of these, and feel the need to get into the spirit of gratitude.

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  6. What a great list! Thanks so much for pulling it all together for us.

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    1. Thanks, Julie. Too many to mention in a short post.

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