Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather and celebrate. Many of us gather for a large family meal enjoying the company and giving thanks for all of the wonderful blessings we have experienced over the past year. It is also a great time to be able to share books of the story of thanksgiving and traditions that are celebrated around the United States. There are many stories that you can read with your child to expand their history and cultural knowledge about Thanksgiving.
One good book that gives a different cultural perspective on Thanksgiving is Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley. This is a story about a Puerto Rican boy who saves his pet turkey on Thanksgiving. This book incorporates Spanish, multi-generational family members, and his connection with his father who is often gone for long stretches of time while on the road working. It provides a glimpse into a different cultural experience or possibly a story to which your family can relate in many ways.
Another popular Thanksgiving story is How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story by Even Bunting. In this modern Thanksgiving story, a family is fleeing from their troubled Caribbean island to start their new life in America. Their escape to freedom and hope for their arrival on Thanksgiving brings a modern day cultural twist on the traditional story of Thanksgiving.
For a more traditional book, a good choice is The Story of Thanksgiving by Nancy Skarmeas. This story covers the pilgrim’s trip to America for freedom, meeting with the Native Americans, and the first Thanksgiving feast. It is a great book for an introduction to young children about how we came to celebrate Thanksgiving and the true meaning behind being thankful.
A fun and outlandish Thanksgiving read, and one of my personal favorites, is I Know and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson and Judy Schachner. This silly story is about the old lady who ate all of the Thanksgiving foods before she even made it to the dinner table. The funny illustrations, clever rhymes, and silly story is sure you make your little one laugh this Thanksgiving.
Be thankful this holiday season for such great stories to share with your children about Thanksgiving. What are the favorites to read at your home?
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Elementary Reading Curriculum at Smart Tutor