Celebrate Thanksgiving

Cornucopia Turkey What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Giving thanks is the heart and soul of this American holiday. Every year, on the fourth Thursday in November, we spend time with loved ones-cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner, making holiday crafts and decorations, and volunteering in the community. We express our gratitude-just like Junie B. in Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff), which has this popular character working with her first grade classmates to win a school competition for the best list of things they are grateful for. The other recent children's titles featured here focus on the rich history and traditions of Thanksgiving with heart and humor. To search for more "Turkey Day" titles, learn about awards, and find curriculum tools search the CLCD database.

For further information and activities please visit:
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/collection/teaching-about-first-thanksgiving http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving

Contributor: Emily Griffin


10 Turkeys in the Road
Brenda Reeves Sturgis
Illustrated by David Slonim

Ten of the silliest turkeys you'll ever see, practicing their hilarious circus routines, block a farmer's path. The farmer tries everything to get them to move, and one by one, page by page, the turkeys fly away. This delightful rhyming tale counts down from ten turkeys to none, as the farmer becomes more and more upset. By the end of the day, he is left alone and without his truck, forced to hitch a ride with some pigs who are going to, of course, the turkey circus! Bright and colorful acrylic illustrations are delightfully wacky, and the characters' expressions are hilarious. In each frame, Slonim shows one turkey flying off in some absurd and imaginative, if not obvious way. The repetition and predictable plot will make this a favorite for early readers and read-alouds. Recommended. 2011, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, Ages 3 to 7, $16.99. Reviewer: MaryAnn Karre (Library Media Connection, January/February 2012).
ISBN: 9780761458470

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
Melissa Sweet

Tony Sarg was fascinated by puppets. In 1924, Macy's department store in New York City asked Tony to help put on a parade for their employees, many of whom were immigrants and missed the holiday traditions from their homelands. It was such a hit that Macy's decided to make it an annual Thanksgiving Day event. When Macy's asked Tony to incorporate animals into the parade (live tigers proved too frightening for some parade watchers!), he immediately thought of puppets. Through trial and error, he developed what has become one of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade's mainstays: the playful, eye-catching, larger-than-life balloons. Melissa Sweet's captivating picture book showcases Sarg's lively mind and creative and mechanical processes. Sweet uses a variety of illustration styles in the delightful, multilayered collage art that includes schematics and plans, photographs of toys she constructed to reflect Sarg's own creations, scenes from Sarg's life, and of course images of the parade balloons bobbing through the streets of New York. A bibliography and source notes; Sweet's own commentary on researching, writing, and illustrating the book; more on Sarg's career and legacy; and even a letter written to Sarg by a young fan round out this singular, inspiring work. Highly Commended. 2011, Houghton Mifflin, Ages 6 to 10, $16.99. Reviewer: CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 2012).
ISBN: 9780547199450

Counting on FallLizann Flatt
Illustrated by Ashley Barron

The layered collage illustrations of fall are the settings to introduce the concepts of number sense and counting. In the layout with the golden autumn trees, compare where there are more or less leaves on the trees and on the ground. Examine the pod of whales swimming in the water and determine their ordinal placement. Count the paired-up pronghorns by twos to find out how many are grazing on the grasslands. Although readers may count the animals or objects in the picture, there is also a suggestion on the page for supporting number sense such as counting by twos, fives, or tens or finding different ways to make up ten. There are multiple ways to use the book to introduce math concepts. At the back of the book in the Nature Notes, there is brief information about the animal or plant featured in each layout. Read how milkweed pods and blackberry seeds travel. Learn about the general habitat and diet of raccoons, the migration of the monarch butterflies, and more. This book is the first one published in the "Math in Nature" series three other titles are scheduled for publication. 2012, Owlkids Books, Ages 4 to 7, $14.95. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781926973364

Diary of a Pet Turkey: Based on a True Story
Joanne F. Ingis
Illustrated by Binny

Thanksgiving dinner is not for your typical family pet, unless you are the main character, Magic Marker. She is a turkey and her life is nothing less than extraordinary. There is no farm or woods for this girl. Magic Marker is brought home by a suburban family as an egg and gives us an explanation of how to set up an incubator for a turkey egg. Young readers learn many fun filled facts from Magic Marker including: turkey egg facts, turkey sounds, anatomy, diet, mating, growth, and typical habitat. Ingis has done an amazing job using a humorous turkey character with a spunky, likeable personality, and engaging readers. We get a glimpse of what a life of a pet turkey is like through her eyes. Do not worry, Magic Marker is in no danger of ending up on a plate for dinner; she has an important role, laying eggs. Sixty-eight to be exact. The illustrations in this book are great and the unique story is interesting enough for any young, school aged reader. There is even a small diary at the end for readers to make their own pet autobiography. 2011, Blue Apple Books, Ages 5 to 8, $11.99. Reviewer: Lisa Kuehne (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781609050917

I See Fall
Charles Ghigna
Illustrated by Ag Jatkowska

This rhyming picture book for toddlers follows children through typical fall activities following the arc of a day, beginning with walking in the woods surrounded by fall leaves and ending with eating a Thanksgiving dinner. This book is well-crafted to appeal to toddlers. The language is in the first-person in present tense, which toddlers will be able to follow, and involves daily activities and sights which will be familiar to them. The vocabulary is simple and toddlers will know most of the words, and the rhyming text will appeal to toddlers and help them increase their language skills. Toddlers will also be drawn to the illustrations, which are created with simple lines and shapes and brightly colored. This is one of four books in the "I See" series. Recommended. 2012, Picture Window Books/Capstone, Ages 2 to 5, $15.99. Reviewer: Jeannine Stickle (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781404865891

Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff)
Barbara Park
Illustrated by Denise Brunkus

Here is another funny adventure with Junie B. Jones at Thanksgiving time. She is a favorite children's book character whose author knows how to tickle everyone's funny bone. This book finds Junie B. working hard in school to make a list of things for which she is grateful. Mr. Scary, Junie's teacher, says if the students in Room One create a good list together they may be able to win the school contest. It doesn't take long to discover that that not everyone agrees on the items to be included. For example: is toilet paper a good item to be grateful for? How about a new T shirt? Junie B. has a hard time trying to accept some decisions and the people who suggest them, especially when she feels grouchy. When the class list is completed, the families of the Room One children come to school to see costumed young Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrate their program version of the very first Thanksgiving together. Of course Junie B. can't wait to see if Room One is declared the school contest winner. Whether the book is read aloud or independently by a child, the familiar and large drawings in some chapters will clearly display the emotions of Junie B. and her friends. There is always plenty of excitement when Junie B. Jones is around. Even the turkey can't help but smile. 2012, Random House, Ages 6 to 8, $11.99. Reviewer: Enid Portnoy (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9780375870637

Katie Saves Thanksgiving
Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer
Fran Manushkin
Illustrated by Tammie Lyon

Katie and her father discuss the Pilgrims and the Thanksgiving tradition while they wait for friends to come over, but they start to worry when the snow begins to fall heavily. Then Katie's mom discovers that the stove is not working. JoJo and Pedro call Katie from their car, where they are stuck and waiting for a tow truck. Katie and her dad go outside to shovel snow, and Katie decides to shovel the sidewalk for their neighbor, Mrs. West who has cooked a feast in anticipation of her own family's arrival. She is saddened when she learns the snow has caused flight delays. When JoJo and Pedro finally arrive, Katie invites Mrs. West (and her dinner) to their house for Thanksgiving. Three short chapters employ simple, repetitive language that will appeal to young readers, and Lyon's cheerful, watercolor cartoon images highlight the action in every page. End pages include notes and photos of both author and illustrator, a glossary, discussion questions, writing prompts, a simple recipe for "Pilgrim cookies," and an invitation to a website with more activities. The book would make a good holiday gift. It could also be shared during several short classroom lessons. 2011, Picture Window Books, Ages 5 to 8, $3.95 and $14.39. Reviewer: Dawna Lisa Buchanan (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9781404859883

Pumpkin Countdown
Joan Holub
Illustrated by Jan Smith

Ms. Blue and her students take a field trip to the pumpkin patch. The countdown begins at twenty, the number of name tags. The number of items (i.e. eleven bees, ten scarecrows, and six striped pumpkins) involves one-to-one correspondence. In addition, this book provides a different way to look at some of the numbers that involves understanding the text. For instance, the number nine is for the number of children sitting on each side of the wagon for the tractor ride (with Ms. Blue and one student sitting at the back end). Two is for pairs of students walking back to the bus. There are colorful illustrations to provide some support with the text; the number word is in orange, bold print. The top corner of the page includes a pumpkin with the pertinent numeral for the count. For the number seventeen, readers may look for the seventeen orange items in the picture; the list of the orange objects are at the bottom of the page. On the endpapers, there are twenty facts about pumpkins. One fact about pumpkins floating seems to attribute it to the fruit's water content and oddly does not mention the pumpkin's density. This book provides some different ways to understand numbers that make a welcomed addition to a study unit. 2012, Albert Whitman & Company, Ages 4 to 7, $16.99. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9780807566602

Sarah Gives Thanks
Mike Allegra
Illustrated by David Gardner

Today, Thanksgiving in the United States is an official holiday that occurs on the fourth Thursday in the month of November. However, this was not always the case; until the mid-1800s when a woman named Sarah Hale campaigned for several years to recognize Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Read the introductory information about Sarah Hale's life and background. She was a single mother with several children to support. In order to provide for her family, Sarah Hale worked as a writer and editor for a women's magazine; her articles influenced many subscribers. During her life, Sarah felt that it was important for Americans to give thanks for the many blessing that they received. She wrote to several presidents asking that they make Thanksgiving a national holiday but there was no action taken. She continued to write letters and was determined to make it happen. Abraham Lincoln received one of Sarah's letters. During his presidential term, Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. In 1863, Hale's dream to make Thanksgiving an official holiday became a reality. In the book, readers will find illustrations depicting some of the different periods of Sarah's life. At the back of the book, the author's notes provide additional information about Sarah Hale. There is a list of sources about her life and publications. 2012, Albert Whitman & Company, Ages 6 to 10, $16.99. Carrie Hane Hung (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9780807572399

Trudi Strain Trueit

The smiling face of a young boy peeks over a roasted turkey on the cover of this book that invites readers in to learn about Thanksgiving. Before the readers begin they discover a spread of "Picture Words" that pairs up pictures and words to be found in the text. The book is from the "Holiday Fun" series where all books are set in an easy reader format of twenty-four pages with one page of large print text on the left and a bright, colorful photo on the right. Books, dogs, family, pumpkin pie, and turkey are a few of the picture/word pairs. In this specific book a repetitive pattern of the words, "I am thankful for…" is followed by a picture that young readers can easily identify. The patterning gives readers the opportunity to "read" simple sentences such as, "I am thankful for toys." Vivid, colorful photos of children wearing their best smiles add to the enjoyment. End matter includes a simple "Words to Know" page that offers definitions and pronunciations for family, thankful, and Thanksgiving. An additional page lists books and up-to-date websites with more information. This book makes a good supplement to holiday units, or to social studies, and history lessons. 2011, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 5 to 7, $22.70. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury (Children's Literature).
ISBN: 9780761448884

Updated 10/1/12

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