Monday, November 17, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Thanksgiving Books

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It has yet to be commercialized. (I sure hope I never see the day when we have a Turkey on a Shelf!) It has some of my favorite foods. It doesn’t involve candy.  And at the risk of sounding Scrooge-ish, I am so glad that no gifts are involved. Gratitude is the emphasis. So refreshing.

In light of that (and because I am woefully behind on my middle grade reading), I am posting about two of my favorite Thanksgiving books. These are both picture books, but I think they would even appeal to older kids. I’ve never been one of those parents that ban picture books or push my kids to only read “at their grade level.” I still read picture books myself. We don’t grow out of them.

The Thanksgiving Door:

I discovered this a few years ago when I was looking for some Thanksgiving read alouds for my kids. It’s a different kind of Thanksgiving story. There are no pilgrims, no Native Americans, but there is a beautiful example of hospitality and giving thanks. Ed and Ann, an elderly couple, burn their dinner and end up going down the street to a restaurant run by new immigrants. The door is open because a potato has been jammed under the door, and they are asked to join in the immigrants’ Thanksgiving. One of my favorite lines: “In old country Thanksgiving door is like a happy heart, opened up big and wide. Potato good for that,” Grandmother said. It reminds me to keep the doors of my heart open this time of year.

The Secret of Saying Thanks:

I discovered this book several years ago when my in-person critique group went to a reading by the author, Douglas Wood. He read this particular book at the reading, and I was struck by how poetic the text was. I was especially drawn to the emphasis on being thankful about nature. I bought a copy, getting it signed for my kids though they were too young to understand it at the time. Now that they’re older, they come back to it. This has gorgeous illustrations, and the secret, when you discover it at the end is poignant and beautiful.

What are you favorite Thanksgiving or holiday books? Is there something you’re particularly thankful for this year?

I won't be posting next week, due to the holiday, but to my American readers, Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. The Secret of Saying Thanks sounds like it has a great message.
    Have a great Thanksgiving!!

  2. Looks like two great and different choices for the holiday. Have a great week off next week. I'm going to take one too.

  3. I still read picture books too, but I've never read these. Thanks for the recommendations and Happy Thanksgiving! It's one of my favorite holidays too. I shuddered at the thought of Turkey on the Shelf. Ack! Can you imagine?