I love books. I really love books. I mean, I really really really love books. I think I may have an addiction. Our library wall is full, our schoolroom is full, they are spilling into our living room and I am begging Joey for more space somewhere. But I don’t only love books for the journey they take you on through their story, I don’t only love them for their inspiring illustrations, I don’t just love them because they infuse learning while entertaining…. I also love books because they create an atmosphere of love, of caring and of safety. With books come togetherness, bonding, cuddling, snuggling; a moment of time close together that may not have been if it wasn’t for that book. When I read my kids a story book, I have all four of them nuzzled in around me; one on either side and one on each knee. I think that’s why I have such a fondness for books. Since we homeschool and I have four children to educate, I allow myself my “collection” without
any much guilt.
But enough about my obsession. Today I want to share a few of our favorite books on Fall, Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. My favorite books are ones that not only entertain but also educate; books that include beautiful illustrations.
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll is a cute book. It’s about a pumpkin that is inadvertently cared for by two mice as it grows, and because of all of the attention, becomes the biggest pumpkin ever. There’s no real educational value in this book (although my boys do want to perform a science experiment to see if feeding a pumpkin sugar water through a wick does make it grow larger). There is a mention of Halloween which isn’t my favorite, but it is very brief and it allowed me an opportunity to discuss Halloween with the kids. The writing is a bit repetitive for me but all of my children love it, and truthfully, it wouldn’t be fall now without reading this book.
The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern is a great educational story but it is not entirely factual. It begins with the Pilgrims’ leaving on the Mayflower and ends at the first Thanksgiving. All in all my kids enjoy this book. This is still a great kid’s story and I love that it’s part of my collection.
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving Laurie Halse Anderson is a great story about Sarah Hale and her perseverance in preserving Thanksgiving as a holiday for our united family nation. I love how they described Sarah’s pen as a secret weapon. The illustrations are a little overwhelming for me but I love the overall message of the importance of Sarah’s perseverance. The story is followed by a “feast of facts” and includes a little biography on Sarah and “encourages the kids to pick up a pen and change the world”. I love that we own this one.
I love the book Mary’s First Thanksgiving: An Inspirational Story of Gratefulness by Kathy-jo Wargin. It’s a story about an immigrant family and how a little girl learns that even when life is hard, there are always things to be thankful for. It includes the legend of the five kernels of corn that serve as a reminder to be mindful and thankful for our blessings. This book is definitely one you will want to add to your collection.
How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting is a great story about a family giving up everything for freedom. In a simple children’s story, the author conveys to the reader how thankful we should be for our freedom, something we often take for granted. I’m thankful this book is part of our library.
This next little book is a collection of silly poems about Thanksgiving. It’s Thanksgiving by Prelutsky put smiles on the faces of my children. This easy reader book is a silly but fun little read. I’m happy we own this one as well.
Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson is a sweet book. It centers around Psalm 92 and has a great message.
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh received a Caldecott honor and is a great informative children’s book about Thanksgiving. It is longer than your typical children’s book but it is broken up into chapters which allows for good stopping points if your children aren’t able to sit for long periods of time. It provides you with a detailed account of the Thanksgiving story but it is written in a way suitable for young children. The illustrations by Helen Sewell are beautiful. This book is my favorite in telling the Thanksgiving story to young children and definitely one you will want to add to your library.
The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell is my favorite Thanksgiving book. It is a book that I could read over and over and over…. It is a story about an older couple whose Thanksgiving dinner gets burned. They decide to go out for dinner and stumble upon a restaurant whose door is open. The restaurant was supposed to be closed as the family was preparing to have their own private Thanksgiving celebration. The couple is included and all share an evening of friendship and remembering of what Thanksgiving is truly about. If you only buy one book, this would be my pick.
This next book I don’t have a picture of. It’s called Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane by Victoria Sherrow. It’s about a little chipmunk preparing for winter. This book always gets me in the mood for fall. The illustrations are filled with vibrant autumn colors and my kids love this book so much, it has been loved to death (hence I have no picture). I would recommend getting this book in the hardcover large edition (there is a mini edition available). We love this book so much that I have ordered it again and it is on it’s way to us just in time for fall.
I typically find my books at yard sales but when I “need” a particular book I tend to buy it at either Amazon or Thriftbooks. Please note that if you do buy these books on Amazon through our blog, we do receive some compensation.
In the next few weeks I will be writing a post on my favorite fall/Thanksgiving books for older children, although the books I mentioned above are loved even by children of my age :). Please share with us your favorite fall books in the comments section. We would love to add them to our collection!