As soon as Halloween was over, the kids were ready to launch into Thanksgiving. I think my 5 year old even started talking about it at bedtime on Halloween :) One of our favorite ways to get excited for any holiday or special occasion is to read about it together and this year I realized that we don't have a very good selection of Thanksgiving books. I was on a mission to gather some but of course ten minutes after Halloween, the library was already completely cleaned out of Thanksgiving books! I found one turkey-related story. ONE. The book store has a great selection but I knew I could get them cheaper on Amazon so I did a little research and then chose a handful to order. All but one have arrived and we've been really happy with the selection.
'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
This goofy spin on the original 'Twas the Night story is about a class field trip turned rescue mission at a turkey farm. The rhymes are reminiscent of the Christmas version, but the story is silly and both my kindergartener and almost 3 year old loved it. The illustrations are great but it's the hilarious antics of the school kids that really make this story fun.
A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
Another silly story of turkey-related shenanigans, this one doesn't disappoint! I don't think we've read anything by Teresa Bateman, but I will definitely look for other stories because her writing is wonderful. The story revolves around a town in need of a Thanksgiving turkey for their annual feast and the lengths they go to lure what they believe to be an unknowing participant. It turns out the turkey might be on the clever side and the result is the townspeople learning that Thanksgiving is really about being thankful for what you have.
10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
Silly stories seem to be our theme this year, but my little one especially enjoyed this one. Each of the turkeys in this story attempts some sort of stunt that doesn't go so well. It's great for counting (and especially counting backward.) And in the end you find out that all the turkeys are safe and sound.
The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern
If you're looking for a more realistic portrayal of pilgrim life and the first thanksgiving, then I highly recommend this one. It's definitely for the older crowd, but my five year old daughter has a very inquisitive mind so it was perfect for her. It's on the longer side so it makes for a lengthy reading session, but the story is divided into sections based on the seasons so you could break it up into multiple story times. The illustrations are great and the story is full of rich detail painting a picture of those early Pilgrim times.
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Allison Jackson
Along the lines of the old lady who swallowed the fly, this story follows an old woman who manages to eat an entire Thanksgiving feast. It's pure silliness and my kids think it's hilarious. The only thing I wish was different was the "Perhaps she'll die" bit at the end of each segment. The consequence could easily be something a little less dire straits than death, although for the record, the old woman does not die and the end is pretty funny.
Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley
Another book for slightly older kids, this one is a more creative twist on the traditional Pilgrim story. The main characters are twins who time travel to Plymouth Plantation with their grandmother to learn first-hand about the early settlers and their harvest celebration. The illustrations are fantastic and there are plenty of details about Pilgrim history. My five year old enjoyed it but it was a little lengthy for my little guy's attention span. I definitely want to check out other stories by Diane Stanley after reading this one.