I'm certain my reaction was as if I had just won the lottery. The Librarian probably had to hold back from laughing as my jaw dropped to the floor and my heart pounded out of my chest as I dove my nose into the cart in search of the perfect Thanksgiving reads. I wish you could have seen how many books I took off that cart my first round. I made sure to take full advantage of the opportunity by finding a quiet table to sit and read through as many as I possibly could to pick just the right ones to bring home.
So after an exciting day at the Library, and story time with my children, I thought I would share a list of our family's eight favorite Thanksgiving stories (in no particular order).
Turkey Surpise by Peggy Archer, Illustrated by Thor Wickstrom
Two pilgrim brothers set off to hunt up a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. "We'll pluck him, and stuff him, and cook him up right. We'll gobble, gobble turkey for dinner tonight!" Their song forms a refrain throughout, but the smaller pilgrim brother begins to have second thoughts. He most certainly sees a terrified turkey a number of times, but he always leads his brother in another direction. Meanwhile, Turkey tries hiding in a tree, a gopher hole and a pond—with disastrous results. Then small pilgrim brother helps Turkey hide in a woodpile, and the two boys take home a huge pumpkin for dinner instead.
Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr, Illustrated by Laura Rader
With Thanksgiving only one day away, Turkey tries to find a place to hide from the farmer who's looking for a plump bird for his family feast. Maybe he can hide with the pigs . . . or the ducks . . . or the horses . . .Uh-oh! Here comes the farmer! Run, Turkey, run!
Thanksgiving Mice! by Bethany Roberts, Illustrated by Doug Cushman
It’s Thanksgiving and four adorable mice are putting on a play for their woodland friends. Lively verse introduces beginning readers to basic words and rhyming sounds and tells the story of the very first Thanksgiving, when the Pilgrim mice traveled across the sea and settled in America.
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by B. G. Hennessy, Illustrated by Lynne Cravath
Ten little Pilgrims and ten little Wampanoag boys and girls are getting ready for the harvest feast. In colonial Plymouth, the young Pilgrims hunt ducks and geese and dig up turnips and carrots. In a nearby village, the Wampanoag children dig for clams, fish for cod, and gather nuts and berries. Finally, it's time for the meal. Turkey, cornbread, cranberry stuffing, pumpkin, and Indian pudding are all on the menu-yum! First, everyone gives thanks, and then it's time to eat and celebrate. The simple, rhythmic text and autumn-colored illustrations are just right for sharing the history and fun of Thanksgiving with young children.
Setting the Turkeys Free by W. Nikola-Lisa, Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max
A young boy uses his hands, paint, sequins, and everything imaginable to make beautiful turkeys in his picture. Soon his imagination takes over, and the turkeys take on a life of their own. But Foxy the fox is on the prowl. How can the boy hold tight to the turkeys he loves and keep them safe from harm? A child's voice and bright bold artwork capture the sweetness and humor in this warmhearted story. (This book never technically even talks about Thanksgiving, but since Turkey is such a big theme of Thanksgiving, I decided it can count in our list.)
Sometimes it's Turkey, Sometimes it's Feather by Lorna & Lecia Balian
Mrs. Gumm finds a turkey egg and raises the turkey, which she fattens up for Thanksgiving dinner. When the time comes, she invites the turkey to join her for dinner instead of eating it.
10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston, Illustrated by Rich Deas
Girls and boys will gobble up this hilarious story about ten goofy turkeys and their silly antics. The wild and wacky illustrations accompany the joyful text as readers count down from ten to one.
A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman, Illustrated by Jeff Shelly
Turkeys around Squawk Valley just don't jump into pots anymore -- they are way too smart for that. How about luring one to town? But what happens when the plump and perky turkey is smarter than the townsfolk? They might end up thankfully eating shredded wheat for Thanksgiving Dinner.