Monday, November 7, 2011

Three TerrificThanksgiving Books for Kids

I really love Thanksgiving.  Among the holidays, it's one that is relatively untainted by commercialism.  The grit of the Pilgrims is inspiring, and being deliberate about thankfulness to the Lord as a family is so potent.  Plus, because it's not an explicitly religious holiday, I don't feel like it is being irreverent to indulge in some of the fun and silliness that surrounds it.

All that combines to make it one of the holidays that I'm really willing to invest time and energy into making special.

Here are three of my favorite Thanksgiving books.

1.  Most Beautiful Artwork:  N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims by Robert San Souci.  The illustrations in this book are out- of- this- world gorgeous.  Instead of the typical, artificially manufactured fare that you usually find in children's books, these pictures come from art that stands on it's own merit.  They are based on a series of murals painted by N.C. Wyeth for The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York in the 1940s.

I love the play of light and color throughout the book, and I appreciate the way the depiction of the pilgrims challenges the typical conception that they were dour and stiff people.  Lots of life and joy in this book- without being saccharine.

The author consulted many sources for making text, and the writing is just fine.  (although, really better for older children.  My little ones just look at the pictures for now).

2.  Best Text:  Tattered Sails by Verla Kay.

The illustrations in this book are rather good too, but it is the text that really stands out.  Tattered Sails tells the story of a Pilgrim family's difficult voyage across the Atlantic (not necessarily the Mayflower, but it could have been) and ends with their thankfulness at settling into life in the New World.

Verla's Kay's writing style is impressionistic.  Instead of straightforward prose, she uses short staccato phrases strung together to paint a poetic picture of life during that time, and I think it really works.  Our family have several of Kay's history stories, and we read them over and over.  It's rhythmic without being trite.

3.  Most Fun: Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton.  This isn't necessarily a Thanksgiving book, but it's about a silly turkey, and it's humor is just right for toddlers.  So fun!

So...I'd love to read about your favorite Thanksgiving books.  Please link up! (or leave a comment)


Leigh said...

Thank you for sharing these books!  The illustrations are beautiful.  I am now 'following' a bunch of your boards on Pintererst.  I hope to get my posting issues figured out with my new blog so I can link up.

Stacey said...

Thank you for the books. I think maybe we should come up with a list of Thanksgiving songs--you know, mainstream songs, just like Christmas songs. It seems we tend to go from "The Monster Mash" and "Purple People Eaters" for Halloween right to Christmas carols and songs. What "Thanksgiving--type" songs can you think of?

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Emily Brown said...

Thanks for sharing and for hosting a linky party! Following you now! 

Carolyn Wilhelm said...

Thank you for hosting this nice linky party!  The page I added has several Thanksgiving stories and is on my fall freebies stories.  I make work pages to accompany children's books, so what I added has several books and corresponding work pages.  ALL FREE, always free.  Thank you so much. Carolyn Wilhelm

Barbara Shelby said...

Young children love: I KNOW AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A PIE... by Alison I Jackson, Judith Byron Schachner (Illustrator) It's a great twist of the classic - I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. "I know an old lady who swallowed a pie, a Thanksgiving pie, which was really too dry. And with that the feast begins! "... If you dont' mind~I'm also going to add a couple of your suggestions to my Thanksgiving book list. Thank you...