Children’s Literature for Thanksgiving

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Everybody knows that Thanksgiving Day is set aside to reflect on those things we are thankful for, and everyone knows it is time to throw a great feast. But do we remember the events that lead up to the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims in 1621?

As Christians we will be wise to make the special effort to become familiar with this story and to teach it to our children. I say this because there are those who minimize this historic event declaring that there were many occasions in our nation as well as in other nations that were days of thanks-giving.

I have no problem with inclusion of thanks-giving in it’s many forms on our Thanksgiving Day. However, because the testimony of how God intervened on behalf of Pilgrims in the first successful colony is such a faith builder, we must be careful to preserve this historic event by sharing it in our homes. We can not depend on the public school system to do this for us.

Below is a list of children’s picture books that may be helpful for Christian families to share with their children on Thanksgiving Day. Some include activities for children as well. I haven’t had the opportunity to read each of these books, but I read several reviews before including any book I haven’t read for myself. Perhaps you can find them at your local library.

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas

Squanto and The First Thanksgiving by Joyce K. Kessel

If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern

This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed

Saying Grace: A Prayer of Thanksgiving by Virginia L. KrollTim Ladwig

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting (This one is just for fun – the turkey is “invited” to come to Thanksgiving dinner… should he accept the invite?)

Alternate but good stories of thanks-giving. These are well worth sharing to broaden our perspective on thanks-giving, but need not replace the Plymouth Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving.

How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting

Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen

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Janice D. Green retired as an elementary librarian to write books. She is author, illustrator, and publisher of The Creation, and The First Christmas, Bible storybooks for children. The colorful illustrations in The Creation are hand appliqued fabric pictures that have been put together to make a Bible quilt. The First Christmas, is illustrated by Violet Vandor. Janice's passion is to write about the Bible in a way that encourages people to want to know more and to read it for themselves.

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