Thanksgiving can often be overlooked with the abundance of Halloween and Christmas books out there. It may be because of family birthdays that fall around Thanksgiving or maybe the food and family gatherings without the expense of gifts that makes Thanksgiving special to me but either way I want to share a couple of my favorite Thanksgiving children’s books with you.
“Over the River: a Turkey’s Tale,” by Derek Anderson is a retelling of the Thanksgiving song by Lydia Maria Child. This is a song I grew up singing and hearing but never heard the full thing. I don’t know why I associated it more with Christmas than Thanksgiving but I was very happy to find this edition of the song illustrated by Anderson.
A simple trip to Grandmother’s house isn’t easy if you are a turkey and it’s turkey season. The comical illustrations do a wonderful job of detailing the trip over the river and through the woods while showing the unsuccessful hunt of a young man and his dog. The resulting feast at Grandmother’s house doesn’t have a roasted turkey but still embraces the sense of family celebration most common on Thanksgiving.
It’s not always the strongest and biggest that saves the day as demonstrated in Lisa Wheeler’s book “Turk and Runt”. This book labeled a Thanksgiving Comedy tells the tale of 2 turkeys. Turk is is a strong, football playing celebrity and his brother Runt who is more brains than brawn. When visitors start showing up at the farm, Turk’s parents are proud to show of their sons athletic abilities while Runt realizes there is more to the visitors appearance than just a fan’s normal excitement. Through determination and fearless actions Runt manages to save Turk over and over but when the tables are turned and Runt is selected for the dinner table, his family finally realizes Runt was right all along.
I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and take time to share your favorite Thanksgiving story with the children in your life.