Making a trip to the library or bookstore and engaging in Thanksgiving-related crafts is a great way to fill the extra holiday hours or to promote family togetherness. Try the craft above and check out the books below.
Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving
Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving is actually a bit different than your standard Pete the Cat picture books. First, it’s a small trade softcover, and second it has lift the flaps on each page for added interest. But a few things are the same — Pete is still super cool, and the colors are bright and inviting on every page. I thought it had more of a story, about Pete playing a pilgrim in his school play, which is the vehicle for telling about the first Thanksgiving. This is a nice way to introduce children to the colonists, not necessarily restricted to reading only this time of year.
(reviewed by Jennifer)
Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story
Food brings the family around the table, and to many, no holiday compares to Thanksgiving when it comes to a delicious spread and the gathering of loved ones. A new picture book by Pat Zietlow Miller called Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story transports young readers to 19th-century America, showing how some things haven’t changed very much in all those years.
Beginning with Mama, Daddy, and two young children, the family gathers ingredients and materials for starting the big dinner. An older brother, grandparents, and an uncle and aunt join the mix, each preparing another part of the meal. Even a baby does her part… by staying quietly asleep in a basket bassinet in the corner of the large room. The spirit of family and teamwork is beautifully portrayed in Jill McElmurry’s illustrations. Done in gouache paint, they give a good feeling for the way in which people lived back then, from the homestead and its contents, to the ways a large dinner would be prepared.
A simple rhyming pattern flows through the book, giving the text a sing-songy feeling and lending some predictability for children to pick up on and participate in a read aloud. Even the illustrative style has an old-fashioned look to it, with realism for the time period. Sharing the Bread would make for wonderful reading in the home or classroom setting as Americans prepare for Thanksgiving and other seasonal holidays, connecting the past with the traditions we still hold dear today.
(reviewed by Dawn)