Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

by Chief Jake Swamp
illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr. 

While Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message is a beautiful book to read any time of year (and, indeed, thanks should be given every day and not only on one holiday), we thought this was a wonderful time to focus on a book that celebrates Native American culture. Full of rich and lyrical language and illustrations that live in harmony with the story, this book is a celebration of the beauty of our world and the life it gives us. 

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A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Fun

Dear Friends, 

We know that these days leading up to Thanksgiving can be busy, so this week we are doing something a little different. In this issue you will find a round up of our Thanksgiving books, plus additional crafts and recipes that easily apply to the holiday. Whether you are seeking some quiet time with your young reader or looking for ways to keep a houseful of little hands busy, you are sure to find something in this collection to pique the interest of readers both young and old. 

Best wishes for a week of eating, reading, and laughter. Happy Thanksgiving from Off the Shelf!


Thanksgiving Books

It's Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf

It's Thanksgiving is a collection of 12 funny poems by Jack Prelutsky, and illustrated by Marilyn Hafner, about everything including the gathering of family, the favorite childhood crafts to make, watching the parade, the delicious food, and the history of the day itself. Check out our recipe for Thanksgiving Stuffing Loaf, and make a Stuffed Turkey craft. 


Bear Says Thanks

Bear Says Thanks - Off the Shelf

From the popular Bear series by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman, Bear Says Thanks is the perfect Thanksgiving installment that celebrates friendship and sharing one's unique talents. Check out our recipes for Wheat Muffins and Warm Honey Nuts, plus a fun creative movement prompt!


A Turkey for Thanksgiving

A Turkey for Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf

By Eve Bunting and illustrated by Diane deGroat, A Turkey for Thanksgiving puts a twist on the usual centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table. Young readers will love this clever story, as well as making Tie-Dye Turkeys and an edible Turkey Puzzle!


More Recipes


More Activities

A collection of activities that embody the spirit of the day:

It's Thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

 Thanksgiving is almost here, and we can feel the excitement building! There is an air of bustling busyness as we prepare for a day that celebrates food, family, and fun, and there's also the anticipation of the festivities that December brings. 

Jack Prelutsky has summed up all feelings that go with this holiday, from the very first Thanksgiving to dreading the turkey leftovers. If you thoroughly enjoy It's Thanksgiving (and we are sure you will), this amazing children's poet has also written It's Halloween, It's Christmas!, and It's Valentine's Day. Despite being labeled as a leveled reader, these books are appropriate for ages 3 to 93. We highly recommend them all!

It's Thanksgiving

by Jack Prelutsky

illustrated by Marilyn Hafner

No matter what you enjoy most about Thanksgiving, be it the gathering of family, the favorite childhood crafts to make, watching the parade, the delicious food, or the history of the day itself, this offering by the first children’s Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky has poem for you. The book contains 12 poems filled with delightful rhymes and clever humor that are simply fun to read aloud.

Humorous illustrations by Marylin Hafner echo the clever appeal of Prelutsky’s work and are the perfect compliment to poems both children and adults will equally enjoy. Originally published in 1982, it has (thankfully) been reprinted by HarperCollins to continue finding a treasured spot on holiday bookshelves and being part of Thanksgiving celebrations for years to come.


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Bear Says Thanks

by Karma Wilson
Illustrated by Jane Chapman

During a time of year when our thoughts turn to togetherness and being cozy, Bear Says Thanks is a perfect choice to pull off the shelf and enjoy with your young reader!

Bear is bored and lonely in his cave and decides that having a feast with his friends is a wonderful way to brighten the day. As each friend arrives with an addition to the feast, Bear says “Thanks!” until he remembers his own cupboard is bare and he has nothing to add to the gathering. His friends help him realize he has a very special gift to share that will truly make the party complete.

Bear Says Thanks

Wilson’s playful, rhythmic text and a repeating title refrain will have children engaged and participating in the story from the very first page. Equally as wonderful are Jane Chapman’s delightful autumn toned illustrations that bring the animal friends to life with sweet, expressive faces that glow with the joy of being together. This is an irresistible book for Thanksgiving, beautiful fall days, or anytime you want to smile.

Bear Says Thanks

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A Turkey for Thanksgiving

by Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Diane deGroat 

This is a book sure to instill the true meaning of Thanksgiving and friendship in all readers.  Mr. and Mrs. Moose are preparing for a Thanksgiving feast for their delightful group of friends when Mrs. Moose decides that, instead of her paper decoration, she would like a real turkey to complete the day.  Mr. Moose sets off to grant her wish and one by one is joined by all of the dinner guests. They find their bird and make a new friend when he learns he is to be a guest and not a dish at the Thanksgiving gathering!

Diane de Graot’s watercolor illustrations perfectly convey the sentiment of the heartwarming book: you can practically feel the warmth in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Moose and the chill in the November air as Mr. Moose and friends set out on their search. The small details in the illustrations are a great addition to the story. can your young reader discover what happened to Sheep’s hat? 

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In November

By Cynthia Rylant
Illustrations by Jill Kastner

November is the month when we are most aware of our senses: the sounds of leaves crunching, the sights of animals preparing for winter, the touch of cold winds, the smells and tastes of spices and all the food of Thanksgiving. These feelings are perfectly captured in Cynthia Rylant’s In November.

 The story beautifully describes the rituals that you and your reader associate with this time of year, from animals hibernating and bird going south, to families cooking together and gathering to give thanks.  Jill Kastner’s oil paintings are a perfect accompaniment to the descriptive text, done in a warm autumn palette with soft edges that draw readers in to the mood and feel of November.

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You might also enjoy these activities that can easily be adapted to In November:

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