Thanksgiving 2022


Stories from the Past to Read,
Share, and Treasure


written/illus. by Salina Yoon, (Price, Stern, Sloan, Board, 2005), 10p, Ages 2-5

In this fun counting board book, turkeys twirl on a dance floor, are chased by a bee, enjoy tanning in the sun, and always have fun. The shiny tabs also serve as turkey feathers.

Themes: Animals, Concept, Holidays, Humor


written by David Steinberg, illus. by Liz Conrad, (Price, Stern, Sloan, 2005), 10p, Ages 3-6

A group of happy turkeys prepare for an evening of fun at the social event of the season. Told in rhyme, the stylish turkey’s board the Turkey Bus, and are greeted at the ball by the turkey mayor. “So they touched their wings together / And twirled all night, / And they danced till their feathers / Met the morning light.”

Themes: Animals, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme


written/illus. by Karel Hayes, (Down East Books, 2015), 32p, Ages 3-7

One fall New Hampshire weekend, a family drives to their cottage in the mountains where they ride bikes to the county fair, play boardwalk games, pet barnyard animals, ride the Ferris wheel, and enjoy cotton candy. Unbeknownst to them, a bear family follows and sneaks into the closed midway at night to enjoy hot dogs, free pumpkins, and ride the Ferris wheel. “It’s only a weekend and too soon time to leave, but the cottage by the water will not be empty for long.” The bears move in with their pumpkins, make costumes, and enjoy trick-or-treating.

At Thanksgiving they catch turkeys and cook dinner for everyone to enjoy (turkeys included). Kids will love the humorous illustrations of two families enjoying a special New England autumn.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Holidays, Humor, Series
Others in the Series: Christmas Visitors | Winter Visitors | Spring Visitors | Summer Visitors


Ages 4 - 8

written by Bethany Roberts, illus. by Doug Cushman, (Clarion Books, 2001), 32p, Ages 4-7

Four mice encounter problems when they put on a play about the first Thanksgiving. They practice their lines, construct props, and perform as Pilgrim mice that travel across the sea on the Mayflower, land at Plymouth Rock, build new homes, befriend the Indian mice, and celebrate the first Thanksgiving. The simple story also serves as a great introduction to the theatre.

Themes: Animals, Holidays, Series
Other Books in the Series: Birthday Mice | Valentine Mice | Fourth of July Mice | Halloween Mice | Easter Mice | Christmas Mice


written/illus. by Derek Anderson, (Simon & Schuster, 2005), 40p, Ages 4-8

In this clever version of a favorite holiday song, Mama, Papa, and Baby Turkey are on their way to Grandmother’s house, only to discover that they are being pursued by a boy and dog who are hunting for their Thanksgiving dinner. The lyrics and music are found in the endpapers.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Holidays, Humor


written/illus. by Diane Goode, (HarperCollins, 2003), 32p, Ages 4-7

Early Thanksgiving morning Grandma and Grandpa rise early to put the turkey in the oven. With each ring of the doorbell, guests arrive for the family’s holiday dinner. Some help with the food preparation, while others move furniture, and entertain with musical instruments. 28 relatives, including glamorous aunts, athletic cousins crying babies, and a new dog enjoy wonderful food and joyous fun.

After the meal, everyone pitches in to clean up, take a needed walk, catch a nap, and chat while Grandma prepares dessert. With hugs and kisses, everyone departs with assurances that they will return next year.

The humorous illustrations are filled with activity, happiness, and surprises.

Themes: Families, Food, Holidays


written by Peggy Archer, illus. by Thor Wickstron, (Dial Books, 2005), 32p, Ages 4+

With the help of friends, a turkey hides from two pilgrim brothers who are looking for their Thanksgiving main course. The brothers have doubts about plucking, stuffing, and cooking the bird, until they find the perfect solution with something better to eat. This should be dedicated to all vegetarians.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Holidays, Humor


written/illus. by Dave Horowitz, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005), 40p, Ages 4-6

A lonely, funny-looking pumpkin feels rejected that no one chose him for Halloween. Searching for a place to fit in, he leaves the pumpkin patch. By Thanksgiving, lo and behold, he discovers that he is not a pumpkin at all, but a squash. A cute twist on The Ugly Duckling.

Themes: Holidays, Humor


Fall Aventure


written by Gigi Priebe, illus. by Daniel Duncan, (Aladdin Books, 2017), 160p, Ages: 7-10

At Windsor Castle there resides the magnificent Queen Mary’s Dollhouse, built in the 1920’s, with four floors, 40 rooms, 2 working elevators, hot and cold running water, and electricity. Never meant for dolls or children to play with, it is only used for exhibition. However, it has been home for 25 generations to the Whisker family, who live in the empty storage drawers built into the base.

Exploring is great fun for Henry Whisker and his cousin Jeremy, but they are always careful to avoid detection by the museum staff and Titus, the resident cat. When Henry’s little sister disappears, they begin a grand adventure to rescue Isabel. Avoiding the cat, Henry and Jeremy drive a miniature car, escape from the dangerous Rat Alley, rescue a baby rat, and make unexpected friends. Along the way they manage to avoid humans, who are cleaning the dollhouse for the Queen’s royal birthday banquet, which coincides with the Whiskers’ Annual Mouse Masquerade. Kids will love this brave, loyal, cheerful, and courageous hero in his first adventure.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Friendship, Heroes, Series
Other in the Series: The Long Way Home #2


(The Great Mouse Detective)

written by Eve Titus, illus. by Paul Galdone, (Aladdin Books, 2016), 112p, Ages 7-9

In 1885 a famous London sleuth of mousedom lives in the cellar of number 221B Baker Street, where his hero, the great Sherlock Holmes, resides. Basil learned his craft by listening to Holmes solve cases upstairs. When mouse twins, Agatha and Angela are kidnapped, it takes Basil and his associate Dr. Dawson all of their deductive skills, logic, and wit to solve, rescue, and reunite the twin girls with their frantic parents. Originally written in 1958, this enjoyable introduction into the mystery genre will delight young readers, especially with more mysteries to come. Disney’s popular animated film, The Great Mouse Detective, was based on this charming series.

Themes: Adventure, Mysteries, Series


Or John Howland's Good Fortune

written/illus. by P. J. Lynch, (Candlewick Press, 2015,), 64p, Ages 7-10

Based on historical facts, this memorable story surrounds a young indentured servant, John Howland, who sailed on the Mayflower with his master from 1620 London to the New World. The crossing was difficult especially during a storm when John was swept overboard. “Far up above, I saw the Mayflower's keel. I thought, That's my ship . . . She's taking me to America! A flash of lightning lit up a long rope trailing down from the ship. I pulled myself over toward it. My lungs were bursting now, but I caught hold of the rope and held on tight in the freezing water.” Once land was reached, the settlers faced more difficulties with the onset of winter, lack of food, sickness, and aggression toward the natives, which all contributed to the death of more than half of the original settlers.

Themes: Adventure, Historical Fiction


The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon

written/illus. by Torben Kuhlmann, (NorthSouth Books, 2016), 128p, Ages 8-11

In the mid 1950’s, a young mouse resolves to explore space. After receiving an invitation to visit a hidden wing of the Smithsonian, where flying machines built by mice aviators of the past reside, the little mouse resolves to prove his theory that the moon is made of stone, not cheese. Plagued by setbacks, including a fire that started from his skate rocket, he perseveres and constructs a multi-stage rocket that launches him into space, narrowly escaping agents that were pursing him on charges of arson. Landing on the moon, he collects souvenir rocks, and plants a tiny flag. His successful mission is only known to mice, until astronauts land years later and discover a tiny flag. Kuhlmann’s artwork is incredible from hand-sewn space suits, space catapults, fierce police dogs and Floppy Hats (detectives) to diagrams of experimental vehicles and marvelous space scenes. Endpapers feature A Short History of Space Travel, as well as a synopsis of Neil Armstrong and Apollo 11.

Themes: Adventure, Animals, Heroes, Inventions, Series


ASTROTWINS: Project Blastoff
written by Mark Kelly, Martha Freeman, (Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster, 2015), 224p, Ages 9+

In trouble with their parents over their latest destructive project (dismantling father’s calculator), twins Mark and Scott are sent to their grandfather for the summer. With no TV, Grandpa suggests a constructive building project, maybe a go-kart. The twins decide on a rocket ship to orbit the earth.

With the help of intelligent friends, they build a team of math, physics, and computer geeks. Six kids spend long hours in the library researching space travel, gathering materials from unsuspecting adults, convincing them that nothing will blow up, and constructing a model. The brother of one of the kids, a former pilot and Vietnam veteran, takes them on amusement park fast rides to determine which one has “the right stuff.” Overcoming numerous obstacles and impossible problems, the kids must decide who will fly the bird.

Based on the young lives of astronauts Mark Kelly and his twin brother, Scott, this fun adventure of rocketry, space travel, teamwork, problem solving, perseverance, and ingenuity is a must read for all kids. Author’s Note separates fact from fiction (there is no secret rocket-fuel formula), a Glossary explains various scientific terms, and a Suggested Reading list is presented for young children, older children, and adults.

Themes: Adventure, Families, Space Travel
Other Book in the Series: Astrotwins: Project Rescue


written by Ben Mezrich, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014), 336p, Ages 10-13

Exceptionally good at math equations, sixth-grader Charlie Lewis hangs out with kids known as the Geek Squad, earning the nickname of Numbers. Charlie is rescued from a school bully by a seventh grader, who invites him to join a secret gang, the Carnival Killers. This group of middle school kids is lead by a college student, who needs Charlie’s math abilities to defeat the rigged carnival midway games, win lifetime tickets for the group to Incredo Land in Florida, and $50,000 for a teacher’s aid program. When Charlie realizes the leader’s illegal purposes, he decides to change the outcome. Excitement, adventure, and risk-taking will keep readers guessing the conclusion.

Themes: Adventure, Friendship


written by Sid Fleischman, illus. by Brett Helquist, (1963 Little, Brown and Company, 2013), 224p, Ages 10-13

In1849 cries of a Gold Rush echo across the country to Boston, where a young boy resides with his sisters and Aunt Arabella. When his aunt loses all her money, twelve-year-old Jack and the faithful family butler, Praiseworthy, sail to California to strike it rich to help her. These two unlikely gold miners/adventurers sail on the paddle wheeler, Lady Wilma, around South America’s Cape Horn and up to San Francisco. Along the way, they outwit thieves, survive vicious storms, save grape cuttings and barrels of spoiled potatoes, deal with an invasion of Peruvian cats, and help the ship’s captain to beat competing ships to San Francisco.

There, they begin their trip to the Sacramento gold fields and encounter miners, outlaws, and varmints. To buy picks, shovels, horn spoons, and a hotel room, clever Praiseworthy cuts and keeps the miners’ hair and beards that contain gold dust. Surviving a stage coach robbery, they arrive at the diggings and begin panning for gold.

Written in 1963, this classic western adventure will give readers a taste of history, hilarious action, fascinating characters, clever plots, and the escapades of two tenacious heroes nicknamed Jamoka Jack and Bullwhip.

Themes: Adventure, Classics, Friendship, Heroes, Historical Fiction, Tall Tales, The Wild West


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Welcome to The Storytellers, a monthly newsletter of outstanding children’s literature to read and read aloud from preschoolers to teens.

The best children's books and filled with imagination and fun. Stories that take children into a world of delight and adventure present storytelling at its best. Children need stories for pleasure, laughter and fun; imaginative and nonsensical stories that may not have a scrap of useful information or lesson, but cheerful and delightful lunacy. Give as many as possible to your children, because imagination and fund are essential to life.

This month we celebrate Thanksgiving with great holiday stories from the past. We hope that you will enjoy our selections for the young and young at heart.

For more information on reading to children and great books to read and read aloud, log on to our web site at Always remember.

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But after they’re grown, keep reading, no worries,
they’ll never grow tired of hearing great stories.
The Children’s Hour ©2022.

Thanksgiving Storykeepers

written/illus. by Sandra Boynton, (Boynton Bookworks/Simon & Schuster, $6.99, Sept. 2022, ISBN 978-1-6559-2263-0), 18p, Ages, Preschool

“Oh, POOO-Kie! Little POOO-KIE! It’s time to start baking! / Thanksgiving is here! / There are pies that need making!” Thus begins Pookie and Mom’s preparation for a yummy Thanksgiving dinner for their family. Their pre-baking routine begins with washing their hands and collecting the necessary utensils, then preparing two pies, 1 apple, and 1 pumpkin. While the pies are cooking, they set the table to accommodate five guests.

When “Nemmy” and “Boppa” arrive, little Pookie is overjoyed to see his grandparents. “And Soon … DINNER’S READY! COME IN! COME IN! SIT WHEREVER YOU PLEASE! / THERE ARE TURNIPS, POTATOES, AND ONIONS WITH CHEESE!” After a delicious dinner, each one announces what they are grateful for. “I am thankful for midnight, and moonlight, and stars.” “I am thankful for saxophones, drums, and guitars.” What is Pookie thankful for? Pie, of course! Little ones will love this charming holiday tale of food, family, and gratitude.
        Themes: Animals, Families, Food, Friendship, Holidays, Series
Other books in the series: Little Pookie | What’s Wrong, Little Pookie | Let’s Dance, Little Pookie | Night-Night, Little Pookie | Happy Birthday, Little Pookie | I Love You, Little Pookie | Spooky Pookie | Happy Easter, Little Pookie | Merry Christmas, Little Pookie


written by Danna written by Tony Johnston, illus. by Rich Deas, (Scholastic Books, 2004, 2009 Board), 28p, Ages 3-5

With its clever wordplay, math concept, and humorous illustrations, ten goofy turkeys walk along the top of a fence, and one by one they fall off in extremely creative ways. Swinging from a vine, strutting on a boar, doing a noodle dance, roller-skating, balancing bricks, diving, whistling in a shoe, and jumping on a pogo stick, these jolly turkeys will delight children with their silly antics. When the fence collapses, the turkeys perch in a nearby tree and it begins again. “Just a minute—what is this? / BIBBLE BABBLE JIBBLE JOBBLE / ‘Looky! Look at me!’ / 10 fat turkeys, fooling in a tree.”
        Themes: Animals, Concept, Holidays, Humor, Rhythm & Rhyme


written by Karma Wilson, illus. by Jane Chapman, (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2012), 40p, Ages 3-7

Bear would love to invite his friends for dinner, but the cupboard is bare. Not deterred, Bear’s friends stop by with food, enthusiasm, and generosity. Mouse brings a huckleberry pie, Hare donates muffins, Badger strolls in with fish, Gopher and Mole present honey nuts, and Raven and Wren offer pears and herbs.

After every gift, “Bear always remembers to say “Thanks!” As Bear sighs and moans with nothing to share, “Mouse squeaks, ‘Don’t fret. / There’s enough, dear Bear. / You don’t need any food, / you have stories to share!’ ” Stories of sharing, gratitude, and thankfulness are great any time but especially around the season of Thanksgiving.
        Themes: Animals, Bears, Friendship, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Others in the Series: Bear Can’t Sleep | Bear Counts | Bear Feels Scared | Bear Sees Colors | Bear Stays Up for Christmas | Bear Snores On | Bear Wants More | Bear’s Loose Tooth | Bear Feels Sick | Bear’s New Friend


A Barnyard Counting Bash

written by Julie Stiegemeyer, illus. by Valeri Gorbachev, (Dutton Children’s Books, 2008), 32p, Ages 3+

Children will delight in this counting and rhyming barnyard story where four noisy turkeys disturb a sleeping farm one night. The wild turkeys smash into the chicken coop, bang into the house, and slop in the pigpen. “Gobble-Gobble-Crash! Turkeys landed with a thump / In the middle of the barnyard, right beside the water pump. EIGHT little goats laughed and wrestled in the straw, / And the crows from next door called, “Caw! Caw! Caw!” Mama Hen and Mrs. Maggie Mouse scold the turkeys, but the Farmer threatens to make dinner out of them. However, the animals help conceal the rowdy visitors from the farmer. The counting reverses to depict sleeping animals from 10 baby robins, 9 pink pigs, 8 little goats, 7 tiny mice, 6 chicks, 5 white geese, 4 sheep, 3 kittens, 2 baby cows, to 1 horse. The barnyard finally quiets down, including the farmer, until the commotion begins again. This noisy, action-filled counting story is great fun for all. Children will enjoy finding the hidden turkeys, who manage to outsmart the farmer.
        Themes: Animals, Concept, Humor, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme


written by Jeffrey Burton, illus. by Sanja Rešček, (Little Simon, 2016), 16p, Ages 2-4

“The itsy bitsy pilgrim sailed the ocean blue. / On the Mayflower to a home that’s new! / They helped build the houses, they helped shovel snow. / Then some itsy bitsy new friends came by and said hello.” To the tune of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” energetic mice pilgrims and lively chipmunk Native Americans, play, cook, share, and give thanks together for their first Thanksgiving meal. Little ones will enjoy the cute twist of the classic nursery rhyme.
        Themes: Friendship, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme

Thanksgiving Storykeepers
Ages 4-8

written by Alison Jackson, illus. by Judith Byron Schachner, (Dutton Children’s Books, 1997), 32p, Ages 4-7

Invited to Thanksgiving dinner by an unsuspecting family, this ravenous senior citizen devours the pie she brought, consumes a jug of cider, and proceeds to polish off the entire Thanksgiving dinner. The family resolves the crisis with a perfect holiday solution — their own Thanksgiving Day parade balloon.
        Themes: Families, Food, Holidays, Humor


written by Margaret Wise Brown, illus. by David Diaz, (HarperTrophy, 2005 Paper, HarperCollins. HC 1998), 40p, Ages 4-7

A little boy, on the brink of growing up, tries to be the fiercest scarecrow in all the fields, just like his dad. He uses one ferocious face after another, but nothing frightens the crows. Suddenly they all fly off, and he is so pleased. Little does he realize that dad is standing behind him.
        Themes: Families, Holidays, Humor


A Thanksgiving Story

written by Steven Kroll, illus. by John Wallner, (Holiday House, 1982), 32p, Ages 5-8

“When the Pilgrims had lived through their first year in the New World, and it was time for the first Thanksgiving, everyone wanted turkey.” Shouldering their muskets and setting off through the woods in search of wild turkeys, they never counted on a wise turkey named Solomon and his family placing signs in their path (“NO TURKEYS! TURKEYS FLOWN SOUTH FOR THE WINTER!”), stringing rope between trees to trip them up, and dropping bags of old turkey feathers from trees.

Bested at every turn, the Pilgrims relent, decide to eat squash, and pretend they had turkey. Silliness abounds in this laugh-out-loud Thanksgiving tale of bumbling Pilgrims and clever turkeys. Vegetarians will love this one.
        Themes: Adventure, Holidays, Heroes


written/illus. by Loren Long, (Philomel Books, $17.99, 2014, ISBN 978-0-399-16396-8), 40p, Ages 4-7

“It was summer when the scarecrow first came to the farm where the friendly little tractor named Otis lived, back when the corn was tall and ripe.” Otis is overjoyed to meet the new arrival, but the scarecrow, with its sour-looking face, stares at the cornfield and is far from friendly. As the seasons change, Otis helps with the harvest, pulls wagonloads of kids seeking pumpkins, and plays games with his farm friends. Happy to be around family and friends, Otis is always mindful of the silent and stern scarecrow up on the hill. How Otis brings friendship to the lonely scarecrow, and maybe receives a smile in return, is a great lesson to children on friendship and compassion.
        Themes: Animals, Friendship, Holidays, Machines, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series
Other Books in the Series: Otis | Otis and the Tornado | Otis and the Puppy | Otis and the Scarecrow | An Otis Christmas | Otis and the Kittens


written by Lydia Maria Child, illus. by David Catrow, (Henry Holt & Co., Inc, 1996), 32p, Ages 4-7

Based on a favorite Thanksgiving poem and song, first published in 1844, this modern, comical interpretation surrounds one family’s attempt to travel through holiday traffic to grandfather’s house for a Thanksgiving dinner.

Caught in a traffic jam, due to the Thanksgiving Day Parade, the youngest member of the family experiences a series of mishaps with a tuba, a gorilla, and airplane, but the family eventually arrives safely at grandmother’s house for dinner. This humorous tale is also a good lesson for children to remain in their car seats.
        Themes: Adventure, Families, Holidays, Humor


written by Diane Mayr, illus. by Laura Rader, (Walker Books, 2007), 32p, Ages 4-7

The day before Thanksgiving Turkey is determined to avoid becoming the holiday dinner. Pursued by a determined farmer, Turkey pretends to wallow in the mud with the pigs, submerge in the duck pond, and eat from the feed bucket with the horses, but the farmer isn’t fooled. With the barnyard animals cheering him on, Turkey runs into the forest and masquerades as a tree. While the farmer and his family eat grilled cheese sandwiches, Turkey gives thanks. Then he remembers that Christmas is coming. They meet again when the farmer searches for a Christmas tree, and the fun begins again. This story is a good choice for story time, and only the turkeys will be frightened.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Holidays, Humor


written by Beth Ferry, illus. by The Fan Brothers, (HarperCollins, $18.99, Sept. 2019, ISBN 978-0-06-247576-3), 40p, Ages 4-7

A lonely, old scarecrow is the feared guardian of the fields. ”Scarecrow stands alone and scares / the fox and deer, / and mice and crows. / It’s all he does. It’s all he knows.” No one dares to come near, until one day a baby crow drops from a tree nearby and lies helplessly on the ground.

Moved by kindness, the old scarecrow breaks his pole, bends down and keeps him warm in the bib of his overalls, singing a lullaby. Over the seasons they become inseparable, until the fledgling learns to fly and Scarecrow realizes that someday he will leave. Watching his friend fly off, Scarecrow now lacks both his pole and his friend to keep him upright.

All through fall, winter, and spring, Scarecrow wallows in loneliness, until a familiar face returns to make another nest for babies in Scarecrow’s bib. “And he will love them from the start, / and they will grow up in his heart. / And they will peep and perch and play / and make him happy every day. And as the seasons come and go, / they will love their dear Scarecrow” Readers and listeners will love this simple tale of love, kindness, friendship, and generosity.
        Themes: Animals, Friendship, Heroes, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme, Seasons


written by Jane Yolen, illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline, (Simon & Schuster, 2009), 32p, Ages 4-8

On a spooky, windy autumn evening, a lonely scarecrow blows off his perch in a cornfield. He leaps and dances happily across the fields, past the tractor, barn, silent cows, and sleeping pigs, until he reaches the farmhouse where a window light catches his attention. Peeking in the window, he watches a young boy pray beside his bed, “And bless tonight / Our old scarecrow / Who guards the fields / And each corn row / So that tomorrow, / When we reap, / There will be lots / Of corn to keep.”

Reflecting on the child’s prayer, the scarecrow realizes he alone has the responsibility of guarding the crops and keeping the fields from danger. Children will enjoy the delightful language and beautiful artwork, while parents will approve of the duty and responsibility message.
        Themes: Fantasy, Heroes, Holidays


A Thanksgiving Comedy

written by Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Frank Ansley, (Aladdin, 2005), 32p, Ages 4-7

Come November on the Wishbone Farm customers begin arriving to choose their holiday turkeys. Turk’s parents, oblivious to the truth, believe their son, Turk is bigger and stronger than any bird on the farm and will be chosen for his athletic abilities. Only the younger brother, Runt, understands that Turk’s assets may be his downfall, and drives the customers away.

The family has a change of attitude when a little old lady picks Runt for her table. “Turk saw the look in the little old lady’s eyes. He saw the drool on her lips. He saw the fork in the little old lady’s pocket. He saw the roasting pan in her backseat!” After the lady is frightened away, the brothers begin to prepare for Christmas customers, this time as camouflaged snowmen. This hilarious holiday tale begs to be read again and again.
        Themes: Animals, Holidays, Humor


written by Wendi Silvano, illus. by Lee Harper, (Two Lions, 2009), 32p, Ages 4-7

Poor Turkey realizes that he is slotted to become the main meal on Thanksgiving Day. What does a terrified turkey do? He disguises himself to resemble the other animals on the farm (horse, cow, pig, sheep, rooster), but the Farmer isn’t fooled by a saddle, paintbrush, boxing glove, pail, eyeglasses, and a rubber glove.

Things look hopeless as the Farmer, unable to locate Turkey, considers cooking the Rooster for dinner. “Oh, no, not Rooster! Thought Turkey. He looked around desperately for one more idea. Then he found it …” Find out how the family enjoys a vegetarian Thanksgiving, delivered by a strange looking pizza guy. Kids will love the slapstick humor and enjoy the clever illustrations.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Holidays, Humor, Series
Other Books in the Series: Turkey Trouble | Turkey Trick or Treat | Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter | Turkey Claus


written & illus. by Dav Pilkey, (Orchard Books, 1990), 32p, Ages 4-8

During a school field trip, a bond of friendship develops between the children and the turkeys of Mack Nuggett’s turkey farm. When the children discover that Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver, Shemp, and Grouch are destined for the dinner table, they are devastated and decide to rescue the gobblers from the farmer’s ax.

Sneaking eight turkeys aboard the bus in front of an unsuspecting teacher and farmer is hilarious. What happened to the turkeys? “The very next evening, / Eight families were blessed / With eight fluffy Thanksgiving turkeys / As guests.”
        Themes: Animals, Families, Holidays, Humor, Rhythm & Rhyme

Thanksgiving Storykeepers
Ages 7-10

adapted by Elizabeth Spurr, illus. by Wendy Anderson Halperin, (Antheneum Books, 2005), 32p, Ages 7-10

Adapted from Lucretia Hale’s nineteenth-century classic, The Peterkins Papers, a goofy family nearly misses Thanksgiving dinner when the turkey gets stuck in the dumbwaiter on route from the kitchen to the dinner table. After some discussion, they adjourn to the kitchen and decide to call the carpenter, who tells them that the problem is the weight. With their usual zany logic, Mrs. Peterkins’ replies, “I’ve never waited so long for any meal.”
         Themes: Families, Holidays, Humor, Series
Other in the Series: The Peterkin’s Christmas


The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving

written by Laurie Halse Anderson, illus. by Mat Faulkner, (Simon & Schuster, 2012), 40p, Ages 7-11

Realizing that people were beginning to ignore Thanksgiving, Sarah Hale, widowed mother of five, managing editor, author, and educator, campaigns to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday. Sarah wrote thousands of letters to politicians and articles imploring her readers to help. States began to comply, but not presidents. After 38 years, a president finally considered her argument about reuniting the nation, and in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday in November a national holiday. Endpapers offer additional information on Sarah Hale’s achievements, Thanksgiving history, the year 1863, and the Civil War. “Selected Sources” rounds out a marvelous account of one woman’s dedication and persistence to make a difference in the world.
         Themes: Historical Fiction, Holidays

Thanksgiving Storykeepers
Ages 8-12

written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, illus. by Vivienne Tu, (Atheneum Books, 2017), 176p, Ages 8-11

Zack loves working on his grandparents’ farm every weekend, except when Tailpipe spies him. That giant turkey-pecking monster chases him around the farm and delights in accosting him. Determined to find a way to scare the monster away for good, Zack uses various things from his grandfather’s machine shed to build a “turkey-blaster trouble-shooter.”

With the help of two friends, they use a croquet ball, rain gutter, pie tin, gum-ball machine, sewing machine stand, bellows, propeller, washing machine wringer, steering wheel, bicycle pump, water balloons, and marbles to construct a one-of-a-kind contraption.

When informed of a mysterious robber prowling around the neighborhood taking bracelets, necklaces, and coins, they discover strange V-shaped footprints that the robber leaves behind. Find out how the burglary is solved, and Tailpipe receives his comeuppance in this humorous homespun novel of family and friends by award- winning Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
         Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Holidays, Humor, Inventions, Mysteries

Thanksgiving Storykeepers
Ages 12-15

(Mo and Dale Mysteries)

written by Sheila Turnage, (Kathy Dawson Books, Oct. 2015), 368p, Ages 11+

Shortly before Thanksgiving in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, Dale Earnhardt Johnson, and the newest addition to their Desperado Detective Agency, Harm Crenshaw, involve the town in their effort to find Dale's no-good, kidnapping daddy, Macon Johnson, who escaped jail before his trial. With Tupelo Landing locked down, Dale's brother in danger, break-ins, fires, and bank robberies, evidence is mounting against Macon. Dale refuses to believe that his father is guilty of the current crime spree, but Mo wants to get even for Macon's crimes against her family. A who-done-it mystery, delightful Southern language, similes (“Miss Lana says reality is like cheap shampoo. Sometimes it takes a while to sink in.”), metaphors, and non-stop action surround three amateur detectives as they cope with sixth grade, desperate criminals, and loyalties to family and friends. Charm and humor abound with screeching guinea hens, adorable puppies, a touch of Hollywood, and an unusual Thanksgiving dinner.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Holidays, Mysteries, Series
Other Book in the Series: Three Times Lucky #1 | The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing #2

Thanksgiving Storykeepers
Ages 14-18

written by Kathleen Karr, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998), 208p, Ages 14+

In 1860 a 15-year-old, who has just completed third grade (for the fourth time), is advised by his teacher that, “As much as I’ve enjoyed your companionship, it’s time for you to brave the world. To spread your wings.”

When an opportunity to purchase 1,000 turkeys presents itself, Simon Green hatches a plan to walk them from eastern Missouri to Denver, Colorado and make a sizeable profit. With his former teacher bankrolling the project, Simon picks up a drunken muleskinner and his dog to help, and eventually a runaway slave, and a sole survivor of cholera on the prairie. Thus begins an unforgettable journey herding the turkeys 900 miles braving weather, rustlers, rivers, Indians, a rogue U.S. Calvary unit, Simon’s unscrupulous father, and a storm of grasshoppers (which the turkeys enjoyed).

Readers will love this heroic young entrepreneur bent on making his way in the world, in this classic and comic western epic featuring a cast of endearing and capable young people with good old fashioned common sense and wisdom. Inspired by actual turkey drives in the American west, the late Kathleen Karr had first-hand knowledge of poultry having grown up on a chicken farm in New Jersey.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Classics, Friendship, Heroes, Holidays, The Wild West

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