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Thanks for Thanksgiving—and for Thanksgiving Picture Books!


Thanksgiving is a time to stop and count our blessings. I’m thankful for many things, but mostly for the people in my life—my husband, my children and grandchildren, family and friends. In my writing community I’m thankful for my critique groups, friends in SCBWI, my editors, professionals who share their gift of writing for children, for those of you who read and enjoy my books, and for readers who visit with me here on my blog. Thank you all.

The GoodReads website has a list of
Best Children’s Thanksgiving Books
. Some of those are on my bookshelves here at home, and others on the list are among my favorites. A few others that I like, but that are not on the list, are—

The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving from A to Z by Laura Crawford,
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes, and
Bless This Mouse by Dianna Hutts Aston.
And what Thanksgiving Day would not be complete without Turkey Riddles by Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg.

My picture book Turkey Surprise is on Goodreads’ at number 8. I’ve always had such fun sharing Turkey Surprise with others, especially with children. A friend recently wrote to me to tell me that her daughter is ‘adamant that she won’t eat turkey at Thanksgiving this year because she is going to set it free like the pilgrims’ in my book! She promised her mother that she would get a pumpkin pie to eat instead. I apologized to my friend. But I’d love to be the mouse in the corner and observe what will happen at their Thanksgiving dinner table!

Another woman sent me a video of her four year-old son singing the pilgrims’ song from the book—I love it! I remember the little girl from a reading that I did who covered her ears every time I sang the pilgrims’ song. Turkey Surprise is out of print right now, but you can find it at your library. I’m hoping that it will be back in print one day, or perhaps be released as an ebook.

If you click on ‘My Works’ here on my website at the top of the page, then click on ‘Turkey Surprise,’ there is a link on the left to print a coloring page of the cover of Turkey Surprise. There are also some links to a crossword puzzle for kids and some Thanksgiving crafts.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers here!

I’ll leave you with a riddle from the book Holiday Ha-Ha’s, Thanksgiving Jokes + Riddles:
What did the Pilgrims tell at the first Thanksgiving?
Corn-y jokes!  Read More 
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Thanks on Thanksgiving

Thanks for—

I’m thankful for turkey
for pie and parades,
for family gatherings,
and football games played.

Give thanks for Thanksgiving!
For bakers and cooks!
But also for magazines,
tablets and books!

Thank you for paper
and pencils and pens.
Thanks for critiquing
and my writing friends.

For artists who illustrate,
authors who write,
Thanks for ideas
that come in the night.

For bold illustrations
that color my text.
For hopes and for dreams
and for what might come next.

Thank you for others,
for all that they share.
For editors, agents,
and blogs, everywhere.

I wish to you all
a day filled with joy!
All of God’s blessings,
and a book to enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  Read More 
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Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my blog friends!

Download a TURKEY SURPRISE coloring page from my website—just click on ‘My Works,’ then on ‘Turkey Surprise’ and click on the link to the coloring page on the left.

Or click under the picture for links to my coloring page and other Thanksgiving activities.
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Children's Thanksgiving Books

I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! It’s a time for family, good food, and remembering what really matters. It’s spending time and playing games together, too. And of course the football games after dinner. After everyone pitches in to help with the dishes.

I didn’t realize that I had so many children’s Thanksgiving books on my shelf until I decided to list them on my blog this week. There’s not room for all of them, but here are a few of my favorites.

THANKS FOR THANKSGIVING, by Julie Markes, illustrated by Doris Barrette, HarperCollins 2004. Wonderful rhythm and rhyme carry you through the many things that a child is thankful for. The illustrations are from a child’s view, and the colors and detail give richness to the book as a whole. This book captured my heart, and I actually paid full price for it when I saw it.

THIS FIRST THANKSGIVING DAY, by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by Mark Buehner, Harper Trophy 2001. A countdown book to Thanksgiving dinner, each scene shows a piece of an earlier time as pilgrims and Indians prepare for a special feast. It ends on a note of harmony and friendship as all join together in a prayer of thanks for all that they have that first Thanksgiving day. Once again the rich fall colors and detail add so much to the story.

‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING, by author/illustrator Dav Pilkey, Scholastic 1990. A humorous story about 8 children on a field trip to a turkey farm who befriend 8 turkeys, doomed to be the main course for Thanksgiving dinner. A rescue plan is carried out and everyone enjoys a delicious vegetarian meal on Thanksgiving Day. The illustrations add to the humor, especially as the children waddle away ‘stuffed with turkey.’

THANKSGIVING IS HERE! By Diane Goode, author/illustrator, Scholastic 2003. This book celebrates family as each time the doorbell rings, more and more relatives join in. The celebration continues after dinner and on through dessert. At the end of the day everyone leaves to go home, but not to worry, because “we’ll be back!” The illustrations show a large loving family, happily enjoying being together at the holiday.

THANKSGIVING DAY AT OUR HOUSE, by Nancy White Carlstrom, illustrated by R. W. Alley, Scholastic 1999. A great collection of Thanksgiving poems starting with The Day Before, and ending with Goodnight Prayer. You’re sure to connect with the poems here, as well as with the illustrations which picture children and family the way we really are.

THIS IS THE TURKEY, by Abby Levine, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, albert Whitman & Co 2000. A good read-aloud with fun repetition throughout. When the turkey slips from the pan and ends up in the fish tank, the reader wonders if dinner is ruined. Grandma reassures them “…we have all we need because everyone’s here.” And Grandpa adds “No turkey? No problem! I’m hungry—let’s eat!” Illustrations compliment and add to this fun Thanksgiving story.

A few other books are:
SILLY TILLY’S THANKSGIVING DINNER, by Lillian Hoban, HarperTrophy 1991.
MINNIE AND MOO AND THE THANKSGIVING TREE, by author/illustrator Denys Cazet, DK Publishing, Inc 2000
TURKEY RIDDLES, by Katy Hall and Lisa Eisenberg, illustrated by Kristin Sorra, Puffin Books 2002

Happy Thanksgiving to All! Save room for the pie!  Read More 
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Thanksgiving Blessings

There are lots of things that I'm thankful for at Thanksgiving. My family, friends, good health. I can't wait for tomorrow, to be with family, and for the turkey and the pumpkin pie!

When it comes to writing and giving thanks, I think of. Read More 
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