10 Read-a-Loud & Picture Books for Thanksgiving from a Picky Mom

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Was anyone aware that I am a picky mom? Especially in the arena of what books I put into the hands of my children.  It is true, I have been know to be an up-start, down-right snob when it comes to children's literature.  I have been know to reject the most pristine copies of illustrated children's classics, for the sheer fact that they are abridged.  I despise most commercially-driven books that are published in "series", just so the publisher can continue to milk every last cent from a copyright.  Confession is good for the soul!

So, I decided to use this snob-like tendency for the benefit of my friends...by the way, that's you.

Many Most books about the historical events surrounding the first Thanksgiving have a bend toward the liberal side of history.  Historians are typically generous in their depictions of the Native Americans, and judgmental towards the "Puritanical" Pilgrims. (Don't get me started!)  The historical "malpractice" abounds in many of these so-called historical accounts.

Here is a strict, historically accurate, and family-oriented, list of Thanksgiving books for your enjoyment:
Squanto: Friend of Pilgrims
Clyse Robert Bulla; Clyde Robert Bulla
This selection is one of my personal favorites, as I distinctly remember reading this book as a child.  We have read it multiple times as a family.  One reason I enjoy this book is that it explains the relationship of Squanto and the Pilgrims in a less biased light.  I am extremely frustrated tired of historical accounts that paint the Native Americans as the "saviors" of the Pilgrims.  The Pilgrims where sufficient unto God alone.  Many of the Pilgrims were farmers from Scrooby, England; they only needed "some" guidance on farming the new terrain and in the new climate . . . the Indians did not teach generational farmers how to farm! Whew . . . there, I feel better now!
  • Of Plymouth Plantation by: William Bradford
  • Of Plymouth Plantation (Dover Value Editions)
    William Bradford
    Ask any of my history students at the academy how I feel about "primary source documents", and I guarantee you will walk away with an ear full!  The reading of William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation is a family tradition that I hope will be carried along to far reaching generations.  It is of great value to hear directly from the voices that helped shape history.  The Pilgrim story accurately communicated, as told by a Pilgrim ... if not "the" Pilgrim, helps to create an empathy for the people's plight and bridge the gap of time in the minds and hearts of our children.
  • Cranberry Thanksgiving
Love this picture book ... dislike that it is out-of-print and difficult to find.  I hope you can find one in your local library!
This book spends time sharing the story of a lone brave, Squanto, and the brave Pilgrims as they are moved and orchestrated by the hand of God.
  This is more of a historical account of Plymouth Rock and what happened after they were gone.  I still enjoy reading this one although it is less to do with the holiday of Thanksgiving.  I love the history of our heritage, and Jean Fritz is one of my favorite authors for children.  So there ... just read it!
The story is of Mary and her struggling immigrant family from Ireland, as they spend their first meager Thanksgiving in America.  Her father begins telling of the trials of the Pilgrims and "five kernels of faith" that grew from the hardship.
  This is a much beloved story that my girls and I enjoy each year . . . my son even enjoys watching the movie, but don't tell anyone.  The movie is nice too, but not at all following along with the traditions story by Alcott.  The story is lovely and heart-warming and well worth bringing down year after year.  The end of the book has a recipe for "apple slump" which if fun and yummy to make.
  Wonderful collection of stories about the heritage of the Pilgrims beginning in England and all-throughout the history of Plymouth Plantation.  The Thanksgiving Day chapter is especially nice to read-a-loud the week of the holiday.

* Thankful that you stayed around to read about my picky-ness! *

Joyfully Learning with You,
The Joyful Socks Mom 

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