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Milk and Cookies

with Kristen

I'm a mother of five, a bargain hunter, a recreational comparison shopper, and always trying to make more time - for me and for you, too. On this blog I'm sharing my favorite tools and finds to help make your work-life juggle a bit easier.

You can find my personal blog at

Thanksgiving children’s books

Categories: Books, Holiday


Holidays can be tricky to explain to children. Columbus Day, for example, after the children came home from school saying they’d learned (1) Columbus wasn’t supposed to be searching for America, and (2) he didn’t realize he had discovered something new, and (3) people were already living here, so isn’t that more like being a conqueror than a discoverer? “So what IS Columbus Day, Mother dear?” “A Monday off from school in October, children dear.”

Thanksgiving is tricky, too, with all the awkward issues that crop up now that we look back on it. BUT WE PERSEVERE. And this is what I love about children’s books: the authors too have struggled with how to explain it, but unlike me they have come to a conclusion, and I can read that conclusion to the children and then make modifications if necessary. (And if you’re looking for an assortment of books, all the books in this post qualify as of posting time for Amazon’s 4-for-3 deal: if you add four books to your cart, one of them will automatically be free.)

Thanksgiving is For Giving Thanks (photo from “Yes, yes, pilgrims and Indians,” this book seems to say, “But perhaps it would be better at this point in history to focus on the MODERN meaning.” The things we eat! The things we are currently thankful for!

The Night Before Thanksgiving (photo from We have had a few of these “Night Before” books over the years: they tend to be included in holiday packs from Scholastic. It irritates me to read something so determined to cram words into a particular rhythm, but the kids seem to like it and I usually feel like it does a good job of covering a bunch of interesting details about a holiday (in this case, things like watching the parade and bringing out the folding chairs). Plus, the illustrations appeal to me.

If You Were at the First Thanksgiving (photo from This is for the child that wants THE SCOOP. I love the look of the table of contents (this sample is also from Amazon):

That list makes me want to KNOW THE ANSWERS. This is a book I might read MYSELF, because it’s been awhile since I was in 2nd grade and I’m a little fuzzy on the details.

Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet (photo from I like the way this one describes the modern celebration, and I like the stickers, and I’m a fan of fanciness in general (though I’d prefer a less-fancy font). But…it refers to “authentic” cranberry sauce as “the kind that doesn’t come out of a can.” Wait, what? The only authentic cranberry sauce is cylindrical.

Maisy’s Thanksgiving (photo from Aw, this book makes me wish I still had really little kids in the house! Maisy is probably my top favorite character for the baby/toddler stage, and this book looks really fun with all the stickers. Hm, maybe Henry would still like it: babies don’t really do sticker books anyway, and he’s only four…

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2 comments so far...

  • Oooo, I love a lot of these main characters, even if I haven’t read the specific books.

    I absolutely can’t WAIT to have a lower elementary aged child again because of book orders. OMG SO EXCITED FOR BOOK ORDER FORMS. We don’t get them anymore with our 5th grader. Makes me so so sad.

    I need to find someone’s Kindergartener and poach their book order forms….

    Misty  |  November 5th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

  • We have a few fun books for Thanksgiving. Though our Thanksgiving pile is much smaller than Halloween or Christmas. Thank you Thanksgiving is a good one, though quite repetitive. We got T is for Turkey last year from Scholastic and it is very thorough. I thought it was going to be a simple A-B-C book and it is quite a bit longer than that.

    Melanie  |  November 5th, 2011 at 10:13 pm