We asked Michelle Burnham (formerly Barrese), Head of Youth Services at the Menlo Park Library to suggest some children’s books that add up to good Thanksgiving reading, with one Christopher Columbus themed selection thrown in for good measure. Here are her recommendations along with brief descriptions:
An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott (Ages 9-12)
This adaptation of the original story follows the activities of seven in children nineteenth-century New England as they prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday while Mother is away caring for Grandmother.
Pedro’s Journal by Pam Conrad (Ages 9-12)
The cabin boy on the “Santa Maria” keeps a diary which records his experiences when he sails with Columbus on his first voyage to the New World in 1492.
Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne, Mary Pope. (Ages 9-12)
Jack and Annie travel in their magic treehouse to the year 1621, where they celebrate the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians in the New Plymouth Colony.
‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey. (Ages 4-8)
School children on a field trip to Mack Nugget’s farm save the lives of eight turkeys in this poem based on The Night Before Christmas.
Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times by Kate Waters. (Ages 4-8)
Chosen to become a special warrior prince in 1627, Tapenum prepares himself for the great honor by hunting, fishing, and sharing a day with friends and family, in a story that is complemented by photographs of Plymouth Plantation.
Samuel Eaton’s Day by Kate Waters (Ages 4-8)
Text and photographs follow a young Pilgrim boy through a busy day during the summer harvest in 1627 – doing chores, getting to know his Wampanoag Indian neighbors, and spending time with his family.
Get more suggestions from Menlo Park librarian Angela Haight