Although I”m currently not working in a school library, Thanksgiving week has brought to mind my favorite read-alouds for the holiday. Grandparents play an important role in each of these stories – and each story allows children and adults alike to remember and appreciate special moments with their grandparents.
Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey (Scholastic, 2005) by Joy Cowley and illustrated by Joe Capeda is a terrific story about a boy and his turkey – the one his father sent home to be Thanksgiving dinner. Miguel accepts the turkey his truck driver father sends home as one of the family. The inevitable saving of Gracias, as Miguel dubs his pet, comes about in a most entertaining manner. The book liberally introduces Spanish vocabulary and paints a picture of a loving, Hispanic family and a close-knit community. My students always loved this story and guessing the meaning of different Spanish words.
Turkey Pox (Albert Whitman, 1998) by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Dorothy Donohue, features another unusual Thanksgiving when Charity comes down with the chicken pox and can’t go to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner. But Charity’s grandmother is not about to let a few red dots ruin the holiday. Early readers love this story and its amusing solution to Charity’s problem.
My final favorite is The Thanksgiving Wish (Blue Sky Press, 1999) by Micheal J. Rosen and illustrated by John Thompson. Amanda and her family make the annual trek to Bubbe’s house for the most important holiday to her grandmother. But this year, Bubbe isn’t with the family and nothing goes right as they try to reproduce her traditional favorites. This story is my all time favorite to read with older elementary and middle school students. It helps bring into perspective what matters most in the world.
My wishes to everyone for a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with warmth, family and your own special holiday favorites.