Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving and Children's Books

From "Aunty Andy" in the Buena Vista Children's Room:

In comparison to the number of books that celebrate the Hallowe'en and Christmas/Winter holidays, there are not the same number of Thanksgiving-themed books. But in addition to hosting Thanksgiving, November is also First Peoples' Month, and a great many books have been written to help children embrace the spiritual practice of being thankful every day. Here are some suggested titles:

Thank You and Good Night, by Patrick McDonnell: A cat says thank you for everything.

Thank-You Book, by Mo Willems: An elephant says thank you for his friends.

Thankful Book, by Todd Parr: The crazy colors of thank you.

An Awesome Book of Thanks, by Dallas Clayton: The author talks about some things you wouldn't think of being grateful for.

My family's favorites of the Native American legend stories are the ones about Coyote, because sometimes the joke is played by him, and sometimes the joke is on him. Here are a few Coyote books, and some others related to Native American legend:

Two Cool Coyotes, by Jillian Lund: A coyote is grateful for two friends, one old and one new. (A sequel to her book, Way Out West Lives a Coyote Named Frank)

That Tricky Coyote! by Gretchen Mayo: Five short stories from different tribes about the original trickster.

Coyote, by Gerald McDermott: Coyote wants to sing, dance, and fly like the crows, so he begs them to teach him how. But the crows decide to teach him a lesson instead!

Spider Spins a Story: Fourteen Legends from Native America: The story-telling traditions of 12 tribes, beautifully illustrated by six Native American illustrators.

Full Moon Stories: Thirteen Native American Legends, by Eagle Walking Turtle: Thirteen stories from the Arapaho tradition.

And finally, you can remind your children (and yourself) that every book is a chance to be thankful! Be grateful to the author and illustrator of that great book you just read, and remind your kids they could be authors and illustrators too. Think about what the character in the book was grateful for, and ask your children what they are grateful for, as well as mentioning your own sources of gratitude. For instance, "access to a free library" could be one!

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