Storytime: Thanksgiving

To see summaries of the five Thanksgiving books, scroll to the bottom of this post. If you have a couple minutes . . . I’m finding so much to be grateful for these days. Sunsets.

The most precious grandbaby in the whole wide world.

Tater tots and books, a library and bookstore within walking distance, falling temperatures and birds in flight and things to look forward to like dinners and stories around tables . . . and pie. I hope you find some new treasures in the books below:

Pie Is for Sharing - Kindle edition by Ledyard, Stephanie Parsley, Chin, Jason. Children Kindle eBooks @

Pie is for Sharing creates a wonderful world, one I wish I could step into. The illustrations paint a picture of a perfect day as different families gather in a park. The kids start off sharing pie, then a book, a ball, a tree, with spare, clever text like “Other things for sharing: a jump rope, your place in the middle, a rhyme (turn the page) time . . . That one word on a beautiful spread where kids build in the sand at the edge of a lake or chase each other through the shallows while the adults sit and chat.

The day ends with sparklers and a shooting star shared on a blanket under the night sky and a little more . . . pie. A lovely circle back to the beginning as the day ends. Not a Thanksgiving book, or even a November book (it takes place in summer) but sharing and giving thanks go hand in hand, and ‘tis the season for pies.

Sophie's Squash: Miller, Pat Zietlow, Wilsdorf, Anne: 9780593181690: Books

‘Tis also the season for squash and Sophie’s Squash is adorable. One fall day Sophie chooses one at the farmer’s market. “Her parents planned to serve it for supper, but Sophie had other ideas.” What a brilliant line, inviting us to turn that first page and find out what she’s thinking.

Turns out that squash is “just the right size to love.” Sophie gives it a face with a marker and christens her Bernice, and after that they’re inseparable until Bernice begins to go soft and spotty. Sophie asks the man at the farmer’s market how to keep squash healthy, and he tells her fresh air, good dirt and a little love. She tucks Bernice into a bed of soft soil, and that night it snows, but come spring, Bernice produces two small squash who Sophie names Bonnie and Baxter. This is a sweet story of friendship and hope, the parents are kind, and Sophie is so loyal. May we all have a Sophie in our lives.

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden: Levenson, George, Thaler, Shmuel: 9781582460789: Books

Pumpkin Circle is an ode to the pumpkin, following its path from seeds that reach with “silky roots” to grow a dense patch of leaves and vines. Their “twisty tendrils grasp like hands stretching out to cling. They roll down into fancy curls and wind up just like springs,”

And eventually grow into big, fat orange pumpkins that will decay into “muck and dirt, a place for seeds to grow.” The photographs pair perfectly with the lyrical text, a great nonfiction picture book, pumpkin poetry.

Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade (Bank Street College of Education Flora Stieglitz Straus Award (Awards)): Sweet, Melissa: 9780547199450: Books

Balloons Over Broadway tells the story of how the Macy’s Day Parade came to be. Did you know Macy’s originally put on the parade for their employees, many of them immigrants who missed the music and dancing in the streets from their homelands? Macy’s hired Tony Sarg, also an immigrant as well as a “marionette man,” to help design that first parade on Thanksgiving Day, 1924.

It was such a success Macy’s decided to do it every year to celebrate America’s own holiday. This book is fascinating, the illustrations are genius, and Tony’s “upside-down marionettes” were, and still are, a huge hit. Tony Sarg was a child at heart, and Melissa Sweet’s art was created with the same sense of whimsy. This book could sit on your coffee table to be shared with adults as well as read to kids, it’s beautiful and fun.

Thankful inspires me with its creative gratitude, “I am thankful for things that are soft and fresh, like laundry, bread, moss on rocks.” It invites us to look closer at our worlds and notice all the little things we are thankful for. Throughout the story a young girl makes her paper chain, writing her gratitudes on each colorful link, illustrated with photos of three dimensional paper sets. It is the perfect mirror, a story about a paper chain illustrated with paper cut-outs, a story that begins with one link and ends with the chain stretched around the girls’ window, ready for her to begin reading the first link the next day. What a wonderful tradition, and a beautiful book.

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