The Book of Thanksgiving

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It is the one holiday all year that my partner normally has off of work, and we are invited to celebrate with extended family members. Our disabilities and the age of my kids makes traveling and participating in National Day of Mourning events impractical until the kids are older. These kinds of events take place across the continent, so look for those first. This is also the only time of year when we get to see certain family members. So we do plan to see them this year.


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This is an imperfect solution. Last year we stayed home, alone, and read books. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Accept Read More.

Thanksgiving Tales | Colorín Colorado

History Nationality. The Thanksgiving myth is based in theft and greed. On the 4th Thursday of November, we teach our kids to respect the people who stewarded this land before us, our obligations toward the Indigenous people still here, and to welcome those who have still yet to arrive. The one our kids are learning about in school was most certainly not the first.

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The story is also fantastic for setting positive expectations for leadership. Includes real photos and blends cultural details of life in for a Hidasta woman with the story of a real woman.


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The Gender Wheel — How discrimination and violence against intersex, two-spirit, nonbinary, and trans people is a byproduct of colonization. Not My Girl — The impact of residential schools on Indigenous children who have lost their language, culture, and family connections. Wild Berries — Gathering, connecting with the land, elders, on an ordinary blueberry picking day.

When We Were Alone — In oral tradition, a grandmother passes on the story of how she and her brother persevered and continue to resist the miseducation and abuse she faced in residential schools as a child.


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  6. Validating for multiracial Indigenous kids, with end notes clearing up misunderstandings about heritage, enrollment, and the disambiguation between Indigenous political status and race. Beaver Steals Fire — I love this mainly for the foreword, which pulls back the Indigenous curtain a bit rules set in place to keep stories safe from white distortion and appropriation to help settlers understand the seasonality of stories and the byproduct of colonial arrogance and ignorance on our environment.

    A Coyote Solstice Tale — A cheeky trickster story poking fun at materialistic consumerism over the holidays. More of a post-thanksgiving story, but it fits. Strength in Diversity — Inclusion Without Erasure Her Right Foot — A little lofty, but beautiful reminder that our modern nation has been built stronger for diversity, and we must fight to keep striving for equity and inclusion. Ladder To The Moon — A dreamlike story fostering inclusion for immigrants. Brick By Brick — Caveat: this might not be for you.

    In the wrong hands, this can be alienating and reductive. A poem showing how the US government was literally built on the labor of enslaved Americans. The device starts with focusing on Black bodies hands, etc. The Sandwich Swap — How different cultures in this case food can seem foreign and strange, but actually enhance our relationships and give us new perspectives. Peaceful Fights For Equal Rights — A rallying cry showing many ways we can all fight for justice, putting our own small efforts to create a bigger, collective change.

    Clambake — A modern Wampanoag tradition, showing kids that the Wampanoag are not just mythical beings from history, but actual neighbors and contemporaries. Children of the Morning Light was written by an author who claimed connections to the Assonet Band of Wampanoag but has been identified as a charlatan by multiple sources.

    Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks

    I will update this list if I find more. Heart And Soul — Understand that some American ancestors came here on slave ships — not by choice, and the luxuries and freedoms we enjoy were built on their backs. A Different Pond — An early morning in the life of Vietnamese refugees, keeping their heads down, trying to survive in the US. Small Beauties — A reminder for my Irish family who seem so keep on shutting US borders to refugees — how hypocritical it would be to shut the door and lock it behind us.

    The Journey — A heart-wrenching story of a mother and her children while they flee from violence across a terrifying and hostile journey. My Name Is Not Refugee — A gentle walk-through for very young kids to help them empathize with kids just like them who must flee conflict. A reminder that every single choice we make impacts those who have less than we do. Shelter — Take responsibility for sheltering those in need, breaking past a scarcity mindset and a reminder that every one of us is vulnerable and will one day be in need of help.

    Take The Time — Take responsibility for how we treat each other. Small social actions to remind kids to slow down, connect with others, and acknowledge our mistakes. Sharing The Bread — Take responsibility for our family responsibilities. We can understand complicity without demonizing settlers, this is a part of our history. For many Americans, this is a part of ancestral and cultural narrative.

    The trouble with many books featuring white families on Thanksgiving is the addition of half-dressed, token Indians complete with feathers and face-paint. Or the complete erasure of colonial impact, suggesting that everyone is happy now that white folks are here.

    The Best Thanksgiving Books for the Classroom

    This book exists within a bubble, not out of oblivion, but as a mindful choice. Zietlow Miller stayed within her lane, choosing to focus on the smaller family dynamic, without painting settlers as saviors. Use page this as a learning discussion. Each member of the family regardless of age or gender contributes and works together to build the meal, setting an expectation for responsibility.

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    Recommended for ages , this book will surely be a raucous good time for your beginning readers this holiday. Turkey tries to become a sheep, a cow, a pig and a rooster Recommended for ages and illustrated by Lee Harper, Turkey Trouble has a fantastic surprise ending that will leave everyone happy come Thanksgiving dinner -- including Turkey!

    Everyone's favorite aardvark is back in this Thanksgiving holiday hit! In Arthur's Thanksgiving , Arthur is asked to direct the "Thanksgiving Day" school play, but trouble ensues when none of his classmates will play the main role as the turkey. Arthur begins to think nonstop about turkeys -- while he's doing his homework, the dishes, practicing the piano -- and finally decides to play the turkey himself. But once Arthur comes out on stage in the turkey suit, everyone begins to laugh at him His family and friends join him in turkey suits and remind readers overall how important family and friends truly are.

    Recommended for ages , this book is also available in Spanish! Silly Tilly's memory is playing tricks on her again -- she has "forgotten to remember" that she has invited all of her friends over for Thanksgiving dinner! On top of that, Tilly has accidentally sent out her recipe cards instead of the invitations. Oh no! Fortunately Tilly's friends are one step ahead of her and each come to dinner with a delicious Thanksgiving dish in hand. Plus, it doesn't get much better than Lillian Hoban's adorably illustrated furry animal friends and fantastic children's writing. I know an old lady who swallowed Illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner, the creator of Willie and May , this madcap book recommended for ages will give children a hilarious and fun start on gearing up for this year's family Thanksgiving dinner.

    Check out this great YouTube video of four-year-old Kenton reading aloud from the book. Absolutely too cute! Percy Isaac Gifford has ten simple Thanksgiving rules to offer young readers this holiday season in Laurie Friedman's Thanksgiving Rules. Covering everything from getting dressed, to greeting the guests and helping clean up the house, Thanksgiving Rules includes wacky and fun caricature-style illustrations by Teresa Murfin and is recommended for ages As Thanksgiving pro Percy proposes rules such as "the early bird gets the turkey" and "life is sweeter when you eat sweets," young readers will come to realize as Percy does what the true recipe is for the perfect Thanksgiving holiday -- spending time with your family!

    Ten Fat Turkeys , written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Rich Deas, tells the story of -- you guessed it -- ten very silly, fat turkeys! Recommended for ages , this cute book counts down the turkeys one by one as they fall off the fence in funny, creative ways.

    Favorite Picture Books for Thanksgiving Recommended by Our Readers

    More of an amusing and silly turkey adventure rather than a serious Thanksgiving tale, this book is easy for beginning readers with its "gobble gobble wibble wobble" rhyming goodness and charismatic illustrations. And for the younger readers in your family -- Ten Fat Turkeys is also available as a board book! Illustrated by Mark Buehner, the book includes a well-hidden turkey on each page, along with furry forest animals that your child can count while reading.

    There are even a couple of prehistoric creatures blended into the background for finding! The illustrations are gorgeous, with beautiful autumn New England colors and fantastic depictions of the Wampanoag Indians as they are weaving baskets, hunting and gathering food for the first harvest feast.

    Thanksgiving Day

    Overall, a great story for introducing your children to the history of the holiday and the reasons behind why we celebrate Thanksgiving each year. Recommended for ages Similar to the popular children's rhyme, One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrim s is a great beginner's book on the history of the Thanksgiving holiday and the first harvest feast celebrated between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. Illustrated by Lynne Avril Cravath and recommended for readers ages , the book shows Wampanoag and Pilgrim children working side by side, preparing the Thanksgiving dinner and giving thanks in prayer as a community before their first Thanksgiving meal.

    Your child can also sing along while reading -- added bonus! What is your family thankful for this year? Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks will definitely make your child consider what he or she might be thankful for this holiday. Written by Margaret Sutherland and illustrated by Sonja Lamut, this book plays up the importance of being thankful with its cheerful pictures of family and friends as they give thanks and celebrate Thanksgiving.