Our Favorite Thanksgiving Books

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If you’ve been around a while, you know that we love books in this house. I have special books that we only get out at certain times of year. Though Clarissa knows where they are so sometimes I have to go hunting for them. This year we found a new favorite at the library as well. There are so many books available to teach kids the history of Thanksgiving, but these are our current favorites.

  • An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving
    In this story by Louisa May Alcott, the mother and father get called away suddenly because her mother is sick. So the older daughters are left in charge for Thanksgiving. They make dinner but they don’t do it quite right. But the extended family comes home and has a wonderful evening together, complete with apple slump for dessert. The recipe was in the back of the book, so you know we had to make it. It was delicious!
  • God Gave Us Thankful Hearts
    I wrote about this book a few years ago when we first discovered Little Pup. It leads to great discussions about all the things we can be thankful for.
  • Berenstain Bears Give Thanks
    Papa makes a new table and chairs for Farmer Ben. His payment is a big turkey named Squanto. Sister Bear falls in love with Squanto and so they don’t end up eating him for Thanksgiving dinner. But Sister and the other cubs do put on a play about the first Thanksgiving.
  • The Littlest Pilgrim
    Mini is the smallest pilgrim in the village and gets frustrated because everyone says she is too small to help. This part frustrates Clarissa. But at the end she makes a friend so she likes it. I like that you get to see many of the chores during colonial times so Clarissa gets to see what life was actually like for a pilgrim girl like Mini.
  • Thank you, Sarah
    This is the story of how Thanksgiving became the national holiday that we celebrate on the fourth Thursday of November. A woman named Sarah Hale actually wrote letters for thirty eight years before Abraham Lincoln said yes to her idea of having a set day for Thanksgiving so that everyone in the country could celebrate on the same day. We like it because the book refers to her as a super hero. So she is a girl and her super power is writing. Both things are of value in this house.
  • Being Thankful
    At the beginning of the book Little Critter complains about everything. Then, he goes to visit his grandparents on their farm and learns about being thankful complete with a new thankful rock. He comes home and teaches his sister what it means to be thankful. (Clarissa painted thankful rocks for everyone in our house after reading this book…)

I am thankful…for snow!

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This year has been full of blessings and adventures. In January, Clarissa and I accompanied Tim on a work trip to Hawaii. We had a wonderful week while he worked. In February and March, Clarissa and I went home to Virginia and Pennsylvania to visit both sides of the family. In April, we moved to a different city in South Korea when Tim got a new job and promotion. We have since visited Seoul and Okinawa on vacation.

This Sunday was actually a holiday in the South Korean church. The church chooses one Sunday every year to celebrate Thanksgiving Sunday where they give thanks to God for all of His blessings. It just so happens to coincide with American Thanksgiving. The service was so good. I think it was the first time we’ve had communion since we moved to Korea. After church, we had a Thanksgiving feast for lunch as a congregation. It was nice to celebrate with friends and family.

This week we took a break from our normal homeschool curriculum to focus on Thanksgiving. Clarissa and I read some books about the history of Thanksgiving. We also spent some time talking about what it means to be thankful. One of my favorite books to read with her is God Gave Us Thankful Hearts. We read 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We talked about what we were thankful for.

The library on post had some coloring sheets that you could put together to make “My Book of Thanks.” Clarissa colored several of the pages but we have not finished it yet.

We attended a playgroup this week at Brownstone. The children were supposed to draw a picture of something that they were thankful for. This is what Clarissa drew.

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When the teacher asked her about it she said, “This is the castle in Okinawa where all the knights and the king fight bad guys. But they are dead so we can see their house.” I guess she was listening on vacation when I was trying to teach her the history of Shuri Castle.

On Thanksgiving Day, Tim woke up with Clarissa so that I could sleep in. But once it started snowing, Clarissa ran in to wake me up because she was so excited. She then thought that it was Christmas (because it snows for Christmas and not Thanksgiving) and wanted to know when she could open her presents…We had turkey sausage and biscuits for brunch. By the time I was finished with dishes, the snow had melted.

We were thankful to wake up to snow this morning. I made sure to head out right after breakfast just in case the snow melted. It wasn’t a problem since it started snowing again while we were outside. Clarissa’s snow suit hasn’t arrived yet, but she lasted about an hour. We had so much fun!

We have been working on teaching Clarissa what it means to be thankful. We are so blessed and there are so many needs in the world. She helped me pack two boxes online for Operation Christmas Child. We will look through Compassion’s Gift Catalog to choose a birthday present for Jesus. We can talk about being thankful all day long, but if Tim and I are not living out contentment and being thankful, Clarissa will have a hard time learning it. So we are making more of an effort to talk about our blessings.

God Gave us Thankful Hearts 

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After we bought our Christmas tree,  I saw this cute book at the px and I couldn’t resist.

It is by the same author as the bear books we like (God Gave us You,  God Gave us Christmas,  God Gave us Love).  We read it in the store and I was not disappointed so we bought it.

God Gave us Thankful Hearts follows Little Pup and his mama as they look for things to be thankful for in their normal lives.  They talk about being thankful,  even when life does not go the way you want.  Like if you don’t catch any fish.  Or being thankful that God helped you find your way,  even though being lost was scary.

Then we had a pretty crafty week.  I went to an event on Camp George and made this really cute sign.

The back side says “Merry Christmas”  so I actually have holiday decorations now. Then,  I was working on a craft for story time at the library and Clarissa had to make a turkey too.  Though she didn’t want to write what she was thankful for on the feathers.

Tim had a Thanksgiving potluck for work that the three of us attended.  Tim and I had a traditional meal with turkey,  mashed potatoes,  stuffing,  and pumpkin pie.  Clarissa had pizza and cookies.  But they were pumpkin cookies so I guess she was somewhat traditional as well.

We had chicken pot pie and pumpkin drop cookies for our Thanksgiving dinner.  Tim and Clarissa went for a walk and to the playground.  I took a nap.  We asked Clarissa what she was thankful for at dinner and she said “food.”  Smart girl.