with original recommendations, descriptions and references by Kristin Addington Culpepper (Parenting Expert and Author)
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Thanksgiving in the Woods
First Snow in the Woods
If you love singing, nature and community, you will LOVE this book! It is a beautiful story of a family that celebrates Thanksgiving each year surrounded by trees and friends. They sing, play instruments, dance, build fires, explore nature, share food and tradition. An organic example of building and maintaining multigenerational community, inclusivity, expressing gratitude and a joyful celebration of life!
Captivating photography tells the story of nature as she transitions from autumn to winter. At the heart of it is an endearing relationship between a doe and her fawn.
Snow in the City: A Winter’s Tale (Thanksgiving-post Xmas)
Written in 1963, the illustrations are classic of that time period. The story follows a family living in the big city through their holiday traditions. If your family has been to New York City or one close to its size during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday, many of the things the children in this story experience will feel familiar to your own children, as will some of the places they visit. A bit of a challenge to get your hands on this one- I got it through an extended library search, but it’s worth it. If you are headed to a big city for this holiday season and you’ll see some of these sights, it would be fun to read this ahead of time with your kiddos to build excitement and wonder.
The Snowy Nap
Little Owls Snow
Sweet story of a mama bear walking her baby through the woods to show that they’re not the only ones preparing for winter. Their woodland friends are preparing as well and baby bear learns why it is time to sleep.
In typical Brett style, this one tells the story of a bitty hedgehog abruptly succumbing to the natural rhythms of the seasons and the girl who steps in to make the long winter’s nap a little more comfortable.
Darling book with fun illustrations that tell the story of hibernation and beyond. Great for the little ones.
Fat Chance Thanksgiving
A little boy and his grandma with adventurous spirits follow nature and all her critters through the year. This has some interesting facts for the older kiddos as well as bold illustrations.
As a fox learns how others in the forest prepare for colder months he realizes those ways don’t feel quite right and in the end, embraces his own unique way of celebrating the snow and cold.
Refreshing twist on the traditional Thanksgiving story we have heard so much. This one is relatable and more relevant for today’s reality.
A simply illustrated and told story of a duck who waddles out for a swim on autumn day to find his lake had quite a change overnight! This will draw the little ones in. 3 generations of readers have now enjoyed my copy of this book together.
Balloons Over Broadway
The New England vibe, motley crew of characters, story plot twist AND delicious cranberry bread recipe in the back, this book is a family favorite! My children have asked for the cranberry bread multiple years and it has made several appearances at our Thanksgiving table.
In picture book form, the history of the beloved Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade that has mesmerized children for generations unfolds. It is a lovely balance of fact, fun, realism and fantastical creations coming to life before your eyes. A must-read if your family watches this parade each year!
Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'
Isn’t it refreshing to read stories of other families with traditions that didn’t go quite as planned? One year that we were hosting Thanksgiving, our oven went into self-cleaning mode and locked itself with several of our main dishes inside! There was no opening it until everything was nice and charred. Ahhhh…..the holidays. ;) This story will give you a good chuckle because it’s likely one everyone in the family can relate to!
One is a Feast for a Mouse
Darling illustrations and a story that builds and builds with anticipation and Thanksgiving goodies up until….well, I won’t ruin it for you. ;)
The Memory Cupboard
A Thanksgiving Story
The importance of this story, to me, lies in its relevance to real life, daily occurances. It addresses what we consider hiccups or even disasters that interrupt our striving for perfection in moments and occasions such as holiday celebrations. A gentle reminder to take a deep breath, step back and reframe our situation. This is a beautiful (and helpful) practice to adopt in life and model for our children.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving
A welcomed reprieve in the Thanksgiving Turkey and stuffing tradition for vegetarians! Regardless of diet choices, the ending is a fun surprise for little ones.
Everyone has something to contribute to the community, family, home. In the midst of a celebration like Thanksgiving, it doesn’t always feel that way to the littlest ones in our families. A relatable story to help our children to realize they are not alone in feeling this way. This can open discussions about how they can and want to share their gifts in the festivities this year.
The colors, illustrations and subjects of this book are truly an all-encompassing experience. As you read, you can envision the naked trees dancing in the wind, and almost smell the wafts of pumpkin pie, feel the warmth of the crackling fire, hear the clanging of holiday dishes and feel the joy of a family gathering together with thankful hearts. A must-read “In November.”
The Lonely Toadstool
Regardless of age, we all struggle at times with letting our real feelings and needs be heard. This is the message of The Lonely Toadstool, a story that empowers children to express themselves, knowing they are safe and will be surrounded with a caring community. When the lonely toadstool can no longer hold in his loneliness and despair, he "lets out a cry" and is surprised when the result is newfound friends and a welcome feeling of peace. Forest animals, a gnome, a fairy, insects and more, all creatures he thought were very different from him, hear his cry, and his anguish causes them to cease their activities and form a search party to help their neighbor in need.
As if holding their hand in friendship, this enchanting poetic story gently encourages the reader to see the importance of letting their own emotions and needs be known and to experience the unexpected human joy of exchanging loneliness for love and acceptance.
North Woods Girl
A refreshing story of a girl and her very independent, nature loving and non-conformist grandma. The message is empowering for our children to do their own thing, and embrace who they are, regardless of what everyone else is doing, saying or looking like!