November 1, 2020

With so many things that seem to be going wrong these days, sometimes it's hard to remember what is going right!

And remembering to recognize what we have to be grateful for is what Thanksgiving is all about.  

This month we have three books that teach children about Thanksgiving and remind readers of all ages what Thanksgiving represents and how to have fun together. 

The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving from A – Z 

Filled with vivid illustrations, The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving from A to Z is an alphabetized telling of the Pilgrims’ story, tracing their arrival on the Mayflower to their first harvest festival in 1621. Juxtaposing American ideals of freedom and gratitude to God with the Pilgrims’ everyday hardships, the book teaches geographical, cultural, and historical facts in a friendly, accessible style. People, places, events, and items related to the first Thanksgiving are colorfully represented, teaching children that “A” is for the Atlantic Ocean, “N” is for November, “U” is for unity, and more. 

This book is a wonderful vocabulary builder and a fun way to pass the Pilgrims' story on to another generation, while balancing classic Thanksgiving themes. 

About the Author and Illustrator 

Author Laura Crawford and illustrator Judith Hierstein both were elementary school teachers, with a great love of kids, history, and storytelling. 

The Thanksgiving Bowl 

I also recommend you take a look at The Thanksgiving Bowl, and consider adopting a new holiday tradition yourself.

Grandma Grace’s Thanksgiving bowl﹘used for holding the annual “I Am Thankful For” lists of the family﹘topples off the table after and becomes a useful found object for all who encounter it. From one season to the next, the bowl carries goodwill and inspiration while teaching the true meaning of Thanksgiving to animals and humans alike. 

This family’s tradition of everyone writing down on a piece of paper what they are thankful for provides an opportunity for kids to reflect on the positives in their lives. Filled with warm and whimsical illustrations, this story was inspired by the sight of a plastic yellow bowl blowing across the street one evening as the author drove home from church. 

About the Author and Illustrator 

Virginia Kroll is a prolific writer, with over sixty books published since 1992. She has received a long list of awards, including the International Reading Association/Children’s Book Council 2004 Children’s Choice Award. Illustrator Philomena O’Neill has been illustrating books and magazines for children since the early 1990s, working primarily in watercolor and liquid acrylic. 

The Great Thanksgiving Food Fight 

This is a lighthearted tale of the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving that never happened! It’s Thanksgiving Day, and Cap’n McNasty and his crew of roguish rapscallions don’t have any plans for dinner. Not to worry, though, because from their ship the crew spies a huge feast being enjoyed at Plymouth Rock. Cap’n McNasty and his privateers may seem at first like the perfect dinner guests, but it isn’t long before their mischievous manners reveal their true identity. 

Impish illustrations will keep young readers engaged and entertained. So whether ye be pirate or pilgrim, arm yourself for a Thanksgiving food fight the likes of which you’ve never seen!   

About the Author and Illustrator 

Author Michael G. Lewis is a former playwright and the father of four boys. Illustrator Stan Jackie is a longtime professional cartoonist and illustrator. He also designs coloring books and work in other media, including t-shirts and magazines. 


Scott Campbell is publisher of Pelican Publishing, a nationally recognized, local publishing company established in 1926. He also is publisher & founder of River Roads Press, a local boutique house of local and regional titles.

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