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Family, Food, and Gratitude

Laura Duncan, Librarian, Children's Literature Department,
Collage of thank you books
Even if we can’t physically be together on Thanksgiving, we can still celebrate the important relationships in our lives

What is Thanksgiving all about? For me, the most important part of the holiday has always been getting together with family, or with friends if I was living far from home, and counting our blessings over a delicious meal. In this upside-down year, when gathering in big groups is a health risk, and being thankful is more of a challenge, how can we still make this a celebration for the kids in our lives? Here are some reading suggestions to shake up the usual holiday routine.


Food

Food is often the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving celebration. We all have our time-honored family traditions, but why not try out some new recipes this year? Starting new traditions or learning new skills helps keep the focus on enjoying the present. These books combine a celebration of food with a bit of history, poetry, cooking tips, and stories.

Book cover for New Favorites for New Cooks: 50 Delicious Recipes for Kids to Make
New Favorites for New Cooks: 50 Delicious Recipes for Kids to Make
Federman, Carolyn

Fun recipes for kids to try out in the kitchen this year.


Book cover for Yum! mmmm! que rico!: Americas' Sproutings
Yum! mmmm! que rico!: Americas' Sproutings
Mora, Pat

A collection of haiku about foods that are native to the Americas.


Book cover for What's Cooking at 10 Garden Street?
What's Cooking at 10 Garden Street?
Sala, Felicita

Explore recipes from all over the world along with a story of neighbors coming together. 


Book cover for A Place at the Table
A Place at the Table
Faruqi, Saadia and Shovan, Laura

A novel about two girls who bond at a cooking class and learn about each other’s cultures and experiences.


Family Togetherness

Even if we can’t physically be together, we can still celebrate the important relationships in our lives. Take some time to talk to and about the people that are important to you. Some of the meaningful people in our lives may no longer be with us and this might be a good time to share family history and memories.

Book cover for Grandma's Tiny House: A Counting Story!
Grandma's Tiny House: A Counting Story!
Brown-Wood, JaNay

An adorable counting book that celebrates community. In this story, a family has to get creative when relatives, neighbors, and friends all arrive for a feast at Grandma’s tiny house. 


Book cover for My Heart Fills with Happiness/ / sâkaskinêw nitêh miywêyihtamowin ohci
My Heart Fills with Happiness/ / sâkaskinêw nitêh miywêyihtamowin ohci
Gray Smith, Monique

A simple board book (for the youngest book lovers) celebrating what makes us happy.


Book cover for Around the Table That Grandad Built
Around the Table That Grandad Built
Hill, Melanie Heuiser

A cumulative rhyme about everything that family and friends contribute to a holiday celebration. This year, families can think about how this might apply to a virtual gathering.


Book cover for Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
Sweet, Melissa

A beloved holiday tradition is explored in this award-winning book. What are some experiences that we can share at a distance?


Gratitude

This year has brought on hardship for so many families, and with that, creating a list of things that we are grateful for may be tougher than in years past. However, there are many different ways to be grateful and things to be grateful for. Try sharing some of these books for inspiration of things big and small to be grateful for.

Book cover for 100 Ways to be Thankful
100 Ways to be Thankful
Gerry, Lisa

This National Geographic Kids publication offers ideas for taking action and for simply acknowledging ways to tap into gratitude. 


Book cover for We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
Sorell, Traci

Otsaliheliga means “we are grateful” in the Cherokee language. With gratitude and appreciation, Traci Sorell tells a story of the heritage and values of the Cherokee Nation. 


Book cover for Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet
Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet
Sayre, April Pulley

Stunning photographs of the Earth remind us to take care of our planet.


Book cover for Thanku
Thanku
Paul, Miranda and Myles, Marlena

This collection of poems from a diverse group of children’s book authors explores the different meanings of gratitude.



 

 

 

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