In honor of Thanksgiving, here are some children’s books for kids in the borderlands.
My favorite Thanksgiving book ever is Eating the Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners by Lucille Recht Penner. This book tells the story of the Pilgrims through the foods they ate. Chapters deal with problems of food storage and preparation on the voyage across the ocean, typical Pilgrim kitchens, Pilgrim manners, and the gradual movement away from English food preferences to American food tastes. The last chapter includes authentic recipes for a typical Pilgrim meal. This is an engaging and enjoyable nonfiction text perfect for upper elementary and middle school.
In the realistic fiction picture book Celebrate Thanksgiving Day with Beto and Gaby by Alma Flor Ada with illustrations by Claudia Rueda, Beto and Gaby look forward to spending Thanksgiving with all their relatives. Unfortunately, a big snowstorm means that one by one the relatives call and cancel. It looks like Beto and Gaby will have a lonely Thanksgiving dinner, but unexpected guests turn the day into a true celebration when Grandma arrives with a group of elderly friends.
Can you eat a turkey that’s become a pet? In Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey written by Joy Cowley and illustrated by Joe Cepeda, Miguel’s trucker papa sends home a turkey with instructions to fatten her up for Thanksgiving. Miguel and Abuelo take care of the turkey, which Miguel names Gracias. While Thanksgiving approaches, Gracias learns how to walk on a leash, is stolen, gets rescued, and is blessed by the priest. Will Papa make it home for Thanksgiving? And can Miguel save his new friend from dinner?
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!