Monday, November 1, 2010

Winning Kids: Little Nippers Top 10

Little Nippers Top 10
by Michelle Berg

Today, my 5 year old asked me “Mom, so what is Thanksgiving all about anyway?” Good question. Sometimes, I feel as though the meaning of the holiday is lost. Hopefully the following books will answer some of those questions. While some titles are just for fun, there are others that deal with the true significance of the American Holiday. They will all make a nice complement to add to your Thanksgiving festivities.

10. 10 Fat Turkeys
Written by Tony Johnston. Illustrated by Rich Deas. Ages 2-8.

Gobble Gobble Wibble Wobble with this funny rhyming story about ten silly turkeys and their comedic frolics on a fence. This short simple board book is perfect for little ones who may have a short attention span while the hilarious rhymes are sure to please older children too. Counting along with these crazy turkeys will make this a fun math activity as well.
9. Thanksgiving is For Giving Thanks
Written by Margaret Sutherland. Illustrated by Sonja Lamut. Ages Infant-4.

Thanksgiving is an important American holiday but, as Margaret Sutherland simply illustrates, it’s also about giving thanks. This is a great starter book for those who would like to introduce the idea of what it means to be thankful. From Mom and Dad to hot chocolate on a rainy day, this book teaches gratitude and appreciation for everything that makes us happy.
8. The Night Before Thanksgiving
Written by Natasha Wing. Illustrated by Tammie Lyon. Ages 4-8.

Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the nation, families got ready for the big celebration. Based on Clement C. Moore’s classic poem, this whimsical tale of one family’s Thanksgiving preparations will bring smiles to your children as they ask to read it again and again. There are pies to be made, games to be played and a feast to enjoy! The Night Before Thanksgiving is a very fun and creative twist on a classic story.
7. 175 Easy-to-Do Thanksgiving Crafts
Edited by Sharon Dunn Umnik. Ages 4-8.

From turkeys, cornucopias, and Thanksgiving murals to the Mayflower, games and holiday serving plates – this book will give teachers and parents great ideas for Thanksgiving crafts. The directions are easy-to-follow and they include color photos of each 175 projects!
6. The Perfect Thanksgiving
Written by Eileen Spinelli. Illustrated by Joann Adinolfi. Ages 4-8.

What is the perfect Thanksgiving? Is it a plump golden turkey, homemade pie and lace napkins? Not necessarily as a young girl discovers while comparing her own family to that of another. What she determines is that while her family isn’t exactly prim and proper, it is full of love! I adored this book! In it’s silly, whimsical way it sends a very clear message of what really matters during the holidays!
5. Thanks for Thanksgiving
Written by Julie Markes. Illustrated by Doris Barrette. Ages 3-7.

Play dates, slides and piggyback rides; there are so many things to be thankful for! In this book, Julie Markes reminds us all that Thanksgiving is for giving thanks while subtly teaching appreciation for the smaller pleasures in life. Told in a short rhyming verse, this book is ideal for toddlers and preschoolers. It even includes a place to write your thankful thoughts.
4. The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving
Written by Ann McGovern. Illustrated by Elroy Freem. Ages 4-8.

Written for older children, this book offers a realistic, straightforward account of the Pilgrims, the struggles they endured and the significance of that very first Thanksgiving. The pages are rich with life-like illustrations depicting the settlers, their homes and their daily routine. The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving is a wonderful introduction to American history and the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
3. A Strawbeaters Thanksgiving
Written by Irene Smalls. Illustrated by Melodye Benson Rosales. Ages 9-12.

This book takes place during another sad part of American history; the dark days of slavery. Based on actual slave narratives of harvest time celebrations, it’s a story of a young boy whose only wish was to be the special child chosen to help the fiddler during the party. This heartwarming tale of determination and joy even during hard times will bring tears to your eyes and teach all youngsters to be thankful.
2. The First Thanksgiving
Written by Jean Graighead George. Illustrated by Thomas Locker. Ages 9-12.

The First Thanksgiving is an eloquently written story that begins at the time of the melting glaciers and ends with that well-known and celebrated feast between the Pilgrims and the Indians. Leaving nothing unturned, the narrative describes in detail, Squanto’s plight and his willingness to help the Englishmen despite past events between the two groups. Thomas Locker’s oil paintings are breathtakingly beautiful and highlight key elements within the story.
1. 1621 A New Look at Thanksgiving
Written by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac.

Photographs by Sisse Brimberg and Cotton Coulson. Ages 9-12.

Unfolding a myth, this unique book gives an historical account of the diplomatic gathering between the English Settlers and the Wampanoag people; a gathering that later became popularly known as the First Thanksgiving. Published by the National Geographic Society and written with the help of Plymouth Plantation the authors set out to describe an American history that is not widely known.
Michelle Berg is a Pre-School Teacher and author of children's book, Miss Mandy Manners. Please visit her website:

Do you have a kid-related post on books or reading?  Here's your place to link up!  Check the rules if you've got questions.