Staff Picks: Five Fall Favorites for Children
Fall is the perfect time for snuggling up together and enjoying a great book. If your Thanksgiving plans involve some quiet time for reading, check out these recommend fall/Thanksgiving titles from Warrenton Youth Services staff.
Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen was written about an incident that took place in the author’s family when Russian Jews were fleeing persecution. Molly is teased in her new school because of her strange accent and clothes. A class Thanksgiving project teaches not only the immigrant family, but also the children in her class, the true meaning of Thanksgiving. The film adaptation won the 1986 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. (Watch for the author as school crossing guard!)
Sometimes it’s Turkey, Sometimes it’s Feathers by Lorna Balian. Little old Mrs. Gumm and her cat find themselves with a turkey to nurture for their fine Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey eats everything in sight, including cat’s food. But Mrs. Gumm keeps reminding cat “What a fine Thanksgiving dinner we will have. Imagine!” Turkey does indeed appear at the table – as a guest, not the entre. Imagine! ~Nancy, Reference Assistant
If you’re looking for a picture book that captures the essence of family and an old fashioned Thanksgiving, this is it! Sharing the Bread by Pat Z. Miller brings the day’s preparations to life with easy rhyme and homey illustrations. “Fetch. Heat. Knead the bread. Work together till we’re fed.” For the youngster who may not remember last Thanksgiving, and the older child who looks forward to that special time, this is a fun read-aloud.
The Bear That Heard Crying by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock shows us that some stories never grow old. This beautifully written and illustrated picture book tells the true tale of little Sarah Whitcher who, in 1783 at three years of age, wandered off into the forest. Neighbors and family searched for days to find her until one man’s dream of a bear guarding the little girl led the community of searchers directly to Sarah. She was found asleep, surrounded by bear tracks. Her rescue prompted a feast of joy and thanksgiving, and Sarah told of the “big black dog” that had kept her warm and safe through the long nights. With historic references documenting the events, this enduring story will warm your heart. ~Becca, Reference Assistant
Feast for 10, written and illustrated by Cathryn Falwell, is one of my go-to books for young children as we prepare for Thanksgiving. Cathryn Falwell uses collages of fabric and paper to produce warm, colorful images of a large, African American family shopping for and preparing a feast. This story counts up to ten twice and is told through rhythmic poetry, with one line per page. Young readers will delight in discovering and counting objects on the pages (for example: five different kinds of beans-even jelly beans), while observing brothers and sisters helping mother and father with shopping, unpacking, preparing, cleaning and cooking. Finally:
“7 seven more carrots to wash and peel
8 eight platters down
9 nine chairs around
10 ten hungry folks to share the meal!”
Mom, dad and children are joined by grandma and grandpa. “Feast for 10” is a heartwarming, fun book to share with toddler, preschool and elementary age children. ~Ellen, Reference Assistant
Duck for Turkey Day captures a unique perspective on Thanksgiving, featuring a young Vietnamese-American girl as she worries about her family enjoying duck instead of turkey on Thanksgiving Day. When her class shares their Thanksgiving meals on the Monday after Thanksgiving, she discovers that she was not the only one to have a non-turkey meal, as some classmates discuss the delicious lamb, enchiladas or vegetarian feasts that they shared with family and friends. This is a sweet story of how families honor the holiday with their own traditions. ~Jennifer, Youth Services Librarian