thanksgiving inside flap

The “first” Thanksgiving

This little book is really more of a mild tirade about communism and eroding of traditional American ideals. Thanksgiving, in particular. There was an old school history lesson about the pilgrims, settlement of Plymouth, settlement of Jamestown, and President Lincoln’s proclamation of a “day of thanksgiving”.  This recitation of questionable “facts” was an attempt to get at the real controversy: The first Thanksgiving. Naturally, the native Americans are barely secondary players in this story.

In my opinion, this book was a waste of time and paper. I made a cursory attempt to find out if this author had significance beyond this little book. I didn’t find too much about the author other than a couple of other titles about the FBI and the Nixon administration.

Is this worth keeping? For a public library, probably not, unless the collection is super deep. University collections would probably be okay with something like this, depending on collection parameters or research interests.

I will keep to our family traditions of sweatpants, watching the Detroit Lions lose, and eating too much — just like the pilgrims.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Story

Thanksgiving
Wyndham
1963

We have another Thanksgiving holiday book from the olden days. This book is more the familiar story those of us of a certain age remember as the “true” story of Thanksgiving. Of course it reads a bit more sweetly and glosses over some of the rougher experiences of the Pilgrims. Not to mention under playing the role of the local natives in keeping the colonists alive that first winter.

smashed potatoes

Thanksgiving Fiction for the Kids

Smashed Potatoes
and other Thanksgiving Disasters
Murphy
1994

Someone had to remind me that this week is Thanksgiving week. It is one of my favorite holidays since it really requires nothing but some turkey and the Detroit Lions failing to win a football game. Usually we post fiction on a Friday, but since I have a Thanksgiving title, we will be featuring this one before the holiday.

This one is for the middle elementary set. The family is preparing for the holiday when Mom is called away to help a relative who is ill. Mom sets a reservation at a local place since she won’t be there to cook. (Evidently, Dad is too incompetent to cook as well.) Megan decides this isn’t how they should do Thanksgiving dinner and cancels the reservation. She is going to step up and cook. Of course, nothing goes to plan and Megan realizes her dinner is fast becoming a disaster. However, she eventually realizes that Thanksgiving is really about family togetherness.

It's time for Thanksgiving

Thankfully Weeded

It’s Time For Thanksgiving
Sechrist and Woolsey
1957

As we start heading into November, I thought I would share this little holiday gem that had not left the shelf in at least 20 years. It might have been longer than that, but the library automated in 1995 so what happened before is anyone’s guess.

This book is actually done by 2 youth librarians and is perfect for anyone wanting to have some themed ideas for a preschool or story time —in the 1950s. It has skits, crafts, poems, and stories that are perfect for a story time or teacher led program. I have a feeling these librarians assembled their best stuff and wrote a book for their fellow youth librarians. This was the 1950s equivalent to a Pinterest board or story time ideas blog.

I think it needs to be retired just on the fact that a few crafts depend on using hatpins.

thanksgiving crafts and cookbook cover

Groovy Pilgrims

Thanksgiving Crafts and Cookbook
Hathaway
1979

Just in case you have no ideas what to do this Thanksgiving holiday, this book is for you. The illustrations are just outrageous. That groovy doe-eyed look on everyone from Pilgrims to the modern people is just….weird. Think of these as a pencil version of a Peter Max wannabe. I think I will stick to my traditions of the Lions losing and marathon Hallmark Channel movies.

Our Thanksgiving Book cover

Give Thanks For Old Craft Books

Our Thanksgiving Book
Moncure
1976

Submitter: Here’s a groovy book about Thanksgiving. Miss Berry is a teacher, and she does groovy activities with her class such as pin the feathers on the turkey. The illustrations have some vintage charm, but are not that interesting. The text is kind of dry. Holiday collections are small, and should be filled with current books (or appropriate and interesting classics) that kids want to read.

Holly: “Vintage charm” is one way of putting it. Or, old, dirty, uninspired, irrelevant, lame… In the age of Pinterest, craft books like this are less useful. Yes, yes, we still buy craft books for children in public and school libraries. We’re not going to stop. In fact, it’s one of the biggest parts of the youth 700s in my library. Kids (and parents and teachers) love ’em! I guarantee they’re more interested in something from this decade than they are in “vintage charm.” That said, if you have the space, create a “vintage” collection or display. How cool would that be? Right? It’s all about context.