Living in an agricultural community, my kids (ages 4.5 and 20 months) are familiar with the harvest, but this year I introduced the history of Thanksgiving. Here are some books we have checked out from our public library and enjoyed:
Hardscrabble Harvest (Dahlov Ipcar)
Fittingly, I first came across Dahlov Ipcar's work in the first book she illustrated, Margaret Wise Brown's The Little Fisherman. I was drawn to the book because the illustrations reminded me of the wonderful vintage Sanseau curtains in their nursery. From sowing the seeds in spring to the Thanksgiving meal, the rhymes follows the course of a year on the farm.
N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims (Robert San Souci)
Full disclosure: this book is mostly for my benefit. NC Wyeth's murals for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company are amazing, but this is definitely a book for older children.
With charming woodcut illustrations, this book tells the story of coming to America from the perspective of the Hopkins children, which really brought the Pilgrim experience to life in my son's mind.
A sweet rhyming book about a 19th century family preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
Cranberry Thanksgiving (Wende and Harry Devlin)
For many years, we lived in Boston, and especially in the fall I get nostalgic about that part of the world. The Cranberry series have been a fun way to share some of that culture with my oldest son, who was born there. He finds the escapades of Maggie and Mr Whiskers hilarious, and I appreciate the subtle nods to collective memory, such as the singing of "Praise God from whom all blessings flow" at the Thanksgiving table.