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Be thankful for new books

November 19, 2015
Amy Phelps , MOV Parent

Get in the mood for fall and the Thanksgiving season with several children's books!

First is Eileen Spinelli's "Thankful" with illustrations by Archie Preston (Zonderkidz, $16.99, ages 4-8.) In this book, the author goes through several different jobs and says what each person is thankful for. The waitress is thankful for her comfortable shoes and the reporter is thankful for interesting news. Poets are thankful for rhyming words, the doctor for when patients get well, the mayor for every vote. And someone may even be thankful for you! The rhyming prose and the simple illustrations drive home a warm story about every day things to be thankful for.

Also by Eileen Spinelli is "Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'" with illustrations by Maryann Cocca-Leffler (HarperCollins, $17.99, ages 4-8.) This reprint edition brings the story to a new generation of readers. The Tappletons have always made a big deal about Thanksgiving. But this year, everything goes awry. The turkey is dropped by Mrs. Tappleton and ends up in the street and goes into the pond. She tries to tell Mr. Tappleton he has a cold and that's why he doesn't smell the turkey. He is sent to town to get pies, and decides to have a cup of coffee and misses out on buying any pies, so he just as boxes tied up so he doesn't have to tell Mrs. Tappleton. Kenny fed the ingredients for the salad to the rabbits in his class, so he covers up an empty salad bowl so he doesn't have to tell his mom. Jenny makes a mess with the mashed potatoes.

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By the time the rest of the family shows up for dinner, everyone has to admit to the mistakes they made. What will become of Thanksgiving now? This is a good seasonal story that talks about owning up to your mistakes and making new plans.

Little Critter is back in "Just a Special Thanksgiving" by Mercer Mayer (HarperFestival, $4.99, ages 4 to 7.) Little Critter is ready for Thanksgiving. The class has already made projects to take home. He is going to be a turkey in the school play. But when the night comes and he has to go on stage, he

gets really nervous and can't remember his lines. He has to find something else to do instead. The next day is the parade, and he is going to be in his costume to watch the floats.

Except then he decides he can see better ON a float. His parents are not happy. He tries to help with the Thanksgiving food and keeps dropping things. How will the day end? This is a cute story that kids will relate to.

A tree experiences the seasons and changes in "Little Tree" by Loren Long (Philomel Books, $17.99.) A little tree grows amongst the other little trees. During the summer the squirrels climb on him. Autumn comes and his leaves change color and the air gets colder. The others start dropping their leaves, but Little Tree tries to hang on tight to his. The squirrel tells him he should let them go, but he doesn't. Winter comes and the doe asks why they are still on, but he still hangs on. When spring arrives, the other trees have bright new leaves and the squirrels play in their branches, but little tree has dried up leaves and no squirrels want to play there. Autumn comes around again and the duck thinks the tree is sick. The fox is trying to convince him to drop the leaves.

This continues on as the seasons pass and the other trees grow big and strong and have bright new leaves each year. And the tree stays little because he refuses to let go. Will letting go ever be worth it? This is a very moving story about growing up and letting go, and the consequences of not doing so.



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