Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving

There were no servants, for the little daughters were Mrs. Bassett's only maids, and the stout boys helped their father, all working happily together with no wages but love, learning in the best manner the use of the heads and hands with which they were to make their own way in the world. 

Louisa May Alcott
illustrated by Holly Johnson 1974

We read this at bedtime in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and it's such a sweet story.  Mother has to visit Grandma so she leaves her seven children with oldest sister Tilly in charge.  It's the day before Thanksgiving in New England and Tilly decides to put together dinner with her sister's help.  All sorts of things go awry but I love Tilly's sense of responsibility in taking care of her siblings, doing all the cooking, and being "Mistress" of the house.

My sister was born when I was fifteen and that year Thanksgiving dinner fell on me to prepare.  I loved it- baking bread, making pies from scratch, the turkey, everything.  Of course I had modern conveniences, only one little brother under foot and my mom in the next room for help, but I can relate to Tilly and her desire to be substitute "mother hen".

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanks for Thanksgiving

Julie Markes
illustrated by Doris Barrette 2004

A nice simple rhyming book about things to be thankful for this season.  There's just enough text and bright colored pages to hold the attention of a squirmy toddler. 

Other Thanksgiving books:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday Morning

For Margaux,
               This book has Soren and Silas written all over it!

Judith Viorst
illustrated by Hilary Knight

Charlotte and I were reading this in bed the other night and giggling. Hilary Knight's illustrations, even in black silhouette, are hilarious and completely capture the hijinks of these brothers.  And something tells me that Viorst wrote this one from experience!

I wish I could post every picture, they're all so funny.

Some parents come home late one night and tell their boys absolutely not to wake them until 9:45am.  The older brother "helps" his younger brother to wake up and then get dressed. They fight and make a mess (I love how they use their mother's dress to clean up their spilled cereal milk.) and rearrange the living room furniture.  I think every parent knows that feeling of growling "Some boys are going to be spanked!" from the bedroom.

This picture just cracked me up and is so true to life!

Other books by Judith Voirst:

Other books illustrated by Hilary Knight:

Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn

Another book by Edna Barth that explains the history and traditions of the Thanksgiving holiday.  (We enjoyed her one about Easter).

Edna Barth
pictures by Ursula Arndt 1975

Other books by Edna Barth:

Other Thanksgiving books:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Indians of Pennsylvania

Lucille Wallower 1965

I found this little gem at the used bookshop a few years ago. It's in pretty rough shape and was obviously used by a school, but has lots of neat information in an easy to read elementary format.

Not too far from us the Wissahickon Valley Watershed sometimes offers a family educational day about the Lenni Lanape Indians that used to live in the area. We went once and the kids learned to shoot a bow and arrow, saw the different food the Indians ate and a woman of Lenni Lenape heritage came and demonstrated how they dressed and their customs. It was a neat program.

This book also has ideas for things you could make or try. It's a nice instructional tool as well as an interesting read.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Timelines Food Feasts, Cooks and Kitchens

Since next week we'll all be preoccupied with food, here's a great book all about it!

Richard Tames
designed by David Salariya 1994

It starts at the beginning and follows various ancient cultures around the world up to the present day. You'll learn about the methods of growing crops, the types of food ingredients available in different regions, cooking styles, and how spices and sugar shaped politics and nations.  Filled with information, we never get tired of looking at books like this.

(Madeleine said they learned about Roman fish sauce in her Latin class- it doesn't look that appetizing to me!)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Merrily Comes Our Harvest In

selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins 1978
illustrations by Ben Shecter

If you're looking for poems about Thanksgiving, here's the book for you. There are rhyming poems, silly poems, ones about food and being thankful.

Other Thanksgiving books: