Turkey Tunes

Thanksgiving Greetings DrawingThanksgiving is finally here! Looking back over the history, it’s amazing how much this holiday has changed. Did you know that Americans did not celebrate Thanksgiving as an official national holiday until 1863? Also, the first Thanksgiving meal was held in 1621 and was three days long! The foods the pilgrims ate were not the same foods we think of as a Thanksgiving meal. The now-traditional meal was created by journalist Sarah Josepha Hale who created the children’s rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Hale worked for almost 30 years to make the Thanksgiving holiday official. After writing letters for years to five different presidents, Hale succeeded, and Thanksgiving was finally declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

In celebration of Sarah Josepha Hale, here are some rhymes to share with your family on Thanksgiving Day. Continue reading

Giving Thanks for the Little Things

Book cover for Ask my kiddos what their favorite holidays are, and they choose Halloween and Christmas, “because of the candy!” My favorite special day, however, is Thanksgiving, and not just because I am a related to a number of skilled pie-bakers. I enjoy dedicating a whole day to spending time with loved ones, sharing a meal with parents, cousins and close friends. I appreciate the way the day makes me pause and appreciate all I have to be thankful for – healthy children, meaningful work, a roof overhead. A book recently added to the library’s collection made me realize how easy it is to encourage gratitude on any day. Amy Schwartz’s “100 Things That Make Me Happy” uses cheerful rhymes to catalog simple pleasures – a great antidote to the feelings of dissatisfaction, greed and false need that all of the holiday shopping advertisements can generate this time of year.

“Mud puddles/soap bubbles,” “Grandma’s lap/gingersnap” and “polka dots/forget-me-nots” represent a small sample of the clever pairings in this book. A bonus is that if you have an emerging reader, the rhyming words and the colorful pictures provide context clues that make puzzling out the longer words much easier. Continue reading

Happy Turkey Day!

Turkey by lovelornpoets via flickr, used under a creative commons license

Are you stuffed to the gills with delicious food? Need to do something active to wake yourself up? Let’s look back to 2012 for some nice fall rhymes and their accompanying actions. (There is even one about a mischievous turkey.)

You can also get in the spirit of the season with books and materials about gratitude. Happy Holidays!

Giving Thanks

Ahhh. I love Thanksgiving! I spend time with my family, and together we eat, visit, eat, share stories and eat even more. Is it the food that makes me so happy, or is it the time I get to share with the people I love? Let’s just say that I am thankful for both!

In the spirit of the holiday, check out some books and materials about gratitude to share with your loved ones. (“Bear Gives Thanks” by Karma Wilson is a particular favorite around here.) Happy Thanksgiving!