By Walker Doermann, SouthPark Regional Library
The holidays are here, and with them come joy, excitement, and, for many of us, long wish-lists from our children on what they’d like to be gifted this year. Thanksgiving, in particular, is an excellent time to talk about gratitude for the things we already have, as well as the many people that make a difference in our lives every day. Here at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, we’ve curated a list of books that will help you get that conversation started:
The Blue Table by Chris Raschka
Colorful illustrations and sparse text center around setting the table for a gathering. As different objects are added to the blue table- a glass of milk, a cup of coffee, flowers, food etc., more people join the growing celebration as well. Eventually, the blue table must be expanded to accommodate more guests in this book that focuses on gratitude for the simple blessings of food, friends, and family.
The Thank You Letter by Jane Cabrera
After Grace receives many wonderful gifts for her birthday, she writes thank you notes to her friends and family. But she doesn’t stop there- she keeps writing thank you notes to anyone and everything, from her teacher to her dog, and even to the sky. As her letters spread joy throughout her community, she begins receiving letters and love notes in return. This sweetly illustrated story is a great reminder of the contagious nature of kindness, with subtle letter-writing etiquette mixed in as well.
Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson
As friends and family sit down for a meal together, they give thanks for all the many people who made it possible. From the farmers who tended the fields and milked the cows, to the grocers that sold the food, this book follows the many hands that go into getting our food from farm to table. This is a great lesson for children- food does not appear magically on our table; the process is much more complicated than that, and we shouldn’t take it for granted!
Thank You, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony
Young children will delight in this cute, humorous, and short story about a gift-giving panda who consistently misses the mark. He may only have six socks for Octopus, and a giant pair of underwear for Lemur, but as Mr. Panda is quick to point out, it’s the thought that counts! This is a light-hearted lesson in gratitude that preschool aged children will appreciate.
The Thank You Book by Mary Lyn Ray
Whimsical text and illustrations make this a great choice to read to your little ones. This book reminds us of all the many things we are thankful for, from worldly possessions, like art supplies and playground equipment, to the earth and stars, and even for the knowledge that morning comes again after night. A sweet story to help children think of both their big and small blessings, and all of those in between.