Grace’s Thanksgiving; 3 out of 5 stars #bookaday

Grace's Thanksgiving book cover

by Lisa Bullard; illustrated by Katie Saunders
Millbrook Press, Minneapolis, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7613-5076-7
Description: 24 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm.
Dewey: 394.2649
Subject: Narrative and informational nonfiction; Thanksgiving traditions
Interest Level: K-2; Reading Level: 2.8
Lexile measure: 500
3 out of 5 stars

Summary from jacket flap: “Thanksgiving smells fill the house. Grace is making a list of the things she’s thankful for: yummy food, a loving family, and the fact that her dog didn’t eat all the pies. Find out how people celebrate this special time of year!”

Evaluation: The text of Grace’s Thanksgiving is broken up into four different chapters, focusing on traditions on that day, food we eat, how the holiday came about, and giving thanks. Each page contains only one or two sentences, so the text is not overwhelming for younger readers. The text consists of a narrative thread that tells Grace’s story, as well as text boxes that provide further information and facts. As a read-aloud with young children, the reader could choose not to read the text boxes. They would provide an additional level of information for read-alouds to older elementary students.

Both the text and illustrations have a humorous, cartoon-like feel which will capture children’s attention. The illustrations are easy to see in a read-aloud setting, and help to convey the story. The text flows well when read aloud, and there are opportunities for the reader to pause and engage the listeners in thinking and sharing.

The book includes a table of contents, recipe for making turkey cookies, a glossary that includes the name of other harvest feasts celebrated around the world, resources for additional information, and an index.

Bullard keeps details minimal, but accurately portrays the “first Thanksgiving.” A text box states:

Native Americans and these newcomers didn’t continue to get along. War started in 1675. Thanksgiving is a sad day for some Native Americans. It reminds them of bad times.

Grace’s Thanksgiving makes a good read-aloud for young children up to grade 2.

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