Books for Giving Thanks and National Native American Heritage Month STOCK

Books for Giving Thanks and National Native American Heritage Month


The Thank You Book

The Thank You Book By Danna Smith

By Danna Smith

Illustrated by Juliana Perdomo

Simon and Schuster, 2022, $7.99

A lively rhyming text and bright, stylized illustrations engage little ones immediately and model the many ways of helping others and of expressing gratitude. From saying the words “thank you” to spending time with a pet outdoors to giving a flower or a hug, this gentle book encourages a spirit of mindfulness, generosity and gratitude. It’s a wonderful read-aloud not just for Thanksgiving but all year round.

ages 3 – 6

The Yellow Áo Dài

The Yellow Áo Dài By Hanh BuiBy Hanh Bui

Illustrated by Minnie Phan

Macmillan, 2023, $18.99

Thanksgiving reminds us of shared traditions and intergenerational connections. Hanh Bui draws on her Vietnamese heritage and family stories in her debut picture book about a little girl named Naliah who wants to perform the traditional Fan Dance at her school’s International Day. While secretly practicing in her grandmother’s áo dài, though, Naliah tears the beautiful tunic. She shyly confesses, and she and her mother determine a way to mend the garment. Naliah later performs gracefully at school, imagining herself dancing “with her mother and grandmother in the meadows of Vietnam.” Sharing this lovely book may prompt family members, older and younger, to tell their stories of unique traditions and of challenges met and overcome.

ages 7 – 10

Finding My Dance

 Finding My Dance By Ria Thundercloud By Ria Thundercloud

Illustrated by Kalila Fuller

Penguin, 2022, $18.99

In this compelling picture book memoir, Ria Thundercloud, a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Sandia Pueblo tribes, tells of receiving her first jingle dress at the age of four and dancing at the celebratory powwow. Over the years, she studied tap, ballet and jazz dance even as she grew increasingly skilled in dancing the traditional dances of her tribes. As a shy teenager, she says, “dance gave [her] another language to express” herself, and she went on to perform all over the world. Now a mother, she remains joyfully committed to dance alongside her ancestors, in honor of her culture.

Giving Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday

Giving Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National HolidayBy Denise Kiernan

Illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Penguin, 2022, $18.99

Denise Kiernan opens this intriguing history of Thanksgiving by locating the holiday in a worldwide and centuries-long spirit of giving thanks. In the United States, Sarah Josepha Hale worked for decades for a set time each year for this country to express gratitude. She even wrote to five Presidents, till finally the sixth, Abraham Lincoln, agreed. Thanksgiving was first commemorated as a national holiday in 1863, when even during a bitter Civil War, people celebrated in hospitals, in fields and at home. Jamey Christoph’s illustrations—with their quiet colors and images of people of many cultures and races—beautifully support Kiernan’s gentle tone and underlying message of inclusivity, respect and gratitude.

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