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Children, ages 2 to 3, who have been read to several times a day, did substantially better in kindergarten than youngs... More

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Author: Laura Malone Elliott

Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger

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Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Gratitude. Giving thanks. Thanksgiving traditions. Everyone has their favorite thing and is busy with their project. Except Sam. Will he come up with an idea in time? This is a seasonal picture book for developing readers that also has activity ideas at the end.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book, transitional reader

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 9; read yourself: 9 and Up

Interest Level: 3 to 9

Reading Level: 3.9

Age of Child: Read with an 11-year-old.

Young Reader Reaction: Our preteen laughed at the things the kids were thankful for, and felt bad for Sam early on in the story. About halfway through the story, we heard "This is too much, Mom."

Adult Reader Reaction: Great idea, wonderful illustrations, but trying to pull every possible ounce of Thanksgiving symbolism into a picture book is too much. Because of the lengthy text and tons of content, it may not be a good selection for introducing toddlers or preschoolers to Thanksgiving. There are lots of kids who probably feel like Sam, but there is so much activity they are probably overwhelmed.

Pros: Wonderful illustrations and lots of references to family make this a nice book for celebrating Thanksgiving.

Cons: Additionally, there are so many outside references that adult readers may have to explain them - which takes away from the story.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a sweet story and is a nice way to demonstrate that everyone has their own way of being thankful.


Educational Themes: Scratch the surface of the story and you've got plenty of Thanksgiving project ideas - from yarn turkeys and gratitude feathers to recreating the first Thanksgiving and making your own parade.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, Thanksgiving, family, friendship, school

Date(s) Reviewed: Novembe 2014

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at and reviews and reader feedback at


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