There are books available for preschoolers for Thanksgiving, but many of them I don’t like because I feel as if they promote ugly and inaccurate stereotypes of Native Americans. These depictions may seem innocuous but I don’t believe that teaching children to believe stereotypes of certain peoples is a positive education.
I’ve chosen two books that I feel are appropriate.
My First Thanksgiving by Tomie de Paolo. De Paolo strives to write books that include multicultural characters, which I’ll discuss in another post, but this particular book is helpful because while it mentions Native Americans, it does not focus on stereotypes: they are friends who come with food for a feast. The book also talks about what kids really understand: eating food and helps littles identify what foods they are likely to eat during Thanksgiving. This book could lead to great discussions and teachable moments.
Another book I like is called Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland. The characters are multiethnic, which I love, but also children learn to be thankful for real things like friends, family, having a bedroom, etc, things they can identify with, at almost any age. Again, plenty of teachable moments in this book.
Following is a video of these two Thanksgiving cuties.
What Thanksgiving books to you read to your children?