Writing Tip — Favorite Stories

turkey-1299176_1280As a former children’s librarian, I like books for children and love recommending my favorites. So if you are looking for Thanksgiving books for your kids, or you can still appreciate a great picture book, check out the list below.

s-l225Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin. This is the first in a delightful series about Maggie and her grandmother who live in New England next to a cranberry bog. Maggie’s best friend is Mr. Whiskers, an old sea captain who Grandmother is convinced is trying to steal her secret recipe for cranberry bread. By the end of the story Grandmother discovers who is her real threat.

My kids and I love these books. Maybe it’s because it takes place in a small town, where everyone knows everyone, like where we live. These are also longer picture books so you get more story as well as wonderful illustrations.

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey. A field trip turns into a rescue mission when the school kids find out the destinies of the turkeys on the turkey farm.

The riff on the Christmas poem is great fun and the way the kids help the turkeys escape is accompanied by illustrations that always make my kids laugh.


A Plump and Perky Turkey¬†by Teresa Bateman. A town desperate to find a turkey for their Thanksgiving feast set about trying to con one. But Pete the turkey proves “a plump and perky turkey can be pretty doggone clever.”

This story, told in rhyme, has detailed illustrations that kids can study and an unusually imaginative plot about how Pete turns the tables on the townsfolk.


Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts

ThankfulTo get ready for Thanksgiving, I thought a prompt about thankfulness would be appropriate.

Even though I am grateful for all the major events and people in my life, like my family and graduating from college, I want to focus on little things I’m thankful for

Driving to pick up my oldest at school, I passed a harvested field of corn. A large bird of prey rose out of the field. Its tail was white above and below so I couldn’t identify the species. I stopped my car, so the huge, roaring machine wouldn’t scare it. The bird turned and flew across the road in front of me. It was a bald eagle. I had never been so close to a wild one before.

Driving on, I felt my whole body lift and lighten. I hadn’t been having a bad day, and yet the sight of that bird made the whole day better. Maybe it was the surprise of the sighting. Or the brush with wild nature. But I thanked God for the experience.

A psychiatrist I knew said often it’s the little, positive memories that carry us through a dark time.

So what little thing are you thankful for?

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