10 Thanksgiving Books for Kids

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many of us are already preparing for the big day. You may have your menu planned, the guest room ready, and schedule prepared, but do you have anything to occupy the children while the meal is being cooked? Why not pick up a few books from the library for the kiddos to enjoy while the adults are busy in the kitchen? Red Apple Reading has several good Thanksgiving themed selections for your kiddos to enjoy on Thursday.

Turkey Trouble (Wendi Silvano)
Oh no! It’s Thanksgiving and Turkey doesn’t want to be the main course. Kids will have a good giggle over the hilarious disguises Turkey tries out in order to escape being the Thanksgiving meal. Preschool – 3rd grade

Thanksgiving Is (Gail Gibbons)
A nice read about all that Thanksgiving means. It contains the perfect amount of history for young children along with some contemporary traditions. Preschool – 2nd grade

Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving (Joseph Bruchac)
Told from the viewpoint of Squanto, this story of the first Thanksgiving presents a new perspective. Kids will enjoy this inspiring account about a very courageous Native American. 1st -3rd grade

A Turkey for Thanksgiving! (Eve Bunting)
Mrs. Moose has always wanted a real turkey for Thanksgiving and Mr. Moose is determined that she will have one. Fortunately, the nervous turkey in question discovers that Mrs. Moose doesn’t want a turkey on the table, but at the table! Preschool – 2nd grade

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey (Lucille Colandro)
The hilarious old lady is back – and you won’t believe the things she swallows this time. Young children will enjoy this crazy tale along with its wacky illustrations. Preschool – 1st grade

The Night Before Thanksgiving (Natasha Wing)
Find out what happens in a typical house during the Thanksgiving holiday in this fun story. Written in ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas rhyming fashion, this book is a fun Thanksgiving treat! Preschool – 3rd grade

Thankful (Eileen Spinelli)
This rhyming picture book is a great read-aloud for parents who have young children. Follow two siblings as they rehearse the simple blessings for which people are thankful. A sweet and charming book for Thanksgiving! Preschool – 1st grade

Thanksgiving Rules (Laurie Friedman)
Percy is a Thanksgiving pro and he has ten simple rules for making the most of Thanksgiving (“The early bird gets the turkey”). While they are good (and funny!) tips, Percy discovers that there’s more to Thanksgiving than all the yummy food. Preschool – 2nd Grade

Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving (Laurie Halse Anderson)
Your children probably know many facts about the origins of Thanksgiving, but they may not realize how it came to be a national holiday. In this biography about Sarah Josepha Hale, kids will discover how the tireless efforts of this persistent lady editor brought about the national recognition of a holiday that was beginning to wane. 1st -4th grade

Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27) (Mary Pope Osborne)
Join Jack and Annie as they travel back in time to 1621 for the first Thanksgiving celebration. What will happen when they are asked to help prepare the feast, but don’t know how to do things the pilgrim way? 1st – 4th grade

While you are making Thanksgiving preparations this year, remember that a good book is always a welcome addition to any celebration. Be sure to pick up some of these titles for the family to enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Red Apple Reading!


Veterans Day Activities for Kids


Veterans Day is on November 11 and schools and businesses will observe the holiday on Friday the 10th. What will your family do to commemorate this important day? Red Apple Reading has some suggestions that will not only remind your family about the importance of Veterans Day but also promote literacy development. That’s a win-win!



  • Veterans Day Word Search – This Veterans Day themed word search is a great way to get the kids thinking about the holiday. If you want to add a little challenge, print off multiple copies and see who can complete it first. Thanks Going Crazy! Wanna Go? for this fun activity.
  • Letter Writing – Unfortunately, our society often forgets about the sacrifice our troops have made and continue to make on our behalf. Why not send a letter of thanks to one of these heroes this Veterans Day? Operation Gratitude has a letter writing program that sends your letters to deployed troops, new recruits, and veterans.
  • Veterans Day by the Numbers Video – History.com is an excellent teaching resource. You’ll want to check out this Veterans Day by the Numbers video with your kiddos. While you’re at it take a look at the other Veterans Day related resources on the site.
  • Veterans Day Mini Book – Teachers Pay Teachers has several freebies available for the taking. This mini book from Melissa Shutler is a great teaching tool for 3rd – 5th grade students and costs nothing to download!
  • Veterans Day Printable – Here’s another great freebie! This printable activity from The Kindergarten Connection is a great project for young students. It involves unscrambling a sentence, cutting, pasting, and writing. This project makes for a great discussion starter!
  • Veterans Day Crossword – Here’s a fun activity for older elementary children. Have them complete this crossword and discuss what they’ve learned about Veterans Day. Thanks ThoughtCo. for this great resource!
  • Interview a Veteran – Most people have a family member or friend who was or is currently a member of a branch of the armed forces. Set up an interview with this hero so your kids can learn more about the serviceman’s experience. Make sure to have your kiddo compile a list of questions in advance so they have an idea of what they want to know.

Veteran’s Day is a great time to discuss the sacrifices made on our behalf by armed force members. It’s important for our children to recognize the valuable work these heroes perform for our country. Take time together this weekend to commemorate this special day and thank a veteran who is in your life!


Helping Your Child with Reading Homework

Each afternoon parents check their children’s backpacks to determine what homework needs to be completed for the evening. Somewhere among the items listed one usually finds: read for __ minutes. While this task seems relatively straightforward, you may find yourself wondering what you should be doing to ensure this assignment is actually yielding the greatest benefit for your kiddo. As a parent you do not need to be over-involved in reading homework, but you can employ a few strategies to help your children get the most out of their books!



  • Listen – It’s helpful for someone to listen to the child (particularly beginning readers) read their book or passage aloud. This may be tedious at first, but over time you will see your kiddo improving!
  • Be Patient -You may be tempted to jump in when your child struggles with a word. Be sure to give her a reasonable amount of time to figure it out for herself. If she does need help, assist her in blending the individual sounds together in order to form the word.
  • Check Comprehension – Your child may be reading the words on the page but not understanding the text. Parents can aid the comprehension process by asking questions such as: “Why do you think the character is upset?”, “What do you think is going to happen next?”, or “What is the setting?” You may also clarify what is happening: “So the girl is nervous because she is afraid of heights.” Check out our Reading Comp Coffers for further ideas!
  • Read to Your Child – Kids of all ages like to have their parents read aloud to them. Not only does this create sweet memories, but it also allows your child to hear a passage read with fluency. When mom or dad read smoothly, with expression and observe punctuation, it demonstrates how a fluent reader sounds. Visit our Finding Fluency board to learn more.
  • Show Interest –If your kiddo is reading independently, ask him about his book. When you express interest in your child’s homework, it communicates that you value what he is doing and find it to be a worthwhile task. Asking about a story’s plot, characters, and progression are good starting points.
  • Facilitate – Make sure your child has access to reading material that interests him. He will be more enthusiastic about reading time if he finds the story/information to be appealing. Make a point of visiting your local public library and offer to help him locate something that he will enjoy reading.
  • Create a Reading-Friendly Environment – Parents can make reading homework easier by ensuring that there are quiet areas in the home in which to complete the reading requirements. This often means turning off the television and limiting gaming time.

At the end of a long day it can be tempting to allow your kid to skip the reading portion of her homework. However, daily reading really is an important part of her literacy development. Take time this week to implement one of the above strategies with your little learner!


Fall Literacy Activities

Autumn officially arrived on the 22nd of September this year, and we have three whole months to enjoy the perks of the season! Autumn probably conjures up thoughts of pumpkins, turning leaves, and crisp weather in your mind. We want to encourage you to also turn your sights to literacy this fall. After all, literacy and autumn are two great things that go great together! Check out these fun fall literacy activities courtesy of Red Apple Reading!

Campfire and a Spooky Story
Nothing beats roasting marshmallows over a camp fire in the fall. Campfires also make the perfect backdrop for a spooky story. Check out a scary story from the library and read it aloud to the kiddos while sitting around the fire. If your little one doesn’t enjoy a good scare, then choose a fall-themed book to read instead.

Football-Themed Books
Nothing signals fall like the beginning of football season. If your little one is a football fan, encourage his interest with a football-themed book. Check out this list of fun books about football from Fantastic Fun and Learning.

Sight Word Trees
If you have an emerging reader, you are probably frequently reviewing sight words. You and your little one may be growing bored with the usual review methods; try something different! In honor of autumn make a sight word tree! Have your kiddo write her sight words on paper leaves and place them on a paper tree. These leaf templates are perfect for the project.

Fall Acrostic
This easy literacy activity is great for young writers. Simply write the word fall vertically down a piece of paper then have your kiddo write a word or phrase describing autumn by each letter. For example: football, apple pie, leaves, and long walks! Afterwards let kids decorate their acrostic using crayons and stickers. Older writers can do the same using the word autumn.

Pumpkin Seed Spelling
Take advantage of pumpkin carving time this year with your little one by sneaking in a little literacy! As you are working on your creepy creation, talk about what letter pumpkin begins with and brainstorm other words beginning with the letter P. Don’t throw away those seeds after carving your pumpkin this year. Set them aside and encourage your little one to form letters using the seeds.

Monster Slime
Here’s another great activity for the Halloween season. Kids are sure to love this sensory writing tray activity from The Imagination Tree. Practice letters, sight words, spelling words, and phonics using your fingers to trace letters in this gooey, gross monster slime. Parents will love that it only requires a few supplies and kids will love the mess!

Thank You Notes
Thanksgiving will be here before we know it! There’s no better time than the fall season for expressing gratitude to those special people in our lives. Gather your letter writing supplies and children around the table and spend the afternoon writing thank you notes. Teachers, neighbors, friends, armed service members, and public service workers are always pleased to receive a word of thanks.

Autumn-Themed Books
Whether your little one wants to read about pumpkins, leaves, Thanksgiving, or Halloween, we have the book for you! Check out these fun fall-themed titles we compiled especially for your kiddo.

Your little learners are sure to enjoy these fall-themed literacy activities and you will enjoy making memories that will warm your heart for the rest of the year. Red Apple Reading wishes you and your family a wonderful autumn!

Celebrate National Comic Book Day!

The first real comic book in America appeared in 1933 and was a book containing reprinted comic strips from earlier newspaper editions. Comics have come a long way since their beginning. Throughout the world comic books and graphic novels have become a growing source of literary enjoyment. Not sure what you think about the literary value of comics? If you are a little skeptical, consider these advantages that comic books and graphic novels can afford your children:

  • Boosts Vocabulary – You might be surprised to learn that comic books foster vocabulary development. If a child comes across an unfamiliar word when reading a comic, she can often figure out the meaning of the word by referring to the accompanying picture, thus boosting her vocabulary.
  • Improves Reading Comprehension – Learning to infer an author’s meaning is necessary for attaining good reading comprehension. As mentioned above, the sequencing illustration strips help kids to exercise inference in their reading.
  • Unintimidating – Many children find typical books with page after page of small text to be intimidating. With narratives that are broken up in smaller chunks, struggling readers may find the comic book format to be more manageable.
  • Unexpected – Many people have a narrow idea concerning comic book subject matter. Comics and graphic novels encompass multiple genres, including superhero, science-fiction, history, and biography.
  • Reluctant Reader Friendly – If you have a reluctant reader in your house, you may find that comics are a good reading resource. Comics are visually appealing with characters that children recognize and admire.

Have we convinced you of the benefits of reading comics yet? If so, here are a few comic book/graphic novel selections you may want to try:

BabyMouse (Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm) – Meet Babymouse, an imaginative, sassy, fun-loving rodent who dreams of glamour and being queen of the world! (ages 7-10)

Amulet (Kazu Kibuishi) – After their father dies, Emily and Navin move with their mom into the home of their deceased great grandfather. The kids must search for their mom after she is lured through a basement door of this strange house by an evil creature. This compelling graphic novel can get a little dark at times, so it’s definitely for older elementary school children. (ages 8-12)

Tiny Titans Vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse (Art Baltazar) – Kids will love these young D.C. Universe heroes! Find out what happens when the kids from Sidekick Elementary hang out in the Batcave one afternoon! (ages 7-10)

Abigail and the Snowman (Roger Langridge) – It can be hard making friends when you’re the new girl in town. Fortunately, Abigail meets a friendly Yeti named Claude and they become best friends! Will the two friends find Claude’s real home and be able to escape the “shadow men” who are chasing him? (ages 7 -10)

Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists – Fifty famous cartoonists interpret and illustrate (in comic form) 50 classic nursery rhymes in this jewel of a book. (ages 3-8)

Surprise your reader with a comic book or graphic novel to celebrate Comic Book Day on September 25. Happy reading!