Our Cranberry Thanksgiving Tradition

If you start talking about Thanksgiving books, most people immediately envision pilgrims and turkeys. However, in our family, they start thinking about cranberries, sweet but feisty grandmothers, and a gruff but kind old man. Several years ago we found the book Cranberry Thanksgiving and it has become a family tradition.

This fun picture book tells the tale of a sweet grandmother, who has a famous secret recipe for cranberry bread which she keeps hidden, and plans to pass along to her granddaughter. Each year she makes the bread as a part of their Thanksgiving meal and they invite guests over to join them. This year the granddaughter has invited Mr. Whiskers, whom grandmother thinks is dirty and unmannered. Grandmother has invited a salesman who smells of lavender and appears to have great manners. Without giving away all of the details and spoiling the ending, through this story grandmother and the reader are reminded that it is someones heart and not their outside appearance that really matters.

In addition to the story, the ‘secret recipe’ for grandmother’s bread is included at the back of the book. Each year we bake the bread and then gather around the living room to enjoy a snack and the story. Often we read it more than once during the holiday season. We also enjoy drawing pictures from the book and found that our friends over at You Are An Artist have some wonderful tutorials for drawing Mr. Whiskers.

Some years that is the extent of our tradition but other years we stretch out the cranberry theme even further. We try out new cranberry recipes, do cranberry science experiments, and even cranberry art! This year I think we are going to use cranberries and toothpicks to make sculptures. If you are looking for cranberry recipe ideas, two of our favorites are cranberry french toast and cranberry rice pudding. This book has helped us to create many fun family memories. If you enjoy doing family read alouds, I encourage you to check out Cranberry Thanksgiving and check out this list of other fun Thanksgiving books for all ages!

I hope that your family enjoys Cranberry Thanksgiving as much as we do. We would love to hear all about your favorite Thanksgiving books in the comments.


Thank you to Dawn from Schoolin’ Swag for sharing with us this week.

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