Knight and Dragon Kabobs
Gopher and Mole's Warm Honey Nuts

Bear Says Thanks

by Karma Wilson
Illustrated by Jane Chapman

During a time of year when our thoughts turn to togetherness and being cozy, Bear Says Thanks is a perfect choice to pull off the shelf and enjoy with your young reader!

Bear is bored and lonely in his cave and decides that having a feast with his friends is a wonderful way to brighten the day. As each friend arrives with an addition to the feast, Bear says “Thanks!” until he remembers his own cupboard is bare and he has nothing to add to the gathering. His friends help him realize he has a very special gift to share that will truly make the party complete.

Bear Says Thanks

Wilson’s playful, rhythmic text and a repeating title refrain will have children engaged and participating in the story from the very first page. Equally as wonderful are Jane Chapman’s delightful autumn toned illustrations that bring the animal friends to life with sweet, expressive faces that glow with the joy of being together. This is an irresistible book for Thanksgiving, beautiful fall days, or anytime you want to smile.

Bear Says Thanks

In this Issue



Hare's Wheat Muffins

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving spread was always the bread basket, usually filled with warm buttery yeast rolls. These muffins are almost as good as those yeast rolls, but easy and quick enough to make any day.  

With a slightly nutty taste from the whole wheat flour, and just a bit of sweetness from the honey, they would fit very well with all the trimming on the kids table on Thanksgiving!

Bear Says Thanks


Hare's Wheat Muffins - Bear Says Thanks - Off the Shelf

Young Readers in the Kitchen

Kids can help measure the ingredients and mix together these super simple muffins. 

Hare's Wheat Muffins

 from The Kitchn

 Makes 12


  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together sour cream, honey, egg, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among muffin wells. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just lightly golden. 

Need something to keep kids busy while you are cooking your feast? Try making homemade butter to go on your muffins!


Gopher and Mole's Warm Honey Nuts

 In our house, the day before Thanksgiving is almost as exciting as the day itself. Cooking preparations are underway and the the smalls of Thanksgiving fill the house. 

To make sure young readers feel apart of the kitchen excitement, here are some recipes they could help prepare, inspired by the offerings Bear's friends brought to their feast in the cozy cave. Young readers will puff up with pride when they see an offering they have helped prepare as part of the Thanksgiving spread. 

First up, warm honey nuts. Chex Mix has always been a holiday tradition with us, and my favorite part is the nut. I usually pick those out and eat them first. This sweet and salty mix makes a wonderful snack before the Thanksgiving feast!

Warm Honey Nuts

Bear Says Thanks
Warm Honey Nuts

Young Readers in the Kitchen

Kids can help stir together the nuts and honey before spreading on baking sheet. 


Warm Honey Nuts

Makes 1 1/2 cups. 


  • 1 1/2 cups mixed, salted nuts
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (or 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons) honey 
  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place nuts in a mixing bowl and drizzle with honey. Mix thoroughly until nuts are coated in honey.
  3. Spread nuts on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring halfway through, until golden brown.
  4. Allow to cool slightly before serving. 


Bear Says Thanks Book Play 

Bear Says Thanks is brimming with opportunities for young readers to engage in creative movement as they enjoy the story. From the opening page of expressing Bear’s boredom to the movement of each animal, the book will bring out the budding actor in everyone who listens.


You are invited to Bear Say Thanks

performed by Young Readers

Your house

any time, Thanksgiving Day

  1. Simply prepare the stage, and get ready to smile as you narrate and watch your reader’s interpretation of tromping, tunneling, flapping, and flittering.  This might be just the thing for helping Thanksgiving dinner settle and making room for another piece of pie.


Happy Thanksgiving from Off the Shelf!



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