The Little Scarecrow Boy
A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Fun

It's Thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

 Thanksgiving is almost here, and we can feel the excitement building! There is an air of bustling busyness as we prepare for a day that celebrates food, family, and fun, and there's also the anticipation of the festivities that December brings. 

Jack Prelutsky has summed up all feelings that go with this holiday, from the very first Thanksgiving to dreading the turkey leftovers. If you thoroughly enjoy It's Thanksgiving (and we are sure you will), this amazing children's poet has also written It's Halloween, It's Christmas!, and It's Valentine's Day. Despite being labeled as a leveled reader, these books are appropriate for ages 3 to 93. We highly recommend them all!

It's Thanksgiving

by Jack Prelutsky

illustrated by Marilyn Hafner

No matter what you enjoy most about Thanksgiving, be it the gathering of family, the favorite childhood crafts to make, watching the parade, the delicious food, or the history of the day itself, this offering by the first children’s Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky has poem for you. The book contains 12 poems filled with delightful rhymes and clever humor that are simply fun to read aloud.

Humorous illustrations by Marylin Hafner echo the clever appeal of Prelutsky’s work and are the perfect compliment to poems both children and adults will equally enjoy. Originally published in 1982, it has (thankfully) been reprinted by HarperCollins to continue finding a treasured spot on holiday bookshelves and being part of Thanksgiving celebrations for years to come.


In this Issue


Stuffed Turkey

Using the time-honored art supplies of childhood, brown paper bag, paint, and construction paper, your young reader can create a fun turkey that is so endearing that you might want to use it as the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving Table. 

Stuffed Turkey

  • Large brown paper bag
  • Newspaper or other material for stuffing bag
  • Yarn
  • Brown, orange, and yellow paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Brown, red, and yellow construction paper
  • Glue
  • Marker or Crayon to make eye
  1. Stuff paper bag roughly half way with crumpled newspaper or other material. 
  2. Gather and tie bag closed with a length of yarn a bit more than half way up the bag. The stuffed section will be the turkey's body, and the open end will be the tail.
    Stuffed Turkey Craft - It's Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf
  3. Paint the body of the turkey with brown paint. Tip: An easy, no-mess way to let the brown paint dry it to use a clothespin to hang the turkey by the tail from a hanger.
    Stuffed and Painted Brown Paper Turkey Craft - It's Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf
  4. Give the turkey tail feathers by cutting slits in the tail section. 
    Stuffed and Painted Brown Paper Turkey Craft - It's Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf
  5. Paint tail feathers as desired, using yellow and orange (or any other color!) paint.  Let paint dry. 
    Stuffed and Painted Brown Paper Turkey Craft - It's Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf
  6. Cut out brown head, yellow beak, and red waddle and glue together.
    Stuffed and Painted Brown Paper Turkey Craft - It's Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf
  7. Use marker or crayon to draw an eye. Fold tab at end of neck and glue to the body. 
    Stuffed and Painted Brown Paper Turkey Craft - It's Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf
    Stuffed and Painted Brown Paper Turkey Craft - It's Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf

Related Post: Unusually Large Paper Bag Radish


Thanksgiving Stuffing Loaf

Thanksgiving Stuffing Loaf - It's Thanksgiving - Off the Shelf

Although this has the appearance of just another bread recipe, wait until you smell it baking! It is classic Thanksgiving flavor baked up in a loaf pan. Helpful Hint: This bread makes for an AMAZING grilled cheese sandwich!

Young Readers in the Kitchen

Kids can help measure all ingredients into the mixing bowl.

Thanksgiving Stuffing Loaf

Adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour's Thanksgiving Stuffing Loaf.


  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning or a combination of thyme, sage, rosemary, and nutmeg (we used 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, pinch nutmeg, and about 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion (about 1/2 a medium onion)
  • 3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water (110-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
  1. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on medium low until ingredients come together into a dough.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a flour-sack towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly stretch and press dough into a roughly 9 by 12 inch rectangle. Roll dough, starting from a short side, into a log about 9 inches long.
  4. Place in a greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, recover, and let rise for 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Uncover and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Once done, allow bread to cool in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Related Post:  Dream Snow's Beginner's Yeast Bread


One Year Ago: From the popular Bear series by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman, Bear Says Thanks is the perfect Thanksgiving installment, that celebrates friendship. Check out our recipes for Wheat Muffins and Warm Honey Nuts!

Two Years Ago: In A Turkey for Thanksgiving, by Eve Bunting and Diane deGroat, the centerpiece of Mr. and Mrs. Moose's Thanksgiving feast has surprising twist!


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