A Time of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s a special time of year to gather together to celebrate everything that we are thankful for. Just as the name implies, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks to God for everything we have. We gather with family and friends to share a meal and count our blessings just as the Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving to thank God for the blessings He had given them. 

Making Memories and Building Traditions

My family has always enjoyed making Thanksgiving dinner and some fun memories as well. (There was one time when the turkey was so big that my dad had to run out to the barn and build a big wooden cutting board to hold it.) 

One of our favorite traditions is reading Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin. It is a delightful story to read with your children as Thanksgiving dinner is cooking and the smell of delicious food is in the air. In my home, we gather around the fire to read, and it doesn’t take long before we are carried off to a cranberry bog in New England. 

A Thanksgiving Story

The main character in this book is Maggie, a young girl living at the edge of a lonely cranberry bog in New England with her grandmother. Her grandmother is known for miles around for her special cranberry bread. She knows that there are many people who would like to have her recipe, so she hides it behind a brick in the fireplace. 

Maggie has a special friend named Mr. Whiskers, whom Maggie’s grandmother is sure is out to get her recipe. On Thanksgiving, Maggie and her grandmother each invite someone to dinner. Guess who Maggie invites? Mr. Whiskers! Her grandmother invites a Mr. Horace who she met at the hotel. Maggie’s grandmother isn’t so happy that Mr. Whiskers is coming to dinner. Will Mr. Whiskers try to take the recipe…is there more to Mr. Horace than meets the eye?

Here are some discussion questions and activities that you can do with your children in conjunction with this charming story:

Discussion Questions: 

  • Where does Maggie live?
  • Who is her friend?
  • Why doesn’t Maggie’s grandmother like Mr. Whiskers?
  • Why did Mr. Whiskers come to the Thanksgiving dinner?
  • It says that the red carpet was worn, and the silver spoons didn’t match; but that didn’t matter to Maggie and her Grandmother. What did matter?
  • Who takes the recipe?
  • Do they decide to let Mr. Horace in at the end? Why do you think they did?


  • A recipe for Grandmother’s Famous Cranberry Bread is included in the back of Cranberry Thanksgiving. Gather your children and make some delicious cranberry bread to enjoy!
  • The pictures in Cranberry Thanksgiving are very interesting to look at. Take some pencils or markers, or paints, and have your kids pick one of the characters or scenes in the story to draw. (Make sure Mr. Whiskers has a big bristly beard!)
  • Do a little research about cranberry bogs and how cranberries are grown. The way they are harvested is also fascinating. 


Emma Sager is an IAHE intern. She is a homeschooled senior who loves the flexibility to spend time developing her interests. She enjoys reading, writing, playing violin, and learning about American history and government. Next year, Emma plans to attend Cedarville University and major in professional writing and information design.