Little Tom Turkey by Frances Bloxam.
This is a wonderful rhyming picture book that describes the life of a wild turkey. Young turkeys, called poults, leave the nest right after hatching. They follow their mother the hen who shows them how to scratch for food. They learn how to fly and there is a suspenseful scene as they escape from a fox. The illustrations depict the beautiful colors of wild turkeys and their natural habitat and predators. Following the story are questions and answers about wild turkeys including where they live, eat, sleep and the difference between wild turkeys and farm turkeys. There is also an illustration of a full grown male turkey, called a gobbler or tom, labeled with the body parts.
Wild Turkeys by Dorothy Patent Hinshaw is a nonfiction book for children with easy to read facts.
Gobble-Gobble Crash!: A Barnyard Counting Bash by Julie Stiegemeyer is a fun read. The preschoolers enjoyed counting all the barnyard animals, saying, “Gobble, Gobble, Crash!” and finding the hidden turkeys later in the story.
I Want Your Moo: a story for children about self-esteem by Marcella Bakur Weiner. Lots of fun animal sounds as a turkey named Toodles goes from farm animal to farm animal asking if she can have their “moo,” “baa,” “neigh,” etc.
Wild turkey facts:
A variety of turkey sounds including gobbles, cackles, purrs and hissing can be heard here.
The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson, illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis.
This book explains how the winter solstice is celebrated in different parts of the world, and during different eras of history. It presents facts and folklore about the shortest day of the year.
The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Jesse Reisch.
This book describes how and why daylight grows shorter as winter approaches, the effect of shorter days on animals and people, and how the winter solstice has been celebrated throughout history. Includes solstice facts, instructions for making a winter sunrise/sunset chart, how to measure shadows on the shortest day, experiment to show how the tilt of the earth makes the seasons and fun party ideas.
A lovely story of a cold winter night when the resident farm Tomten says goodnight to all of the farm animals and they all think of the summer to come.
Artic Lights, Artic Nights by Debbie Miller.
Imagine a land where the sun rises at 1:58 a.m. in the summer and shines for less than four hours on a winter’s day. The animals in the wilderness near Fairbanks, Alaska, witness some of the world’s greatest temperature extremes and light variations ever year. At an average low of -16 degrees Fahrenheit, the winters may be unpleasantly frigid, but the light shows are always glorious!
Check here to find out when the winter solstice occurs in your area:
Find out out to create Yule Sun Ice Catchers here:
I began our horse themed preschool storytime with the True or False Book of Horses by Patricia Lauber. The children really engaged with the true-or-false question-and-answer format with questions such as do horses walk on their tiptoes, do horses need to move their heads to see behind them, or do horses have a better sense of smell than we do. I used a Breyer toy horse to show the children the hooves and eyes and ears. I asked them to show me how they turned to see behind them. Then I asked them to show me their eyes, and then demonstrated how horses’ eyes are more wide set and closer to the sides of their heads than human eyes. This was a fun introduction to get the children excited about horses!
Are you a horse? by Andy Rash is a very humorous book. The children learned the differences between the various objects, plants, and animals to determine what makes a horse a horse. Categories included living and nonliving, plant versus animal, animals with no legs, and animals that lay eggs. The preschoolers enjoyed answering “No!” when the main character would ask each thing or animal if they were a horse, and chiming in with explanations of why it could not be a horse.
Other books the children enjoyed:
Horseplay by Karma Wilson
Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee
Noni the Pony by Alison Lester
Big Horse Small Mouse: a Book of Barnyard Opposites by Liesbet Slegers
“Play Giddy-up” from Miss Carole’s Polka Dots music cd was the perfect way for the children to walk, gallop and whoa to a stop.
Here’s a link to a printable worksheet with the parts of a horse. http://homeschoolhelperonline.com/2015/07/18/label-the-horse-worksheet/#