By Guest Blogger Ellen Lloyd

Happy November — the month that reminds us to be thankful for our many blessings in life. Having a grateful heart is key to living a happy and healthy life, not just in November, but throughout each and every year.

Each of the suggestions this month have themes that offer unique opportunities to pause and reflect on things that are important and really matter, a nice reminder for us all. Don’t forget – you can win a book by commenting below!

Preschool — Thanks from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (board book)

From the well-loved author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, this new title is sure to be a household favorite. The beautiful illustrations and sparse text clearly conveys things we should all be thankful for, not just at Thanksgiving, but every day.

Early Elementary — Earth: My First 4.54 Billion Years by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield

Learn about Earth from the very beginning of her life in Triad author Stacy McAnulty’s charming, new book. In the story, Earth tells the story of her life from childhood 4.5 billion years ago to present day. McAnulty shares important facts along with plenty of humor alongside beautiful illustrations, a perfect combination to encourage young readers to have fun while learning about our incredible planet.

***Special Event Announcement for all Stacy McAnulty fans — Stacy will be at Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, NC on Wednesday, November 29th at 6:00pm for a book signing! Please plan to attend and meet a well-known, local author and get a signed copy of her new book!

Early Elementary  — The Mermaid by Jan Brett

The Mermaid is Jan Brett’s newest release and will surely become a classic. Brett’s trademark illustrative style coupled with her brilliant use of words makes for a lovely retelling of Goldilocks and The Three Bears from a mermaid’s perspective. The modern, “under the sea” version of this fairytale will delight young readers and adults alike. And as with all of her books, readers will love the additional layer of storytelling nestled along the page borders throughout.

***Special Event Announcement for all Jan Brett fans — Jan Brett will be at Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro, NC on Tuesday, November 28th at 5:00pm for a book signing! Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the author and get a signed copy of The Mermaid! This event will definitely draw a large crowd, so it will be a wristbanded event. Wristbands will be available with advance purchase of her book beginning Sunday, November 26th and until the day of the event. The color of your wristband indicates your place in line. The earlier you pick up your wristband, the closer to the front of the line you will be.

During her event, Jan Brett will do a 20 minute presentation that will include her drawing an illustration. Fans are welcome to take photos with Jan Brett’s tour bus which will be in the Barnes & Noble parking lot with Hedgie from The Mitten and The Hat. The first 100 families through the line will receive a free signed Jan Brett poster. 

Late Elementary to Middle School — The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Set during WWII, 10 year old Ada is kept inside her one bedroom apartment by her mother because she is ashamed that her daughter has a twisted foot. When her brother leaves for London to escape the war, Ada decides to follow him and the two begin life anew away from their mother. Susan Smith ends up taking the children under her wing and develops a strong affinity for them. Ada learns many new things in this free state of life, and begins to develop a trust in Susan. This is a story of surviving the odds and emerging triumphant. This title was awarded the prestigious Newberry Honor Book award in 2016.

High School (to adult) — A Dog’s Journey by Bruce Cameron

This book is the sequel to Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose and equally as entertaining and thought-provoking. The story features Buddy, the dog that searches for his purpose through several lifetimes full of fun and adventure. However, when he meets baby Clarity, he decides she needs a dog. Buddy’s next lifetime finds him adopted by the now teenager Clarity. However, she is living a troubled life and the two end up separated, leaving Buddy to worry about who will take care of the girl. As with A Dog’s Pupose, this book has a heart-felt storyline of love and loyalty that begs the question of whether pets take care of humans or the other way around. Buddy would bet on the former.

Moms — A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

Beneath tough exteriors are often stories of sadness and pain. This is the case in A Man Called Ove. Ove is a grouchy man with a quick temper and need for strict routines. When a young couple with two young daughters move in next door to him and then destroys his mailbox, the prospect of all involved finding friendship seems far removed. However, that is exactly what happens, albeit with funny and heartwarming steps along the way. This book is a perfect reminder for us to be thankful for our blessings and to always remember not to judge a book by its cover, which in this case, is Ove.


Win a book of your choice from today’s blog! 

Remember to share your thoughts and comments, and you could be selected to win a copy of one of the books, compliments of Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro. The staff of Triad Moms on Main will choose a random winner one week after the blog runs. (Please be sure to enter your email address when you fill out your comment so they have a way to contact you.)


Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.