Phyllis Alsdurf


Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Sparkhouse Family (October 17, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1506425089
ISBN-13: 978-1506425085
Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds



Phyllis Alsdurf (Minneapolis, MN)

Author, Thanksgiving in the Woods


Judy McDonough | | 512-501-4399 x710 | Twitter: @jemmcd


Every year a family and their friends gather in the woods to celebrate Thanksgiving among the trees. Everyone brings something to share and the day becomes a long celebration of family, faith, and friendship. Told in a gentle, lyrical style, this picture book includes warm illustrations of people gathered around bonfires and long tables adorned with candles and food, singing songs and sharing laughter.

Thanksgiving in the Woods is based on the true story of a family in Upstate New York (the author’s brother and sister-in-law) who has hosted an outdoor Thanksgiving feast in the woods on their farm for over twenty years.


  • What inspired Phyllis to write about this annual event – why is this something that children should know about?
  • What IS the true meaning of Thanksgiving?
  • How can we make this holiday – with very traditional roots – relevant for children (and adults) today?
  • What lessons can we learn from this real-life holiday gathering?
  • What new Thanksgiving traditions can readers start, inspired by this book?


Phyllis Alsdurf is a writer, editor and former college journalism professor. She has enjoyed many Thanksgivings in the woods on her brother and sister-in-law’s farm in upstate New York. Her picture book It’s Milking Time is based on her experiences growing up on a Minnesota dairy farm.

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