Thanksgiving Books for Kids
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Thanksgiving books for kids share about the early history of the United States, gratitude, family traditions, favorite foods, and more stories.
Did you know that thankfulness is a habit–something to practice and make a regular part of your day? (Kind of like exercise!)
We practice thankfulness each night in our family prayers. Other people might share gratitude at a family meal. The good news is that gratitude directly correlates to your feelings of joyfulness.
Here are books to share with your children that talk about thankfulness, the history of Thanksgiving, and some funny Thanksgiving stories.
What Thanksgiving books will you include in your celebration this year?
Thanksgiving Books for Kids
Baby/Toddler Thanksgiving Books
10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
Count and laugh at these silly turkeys roller-skating on a fence, doing a noodle dance, and more.
Happy Thanksgiving, Curious George tabbed board book by H.A. Rey
Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with Curious George. He goes to the parade, makes crafts, and gets the table ready for the food.
Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jill McElmurry
The simple rhyming text follows this 19th-century family preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving together.
Twelve Dinging Doorbells by Tameka Fryer Brown, illustrated by Ebony Glenn
Every time the doorbell rings (12 times), someone new comes for a holiday visit starting with Granny and the sweet potato pie she brings to the main character. Then more relatives with kids and tons of food (macaroni and cheese, chitlins, side dishes) fill the house and the many tables. It’s a festive celebration! I adore the cut-out paper collage illustrations so much!
Elementary Thanksgiving Books
We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frane Lessac
“Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude,” begins this wonderful #ownvoices celebration of the seasons, traditions, and family. As the families spend time outdoors and indoors, you’ll notice how gratitude encompasses all aspects of life from enjoying a feast for the Cherokee New Year to elders sharing stories to kids making corn-husk dolls to even saying goodbye to soldiers serving our country. Each season is written in English and in Cherokee. The pictures are vibrant and colorful, honoring the Native American Cherokee culture.
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
You will love this story! Bear practices gratitude in this charming story of friendship. Who doesn’t love a good Bear story?
The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Tamie Lyon
I always enjoy Natasha Wing’s holiday Night-Before poems. This Thanksgiving, the family is getting ready for more family and good food…
Around the Table That Grandad Built by Melanie Heuiser Hill, illustrated by Jaime Kim
This Thanksgiving story based on “This is the house that Jack built” poem shows a multigenerational, multicultural close-knit family. “These are the sunflowers picked by my cousins / Set on the table that Grandad built.” It’s a sweet story showing a group effort to get ready for Thanksgiving.
For Every Little Thing Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day poems selected by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Helen Cann
A faith-filled book of gratitude filled with prayers, poems, and blessings written by new and familiar writers. The poems begin in the morning, moving towards the night with blessings, kindness, the world, family, and friends in between. These are poems that you’ll cherish with sweet reminders about the simple joys of daily life and our connection to God.
An Awesome Book of Thanks! by Dallas Clayton
You’ll love this book– both its message and its illustrations. Look at the world and all that is in it and be thankful.
Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano, illustrated by Lee Harper
Get ready for a silly story! Turkey does not want Farmer Jake to eat him for Thanksgiving. So he thinks that maybe if he disguises himself he’ll fool the farmer? The resulting story is hilarious with a perfect ending.
The Thank You Dish by Trace Balla
Peyton Picks the Perfect Pie: A Thanksgiving Celebration by Jack Bishop, illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter
From the minds at America’s Test Kitchen Kids comes the story of a picky eater named Peyton. This Thanksgiving, Peyton agrees to try one new food — pie. Each guest arrives and brings a different kind of pie — Boston Cream Pie, whoopie pies, ruffled milk pie, plum galette, Mississippi mud pie, and more — to add to Peyton’s mom’s apple pie. After dinner, Peyton tries her first pie…and asks for seconds! A festive celebration of food and community that shows how trying new foods can help you discover something new and yummy to eat.
Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten, illustrated by Garry Meeches Sr.
Learn the story of Weeachumun (corn) and the first Thanksgiving from the Wampanoag perspective, and how they helped the Pilgrims who didn’t understand or respect Weeachumun. But Weeachumun told the First Peoples to help the newcomers by bringing them corn and her sisters, crab apples, and chokecherries, and help them learn to fish. Many First Peoples consider this day to be a day of mourning, not thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27) by Mary Pope Osborne
In this early chapter book adventure, Jack and Annie travel back in time to help the Pilgrims with their Thanksgiving meal.
Upper Elementary Thanksgiving Books
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Day Parade by Melissa Sweet
Learn about the man who invented the huge balloon puppets that are showcased in New York City’s famous Macy’s Day Parade. This Thanksgiving book is exceptionally illustrated in collage and mixed media by Melissa Sweet.
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
Did you know that a persistent editor named Sarah Hale petitioned for 35 years to make Thanksgiving a holiday? And that finally, Abraham Lincoln made it happen? Read the whole story in this historical picture book.
Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Greg Shed
Narrated in the first person by a man called Squanto, read the story of how he was captured by Spanish explorers and then eventually returned to his homeland in North America where he befriends the English pilgrims and teaches them how to survive.
The Mayflower (History Smashers) by Kate Messner, illustrated by Dylan Meconis
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine O’Neill Grace
I used this book in the classroom to show a multi-dimensional view of the first Thanksgiving.
Wonderful Picture Books About Fall
Thanks for the list. I love to read your lists, and in this (terrible) time of not being able to browse in the library, it’s helpful to know what to put on hold. You should add The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr. It’s not new – 1998 – but the narrator on the audiobook makes it so perfect to listen to. It’s about a boy who walks a big flock of turkeys from Missouri to Colorado to sell them and his adventures along the way.
Thank you for your kind words and the book suggestion. It sounds like a wonderful story, I’ll be sure to read it!
What a wonderful collection of books! I will need to add them to our library list.