Thanksgiving books for kids share the early history of the United States, gratitude, and thankfulness. 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. For other people, they 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 as well as the history of Thanksgiving and some funny Thanksgiving stories.
What Thanksgiving books will you include in your celebration this year?
Thanksgiving Books Table of Contents
- Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
- Books for Preschool and Elementary Age (ages 4 – 8)
- Books for Upper Elementary Ages (ages 8 – 12)
Thanksgiving Books for Kids
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.
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.
‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey Based on the famous Christmas poem, this twist on the poem shows a classroom field trip to a turkey farm.
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.
Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf, illustrated by Jenny Lovlie
A family and their friends meet in the woods to share in gratitude, faith, family, and friendship. It’s a Thanksgiving day with food, music, and laughter based on a true story.
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.
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.
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? Her persistence paid off. Finally, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official holiday. Read the whole story in this historical picture book.
quanto’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 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, specifically, the viewpoint of the indigenous peoples who were affected by the colonization and their point of view of the first celebration.
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