Gratitude: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about gratitude?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to gratitude. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about gratitude.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about gratitude, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like 100 Things That Make Me Happy to popular sellers like Last Stop on Market Street to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Monsters’ Monster.

We hope this list of kids books about gratitude can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

You Are My Happy book
#1
You Are My Happy
Written by Hoda Kotb and illustrated by Suzie Mason
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A #1 New York Times bestseller!

An Amazon Best Books of the Year So Far 2019 Selection!

From Hoda Kotb, the Today show co-anchor and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I’ve Loved You Since Forever, comes a book about gratitude for the things in life—both big and small—that bring us happiness.

As mama bear and her cub cuddle together before closing their eyes for a good night’s sleep, they reflect on the everyday wonders of life that make them happy.

Inspired by her own nighttime routine with her daughter, Haley Joy, Kotb creates another beautiful treasure for parents and children to enjoy together. With charming and lush illustrations from bestselling artist Suzie Mason, this soothing yet playful lullaby explores the simple joy of taking a moment to be grateful.

Perfect for fans of Ainsley Earhardt, Kelly Clarkson, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jimmy Fallon’s books for children.

The Best Birthday Present Ever book
#2
The Best Birthday Present Ever
Written and illustrated by Ben Mantle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Squirrel is super excited: he’s been invited to Big Bear’s birthday party! Now he just has to find the perfect present for his friend—but what can you give a bear who already has EVERYTHING? Squirrel searches and searches and chooses . . . a stick! As Bear unwraps his stack of gifts Squirrel begins to worry: is it enough? But with a little imagination, and a good friend, even the simplest stick can become magical. This funny, heartwarming story of friendship is a great gift—and not just for bears!

Tiny Blessings: For Giving Thanks book
#3
Tiny Blessings: For Giving Thanks
Written by Amy Parker and illustrated by Sarah Walsh
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Sweet, simple blessings that encourage thoughtful gratitude for life’s daily gifts and wonders. This accessible, wholesome board book is perfect for teaching babies and toddlers how to count their blessings every day. With simple, graspable text that inspires mindful thinking, and warm, vibrant illustrations, For Giving Thanks will fill children’s minds with positive thoughts and help them appreciate life’s special gifts.

The Monsters' Monster book
#4
The Monsters' Monster
Written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Once upon a time, there were three little rascals who thought they were the BIGGEST, BADDEST monsters around. Then along came an even BIGGER monster who changed their minds. And all it took was two little words. In this playful tale from bestselling picture book author Patrick McDonnell, a very BIG monster shows three very BAD little monsters the power of boundless gratitude.

Last Stop on Market Street book
#5
Last Stop on Market Street
Written by Matt De La Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things. By the author of the celebrated picture book A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis.

  1. Before We Eat: From Farm to Table - As a family sits down to enjoy a meal, thoughts of those who provide the food, from farmers who plant and tend seeds to store clerks who sell groceries, fill each one with gratitude.

  2. Shine! - A shining new picture book about learning to appreciate the wonders in your world and within yourself, by New York Times bestselling author Patrick McDonnell and Naoko Stoop, creator of Red Knit Cap Girl, a New York Times Best Illustrated book Hoshi the sea star looks up in the sky and sees the stars shining. She wishes that she too could be in the sky amongst the brilliant stars—and as she imagines how much better it would be up in the air, she fails to appreciate the beautiful world that surrounds her underwater. It takes Hoshi’s friends, old and new, to help her realize that her shine comes from within. With gorgeous illustrations depicting colorful underwater life, Shine! teaches about the wonders that can be found inside ourselves. Naoko’s gorgeous use of plywood as the canvas for her work offers the perfect texture and pattern to evoke waves and sea currents in the underwater scenes.

  3. Firenze's Light - Follow Firenze, a feisty firefly, as she discovers the power of her light in this fun and encouraging story of friendship and self-appreciation. Firenze’s friends love her light, but Firenze doesn’t think it’s so great. How can she when it’s nearly impossible to play a good game of hide-and-seek?!! When Firenze’s light and a new friend’s artwork unexpectedly combine, she must decide whether she will keep her light hidden or find the courage to let it shine. “Firenze’s Light” is a beautifully illustrated picture book that sets itself apart by leaving out the bullying and shame found in more traditional children’s books. Readers will find encouraging, kind characters inspiring self-appreciation, gratitude, kindness and compassion. While Firenze twirled on the stage, she realized how powerful her light was. It was creating magical art, joy for her friends, and happiness in her heart. Suddenly, Firenze felt very grateful she was a firefly. Ideal for children ages 3-8, this is the first in a series of books that reflect gentle parenting and nurture universal values that inspire and empower kids. “Firenze’s Light” is a thoughtful gift for baptisms, baby showers, dance recitals and birthdays. Perfect for toddlers, preschool, kindergarten, first grade and second grade.

  4. Otis Gives Thanks - Being thankful is a year-round blessing for Otis the tractor! Giving thanks makes Otis happy. He gives thanks for the land and country he loves. Otis is thankful for time to play games like hide-and-seek and ring-around-the-rosy. He cherishes his farm friends who make life on the ranch as happy as can be. And most of all, everyone’s favorite tractor is thankful for the greatest thing in life: love. Told with a sense of warmth, heart, and above all else, gratefulness, this is an uplifting tale that speaks to the soul of Otis’ character and reminds readers that taking the time to appreciate our lives is a virtue in itself. From the creator of the Otis series, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.

The Night Before Thanksgiving book
#10
The Night Before Thanksgiving
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Tammie Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone’s favorite fun-filled, family-filled, food-filled holiday is almost here! Follow along as the feast is prepared, cousins are greeted, and everyone gathers around the table, all with an extra helping of holiday fun.

Ramadan book
#11
Ramadan
Written by Hannah Eliot and illustrated by Rashin and Hannah Eliot
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Learn all about the traditions of Ramadan with this first book in the brand-new board book series Celebrate the World, which highlights celebrations across the globe.

In the ninth month of the year, when the first crescent moon rises in the sky, it’s time to celebrate Ramadan! In this lovely board book with illustrations from Rashin Kheiriyeh, readers learn that Ramadan is a time to reflect on ourselves, to be thankful, and a time to help others.

My Heart Fills with Happiness book
#12
My Heart Fills with Happiness
Written by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Julie Flett
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A board book that celebrates happiness and invites children to reflect on the little things in life that bring them joy.

May We Have Enough to Share book
#13
May We Have Enough to Share
Written and illustrated by Richard Van Camp
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Award-winning author Richard Van Camp wrote this book to express his gratitude for all that surrounds him and his family. The strength of their connections, the nature that provides for them, the love that is endless. Complemented by photos from photographers who celebrate their own gratefulness on the collective blog Tea&Bannock, the simple verse in May We Have Enough to Share is the perfect way to start or end your little one’s days in gratitude.

Bedtime Blessings book
#14
Bedtime Blessings
Written and illustrated by Marianne Richmond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Dear God, It’s the end of the day and time for my prayer to say thanks for your blessings and heavenly care Bedtime Blessings offers a peaceful way to end the day with a special child, through this heartfelt prayer of gratitude and wish for God’s blessings on others, too. Created to help grow a joyful spirit of contentment in even the youngest child, this sweet blessing will guide them into dreamland with a heart full of thanks and love.

  1. My First Thanksgiving - Tomie dePaola’s simple text and bright illustrations perfectly capture the joy of this special holiday. Young readers will love learning more about the traditional celebrations of the day.

  2. The Thank You Letter - Grace sets off to spread gratitude to everyone in her community and receives a delightful response! Grace writes charming and humorous letters to thank relatives and friends for her birthday presents. But why stop there? To who else can she give thanks? Grace thanks Mr. Jones for teaching her to read, her dog for his waggy tail, and the sky for being so blue. Soon showers of thoughtful letters and notes are circulating through the town. When Grace returns home, a gatefold reveals that the inside is decorated from floor to ceiling with notes, cards, and letters responding to her thoughtful missives. Favorite storytime author and illustrator, Jane Cabrera’s vivid and textured acrylic paintings are filled with joyful cuteness and warmth. Patterns from the inside of envelopes smartly add to the epistolary theme. This delightful celebration of mindful thankfulness and community togetherness is perfect for curling up in a cozy spot and sharing one-on-one.

  3. Thank You, Bees - This gentle message of gratitude and connection, enhanced by beautifully simple collage illustrations, makes for a charming gift. Sun gives us light. Thank you, sun. Clouds bring the rain that makes puddles to splash in. Sheep give us wool for our sweaters and hats. The honey that sweetens our bread comes from bees (thank you, bees). With spare, repetitive text and bright, torn-paper collage artwork, this picture book gives even the youngest readers a subtle sense of how everyday things are related — and inspires an appreciation for life’s simple gifts.

  4. The Most Surprised I've Ever Been - One thing about a new day–you really never know where it will go, even if you know where it starts. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is walking on the blanket when he is unexpectedly launched high into the air. Tumbling through space, the bird’s-eye view offers our small friend not only a glimpse of the important things in life–his beloved Nana who sleeps in a fancy French bread, a stinky shoe, and a monstrous baby–but also a much bigger picture. Sometimes the most wonderful discoveries are the ones we least expect.

100 Things That Make Me Happy book
#19
100 Things That Make Me Happy
Written and illustrated by Amy Schwartz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

In the grand tradition of “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” comes an uplifting tribute to 100 everyday things worth celebrating. The list, in rhyming couplets, draws directly from a preschool­er’s world—from slippery floors to dinosaurs, from goldfish to a birthday wish. Amy Schwartz weaves a masterful balance between art and text, with each of the 100 items portrayed as its own well-observed and warmly detailed vignette. While the contents provide readers with a frame of reference for the quantity of “100”—a celebratory milestone in preschools and early elementary grades—the oversized pages envelop young children in the wonderful things surrounding them.

A Happy Day book
#20
A Happy Day
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Katie Woo loves her life and lists the many reasons she is so happy.

Llama Llama Gives Thanks book
#21
Llama Llama Gives Thanks
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

In Llama Llama Gives Thanks, it’s Thanksgiving time for Llama Llama and his family! That means yummy foods and autumn leaves and being thankful for everything from pumpkin pies to blue skies. Thanksgiving may only come once year, but in Llama’s family, giving thanks is always here!

With short and simple rhyming text, the Llama Llama board books introduce Llama Llama to babies and toddlers before they’re ready for longer full-length stories. And their small size and durable pages are perfect for little hands.

You Are My Best Friend book
#22
You Are My Best Friend
Written and illustrated by Tatsuya Miyanishi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Once upon a time a violent, mean, selfish Tyrannosaurus roamed the land, and all the other animals feared him. One day, while chasing other animals, the Tyrannosaurus falls into the ocean. The Elasmosaurus, who lives in the sea, saves his life, and the Tyrannosaurus says “thank you” for the very first time. From that day, the land creature and the sea creature become best friends. The author, Tatsuya Miyanishi, delivers a heartwarming story about friendship with vivid, brightly colored illustrations and endearingly drawn characters.

The Lost Stars book
#23
The Lost Stars
Written and illustrated by Hannah Cumming
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone has become so focused on bright lights and new technology that they have forgotten about the stars. Fed up with not being appreciated, the stars decide to leave their posts and go on holiday. But what will happen when the lights go out? A charming picture book, from an emerging new talent, warning us to appreciate the natural beauty of the world, before it is lost.

  1. Dear Bunny - A little girl writes to her bunny, telling him all the things she likes when they’re together, from how he blows on her porridge to cool it down to playing in the park and holding hands at the zoo. As they adventure the world, they see big things, small things, creatures, colours and wonderful surprises wherever they go, but at the end, the little girl realises that the thing she loves most is her bunny! With a simple message about learning to be grateful for the things we have, most especially our loved ones, this is an ideal bedtime picture book.

  2. Ten Thank-You Letters - Pig is writing a thank-you note to his grandma when his friend Rabbit comes over to play. Eager to get in on the action, Rabbit writes one of his own . . . and another . . . and another . . . until his flurry of thank-you notes has Pig in a tizzy. Pig just wants to finish writing his note in peace! Fortunately, Rabbit’s last thank-you note reminds Pig how lucky he is to have Rabbit as a friend. This funny friendship story shows how different personalities can manage to fit together perfectly. Rabbit’s letters to everyone from the president to the crossing guard will have readers chuckling as the delightful duo from Ten Things I Love About You discovers the joy of showing gratitude to the special people in their lives.

  3. This Is NOT a Dragon Party - You’re invited to the most amazing birthday bash, complete with dragons, knights, and ogres! Think it sounds awesome? It IS! What happens when your birthday celebration includes a crazy dragon pool party, an all-knight karaoke festival, AND a tea and crumpets rumpus with ogres? You may think that sounds awesome, but the birthday girl does NOT—until she chases away her unruly guests and realizes everything is . . . boring. Can she manage to get her party started again? This antic picture book is pure, unbridled joy.

  4. Ladybug Girl Gives Thanks - Ladybug Girl gives thanks for all her favorite things in this board book, perfect for the New York Times bestselling series’s youngest fans Lulu has much to be thankful for: Bingo, the trees, her books, her friends and family, and, of course, pumpkin pie! This sweet, simple board book is perfect to share with Ladybug Girl’s littlest fans at Thanksgiving—or any time you’re feeling thankful.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!