Best Kids Books About Gratitude

16 Kids Books About Gratitude

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
The Best Birthday Present Ever book
#1
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!

The Monsters' Monster book
#2
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
#3
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.

Shine! book
#4
Shine!
Written by Patrick McDonnell and illustrated by Naoko Stoop
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

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.

The Night Before Thanksgiving book
#5
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.

Firenze's Light book
#6
Firenze's Light
Written by Jessica Collaço and illustrated by Angela Li
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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.

The Most Surprised I've Ever Been book
#7
The Most Surprised I've Ever Been
Written and illustrated by Dean Fleischer-Camp, Jenny Slate
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Mr. Men: A Very Thankful Thanksgiving book
#8
Mr. Men: A Very Thankful Thanksgiving
Written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Get ready for an extra-big helping of fun when you celebrate Thanksgiving with the characters from Mr. Men Little Miss! It takes a lot of work to get everyone around the table on Thanksgiving. But once all the Mr. Men Little Miss characters sit down, they realize they have a lot to be thankful for.

Thanks from the Very Hungry Caterpillar book
#9
Thanks from the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Show friends and family how much you appreciate them with the Very Hungry Caterpillar’s colorful book of thanks. Perfect for Thanksgiving or any day of the year, this charming book of pictures is the colorful way to tell loved ones “thanks!” Featuring art from the World of Eric Carle, this joyful book follows The Very Hungry Caterpillar and celebrates all that makes us most thankful.

Ten Thank-You Letters book
#10
Ten Thank-You Letters
Written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Gracias / Thanks book
#11
Gracias / Thanks
Written by Pat Mora and illustrated by John Parra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

In a series of poetic sentences, a young boy (biracial Mexican/Caucasian) tells about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful. Come share the joy, and think about all the things for which you can say, ¡Gracias! Thanks!

This Is NOT a Dragon Party book
#12
This Is NOT a Dragon Party
Written by Mike Flaherty and illustrated by Maxime Lebrun
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

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.

You Are My Best Friend book
#13
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.

100 Things That Make Me Happy book
#14
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.

Dear Bunny book
#15
Dear Bunny
Written by Katie Cotton and illustrated by Blanca Gomez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

The Lost Stars book
#16
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.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.