Discover

Company

Thanksgiving: Books For Kids

Besides being (for many) the best meal of the year, Thanksgiving brings with it a season for expressing gratitude, gathering with family and friends and focusing on our blessings. Whether you celebrate with turkey or duck, remember the Mayflower pilgrims or more recent immigrants who came to America in search of freedom, eat with family or friends, Thanksgiving holds a special significance for many. To get you in the mood, here's a list of some of our favorite Thanksgiving titles ranging from silly turkey books to beautifully illustrated stories of historical figures who made Thanksgiving a reality.

Balloons Over Broadway book
#1
Balloons Over Broadway
Written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Presents a tribute to the creator of the giant balloons that fill the sky during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, tracing the work of artist Tony Sarg, whose innovative "upside-down puppet" creations have become the parade's trademark.

Molly's Pilgrim book
#2
Molly's Pilgrim
Written and illustrated by Barbara Cohen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

A modern Thanksgiving classic about an immigrant girl who comes to identify with the story of the Pilgrims, as she seeks religious freedom and a home in a new land. As Molly nears her first Thanksgiving in the New World, she doesn't find much to be thankful for. Her classmates giggle at her Yiddish accent and make fun of her unfamiliarity with American ways. Molly's embarassed when her mother helps with a class Thanksgiving project by making a little doll that looks more like a Russian refugee than a New England Pilgrim. But the tiny modern-day pilgrim just might help Molly to find a place for herself in America. The touching story tells how recent immigrant Molly leads her third-grade class to discover that it takes all kinds of pilgrims to make a Thanksgiving. Originally published in 1983, Molly's Pilgrim inspired the 1986 Academy Award-winning live-action short film.

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
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is beautiful both in the illustrations and the sweet, simple message--to be grateful for the beautiful world we live in and the loving people around us! It's a pretty short and sweet book, but I think it's gorgeous and has an important message.

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.

Cranberry Thanksgiving book
#4
Cranberry Thanksgiving
Written by Wende Devlin and illustrated by Harry Devlin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Maggie and her grandmother each invite a guest to their Thanksgiving feast, featuring Grandmother's own cranberry bread, made from a secret recipe. "A tried and true recipe for an entertaining story that will delight young readers".--Catholic Library World. Full-color illustrations.

How Many Days to America? book
#5
How Many Days to America?
Written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Beth Peck
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Refugees from a Caribbean island embark on a dangerous boat trip to America where they have a special reason to celebrate Thanksgiving.

  1. Thank You, Sarah - The Book Snob Mom - Based on a true story that you probably have never heard of before, this book will introduce you to the woman whose persistence made Thanksgiving a national holiday, bringing the country all together to celebrate! The tone is empowering, and while historical, isn't dull, plus the illustrations are great!

  2. Duck for Turkey Day - The Book Snob Mom - Tuyet's struggle with her emotions as she feels like her family doesn't fit in and is doing Thanksgiving wrong is powerful through her child's eyes. This glimpse of the way that different cultures celebrate Thanksgiving by focusing on the essence of the holiday rather than specific American foods is a beautiful reminder of what matters most on Thanksgiving—family and friends, not the Turkey. This book is a reminder to be inclusive and accepting!

  3. The Littlest Pilgrim - Mini is the littlest Pilgrim in her village. She’s too little to sew. Too little to bake. Too little to fish. But she’s not too little to make a friend.

  4. Sharing the Bread - Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal a family's preparations for their Thanksgiving feast, with everyone pitching in to help--including Baby, who sleeps quiet as a mouse.

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving book
#10
Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving
Written by Eric Metaxas and illustrated by Shannon Stirnweis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Describes how the Massachusetts Indian Squanto was captured by the British, sold into slavery in Spain, and ultimately returned to the New World to become a guide and friend for the Pilgrims.

The Night Before Thanksgiving book
#11
The Night Before Thanksgiving
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Tammie Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

A clever Thanksigiving rendition of the classic "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"! The text trips off the tongue just like you'd expect and it isn't too forced, and the story beautifully captures many Thanksgiving traditions that the nation holds hear: classic food, family, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

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.

Squanto's Journey book
#12
Squanto's Journey
Written by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Greg Shed
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Squanto's Journey: The Story/1st Thanksgiving (PB)

One is a Feast for Mouse book
#13
One is a Feast for Mouse
Written by Judy Cox and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On Thanksgiving Day while everyone naps, Mouse spots one pea, a perfect feast, but he cannot help adding all of the fixings--until Cat spots him, in a story about giving thanks for little things. 12,500 first printing.

Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving book
#14
Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving
Written by James Dean and illustrated by Kimberly Dean
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join Pete in New York Times bestselling artist James Dean's Pete the Cat picture book series as Pete celebrates Thanksgiving in this groovy lift-the-flap book! Starring in the school Thanksgiving play would make even the coolest cat nervous. But when Pete the Cat gets onstage, he makes learning the story of the first Thanksgiving fun. With thirteen flaps that open to reveal hidden surprises, this book is sure to be a holiday favorite for every Pete the Cat fan.

  1. The First Thanksgiving - Nancy Davis recreates the excitement and wonder of the first Thanksgiving--how the pilgrims came to America and how the Native Americans taught them to plant and then joined them in a Thanksgiving feast. Parents can use the simple text and the bright, graphic illustrations of this lift-the-flap book to introduce a very young child to this holiday.

  2. You Are My Little Pumpkin Pie - B is for Bookworm - This festive board book is perfect to celebrate Thanksgiving, especially to help show your little reader how much you're thankful for them. Comparing the baby to the yummy Thanksgiving treat makes this a fun, warm, and sweet read.

  3. A Turkey for Thanksgiving - Mr. and Mrs. Moose try to invite a turkey to their Thanksgiving feast.

  4. Turkey Trouble - As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Turkey nervously makes a series of costumes, disguising himself as other farm animals in hopes that he can avoid being served as Thanksgiving dinner.

The Thanksgiving Story book
#19
The Thanksgiving Story
Written by Alice Dalgliesh and illustrated by Helen Sewell, Alice Dalgliesh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this festive Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, Alice Dalgiesh brings to life the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday for readers of all ages. Giles, Constance and Damaris Hopkins are all passengers aboard the crowded Mayflower, journeying to the New World to start a new life. Things get a little more cramped when their baby brother Oceanus is born during the passage. However, when they arrive, there are even worse challenges to face as the Pilgrims are subjected to hunger, cold, and sickness that put their small colony in great danger. With the help of the Native Americans though, they might just be able to survive their first year in this strange land—and have a November harvest to celebrate for generations!

My First Thanksgiving book
#20
My First Thanksgiving
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

How to Catch a Turkey book
#21
How to Catch a Turkey
Written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

A turkey is running loose in a school right before a Thanksgiving play. Can YOU help catch it? Fun and chaos ensue as students turn their school upside down trying to catch the turkey, ending with a twist that ensures no turkeys are harmed (or eaten!).

A Plump and Perky Turkey book
#22
A Plump and Perky Turkey
Written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Jeff Shelly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

The townspeople of Squawk Valley try to trick a turkey into being their Thanksgiving dinner, but are frustrated when the turkey tricks them instead.

10 Fat Turkeys book
#23
10 Fat Turkeys
Written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Richard F. Deas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The antics of ten fat turkeys on a fence illustrate counting from ten to one.

  1. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey! - The old lady is at it again, and this time she's swallowing a Turkey . . . she's always been quirky! You won't believe why this old lady swallowed a turkey, a ball, a hat, a balloon, a boat, some wheels, and a horn of plenty! Read this book and find out why!

  2. Llama Llama Gives Thanks - 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.

  3. Over The River and Through The Wood - The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh--so hop in, hold tight, and join the journey in this dazzling holiday classic! In this stunning paper-over-board picture book, a blustering wind stings the toes and bites the nose, but hearts are warm and there's lots to eat--for 'tis Thanksgiving Day! Bundle up as you navigate a winter wonderland of sparkling snow-covered trees and adorable woodland creatures in this cherished holiday tale. Coupled with Emma Randall's delightful illustrations, the familiar poem-turned-song is the perfect way to celebrate the season. Just remember to leave room for pumpkin pie!

  4. Tractor Mac Harvest Time - When the nights start to get cooler and the corn is ready for picking, it's time for autumn fun at the farm! Tractor Mac loves the fall, but he's just too big for the orchard, where he is stuck harvesting apples that Farmer Bill will make into delicious treats. Across the road, Small Fred the tractor is busy with the Pumpkin Picking Festival, but he's just too small to pull all of the people who want to go on a hayride. Working together, Tractor Mac and Small Fred figure out a way to share their chores and share the fun.

Bright Baby: Happy Thanksgiving book
#28
Bright Baby: Happy Thanksgiving
Written and illustrated by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What is Thanksgiving? It's turkey and pumpkin pie, but most of all it's a time to spend with family and friends. With photographs to look at and Thanksgiving words to learn, this sturdy board book is ideal for adults to read and share with very young children to introduce them to this special holiday.

The Little Kid's Table book
#29
The Little Kid's Table
Written by Mary Ann Riehle and illustrated by Mary Uhles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Everyone knows that the little kids table is the place to be for any holiday or family gathering. They just know how to have fun! This silly, rhyming story follows a group of rambunctious cousins from table setting to dessert. A universal theme, The Little Kids Table will have kids--and parents!--howling with laughter.

Thanksgiving on Thursday book
#30
Thanksgiving on Thursday
Written by Mary Pope Osborne and illustrated by Sal Murdocca
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Jack and Annie travel in their magic treehouse to the year 1621, where they celebrate the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians in the New Plymouth Colony.

I Love to Gobble You Up! book
#31
I Love to Gobble You Up!
Written and illustrated by Sandra Magsamen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Give thanks for your little ones with kisses, hugs, and GOBBLES of love all throughout the holiday season with this backlist holiday classic.

You're My Little Pumpkin Pie book
#32
You're My Little Pumpkin Pie
Written and illustrated by Natalie Marshall
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

A sweet book that celebrates the little pumpkin pie in your life! With adorable illustrations, shaped cutouts, and raised elements, You’re My Little Pumpkin Pie is a sweet board book to share with your little one. With chunky pages for little hands and die-cut shapes to add depth and interest, children will love the interactive features alongside the story. This endearing board book is a wonderful read for Halloween or any time.

  1. Katie Saves Thanksgiving - When a snowstorm causes the power to go out, Katie and her parents think their Thanksgiving dinner with JoJo and Pedro is ruined, but by being a good neighbor, Katie manages to save the day. Simultaneous.

  2. Thanks from the Very Hungry Caterpillar - 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.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Day! - A touch-and-feel book that celebrates Thanksgiving and encourages gratitude for blessings in a child's life. In this new touch-and-feel board book, textures and bright artwork bring to life the things children experience at Thanksgiving. The narrator lists things for which he or she is thankful. Tactile experiences throughout the book engage the reader and help children to connect the book to the textures in their actual surroundings. Soft, vibrant watercolor illustrations add warmth and sweetness to the book.

  4. Nate the Great Talks Turkey - A giant turkey is on the loose! And everyone is on the case—Nate, his cousin Olivia, his dog, Sludge, and even his friend Claude. But from talking turkey to stalking turkey, will every detective come out a winner?

The Kiddie Table book
#37
The Kiddie Table
Written and illustrated by Colleen Madden
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

On Thanksgiving Day, a girl who has just turned eight loudly insists that she be permitted to sit at the dining room table, rather than with the babies.

Ladybug Girl Gives Thanks book
#38
Ladybug Girl Gives Thanks
Written by Jacky Davis and illustrated by David Soman
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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!