Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We’re putting in our library requests and checking our bookshelves to pull together a nice stack of Thanksgiving books to share with our children. These are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving picture books, along with one longer read-aloud that’s great for enjoying with the whole family. Happy Thanksgiving!
10 Favorite Thanksgiving Picture Books
Thankful by Eileen Spinelli (ages 1 to 4)
This whimsical board book helps little ones focus on the blessings we often take for granted and remember to thank those whose quiet acts of service keep our lives running pleasantly.
What is Thanksgiving? by Michelle Medlock Adams (ages 2 to 5)
This board book is a great introduction to Thanksgiving for little ones. Michelle Medlock Adams’s warm, humorous text lists all of the things that Thanksgiving might be about, before concluding that it is really about giving thanks to God who gives us all these things.
God Gave Us Thankful Hearts by Lisa Tawn Bergren (ages 3 to 7)
Fall makes Little Pup think of all the sad things winter brings like cold, wet weather and friends going into hibernation. Then his parents remind him of the importance of cultivating a grateful heart, and Little Pup learns to be thankful in the midst of his sadness.
The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks by Jan and Mike Berenstain (ages 4 to 7)
If your family loves the Berenstain Bears, you’re sure to enjoy this story. Brother and Sister Bear are putting on a Thanksgiving show for their relatives. Along the way they learn how God provided for the pilgrims and is still providing for us today. This simple story will provide your children with a touching reminder of God’s many blessings.
Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson (ages 4 to 8)
This heartwarming picture book reflects the themes of Psalm 92 in a way that children can easily relate to. The gentle rhyming text and the warm illustrations of a family preparing for Thanksgiving dinner bring to mind everything that is cozy and comforting about this time of year.
Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas (ages 4 to 8)
This richly illustrated picture book shows children that the real hero of the first Thanksgiving was not a Pilgrim or a Native American, but God. The remarkable story of how he brings together the struggling Pilgrims and a lonely brave who knows their language and shares their faith is a true American history miracle.
The Thanksgiving Blessing by Meadow Rue Merrill (ages 4 to 8)
As the family gathers for Thanksgiving dinner, Molly worries that she doesn’t have anything to contribute to the meal. But when the family shares a hymn together, Molly realizes that the thanks she offers to God can be one of her greatest gifts. Part of the Lantern Hill Farm series, these colorful board books contain gospel-driven stories that share traditions you can recreate in your own family.
Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf (ages 4 to 8)
This charmingly-illustrated picture book tells the story of how one family celebrates Thanksgiving outdoors, under the trees and by a stream. Full of the joy of family and friends gathering together as well as the delight of children being free to roam and explore the outdoors, this lovely book will become a family favorite.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting (ages 4 to 8)
This book is a humorous account of what happens when Mr. Moose tries to find a real turkey to bring home to his wife for Thanksgiving dinner. Playful and sweet, this endearing story will definitely get you and your littles chuckling at Mr. Moose and his friends.
Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac (ages 6 to 9)
This account of the first Thanksgiving from the perspective of Native Americans is a great way to share the events of 1620 with your elementary aged students. They’ll watch as the Mayflower lands on shores occupied by the Pokanoket people, and Squanto welcomes the newcomers and teaches them how to survive.
A Longer Thanksgiving Read Aloud for the Whole Family
An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott (all ages)
Reminiscent of Little Women, but only 60 or so pages long, this Louisa May Alcott classic tells the story of the Bassett family, who were “poor in money, but rich in love.” One 1820s Thanksgiving Day when their mother must leave home to care for their ailing grandmother, the children decide to prepare their own Thanksgiving feast. The perfect cozy family read aloud for November, this book paints a beautiful picture of how happy home can be when it is nourished by love and gratitude.
Need even more Thanksgiving book ideas?
Try some of these Thanksgiving favorites!
More Picture Books
- Thanksgiving Counting by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
- Llama Llama Gives Thanks by Anna Dewdney
- Mary’s First Thanksgiving by Kathy-Jo Wargin
- Who’s That Stepping on Plymouth Rock? by Jean Fritz
- Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower’s Mary Chilton by Wendy Lawton
- The Mayflower Pilgrims by Edmund Janes Carpenter
Books for Teens and Adults
- The First Thanksgiving: What the Real Story Tells Us About Loving God and Learning from History by Robert Tracy Mackenzie
- The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks by Dustin Crowe
- Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
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