Great Children’s Books for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my second favorite holiday. To be honest, it’s a close race for first place, but Christmas still takes the cake. I think that Thanksgiving kicking the door wide open to the Christmas season is one of the reasons I love it so much. I really love Thanksgiving though, because it reminds each and every one of us to be grateful. It also gives us a great chance as parents to really teach graciousness and what it means to be thankful.

With my almost favorite holiday in mind, I took to the storybook shelves and found several children’s books for Thanksgiving for you and your family to share during the season. Some of them are funny; some really help deliver a message on being thankful. All of them are wonderful.

great-books-for-thanksgivingFavorite Characters Celebrate Thanksgiving
Most popular children’s book series have a Thanksgiving themed book. Pete the Cat, Little Critter, Berenstain Bears, and Clifford all have a special Thanksgiving edition. I love them all and if your little reader has a special attachment to any of these characters, it’s worth adding to your home collection, or at least worth checking out the library.

Fun, Early Independent Reading
Fluffy’s Thanksgiving (By Kate McMullan) – Fluffy is a lovable guinea pig who happens to be the class pet in Ms. Day’s class. In this book, you can read about the fun he has in the class Thanksgiving play and then read all about his adventures going home with a student over the holiday. This is a good early independent book since the structure is pretty simple, the text is around a 1st grade level, and the content is very easy to follow with great illustrations on every page.

Picture Books Teaching Thankfulness
Thanks for Thanksgiving (By Julie Markes) – 
This is a great storybook to show how you can be thankful for so many things: playdates, cuddles with mommy, school, leaves blowing in the wind, and family. The illustrations are especially captivating and young children (preschool – kindergarten) will love the rhythmic text.

The Most Thankful Thing (By Lisa McCourt) – I was just introduced to this book this year and I LOVE it. I have to start by warning you though, I’m not sure this book is still in print. You can only buy used copies on Amazon (which I have now ordered) and other online sellers. If you happen to find a copy though, I highly recommend picking it up. This book follows a little girl as she asks her mom what she is the most thankful for. They go through the pages of a photo album and the mom remembers many wonderful moments from her life. This book is a great conversation starter to talk to your kids about what it really means to be grateful, especially about non-material things.

Thanksgiving Themed Beginner Chapter Book
Magic Tree House : Thanksgiving on Thursday (By Mary Pope Osborne) – 
This series is great to read aloud together or to talk about with your growing reader after they read on their own. The text is leveled at about 2nd grade, and this particular Magic Tree House book has some tricky concepts that don’t really make it great for readers any younger than 1st grade, even as a read aloud. I love how this book gives a glimpse into the historically accurate story of Thanksgiving. The book follows Jack and Annie as the travel back in time to the original Plymouth Colony. They see what life was really like for Pilgrim children, and discover that it wasn’t easy.

Silly Books About Thanksgiving
10 Fat Turkeys (By Tony Johnston) -
 There isn’t really anything serious about this silly turkey book. It’s all about 10 turkeys “foolin’ on a fence” and what happens to each one as he falls off. It’s a great book for young readers who enjoy numbers since it counts down from 10 to 1 with each turkey slipping and falling (or flying or flippling) off of the fence.

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie (By Alison Jackson) – If you’re a fan of the “Old Lady” song or books, this will surely be one to make you smile. The story kicks off with the old lady swallowing a whole Thanksgiving pie, which was of course, too dry. This is just a silly book with a Thanksgiving theme that is fun to read. If you remember the song from the old lady who swallowed a fly, you can definitely just start singing instead of reading.


This time of year really is all about spending time with and appreciating those you love. Snuggling up together and reading a good book is definitely a great way to spend some of that time. Whether you find these books on Amazon, at the local library, or find another great Thanksgiving book of your own, I hope you truly enjoy the holiday and all it has to offer.

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