The leaves are beautiful shades of yellow, orange, and red and cling to tree branches and scatter the ground. The air is brisk and colder. The warmer days of early fall are now a memory. Thanksgiving is coming. This weekend, we took out our Thanksgiving decorations and arranged them in our living room. Our Thanksgiving box holds memories. Thanksgiving cards and crafts our boys have made over the years: turkey handprints and pilgrim people; and of course, Thanksgiving books. We take these decorations and books out every year as a reminder to be thankful for all that we have.
When my boys were little, we would read aloud books about each holiday in the weeks leading up to it as a way to teach them what the holiday was all about. We would display the books on the shelves in our living room, with the board books on the lowest shelves for easy access for little hands. Our collection is definitely bigger for some holidays than others! (Sometimes I would check out additional titles at the public library to supplement the books we owned.) Our books related to Thanksgiving are not as numerous as Halloween or Christmas, but we do own some good ones. Today I will share some of the titles of our favorite Thanksgiving books, ones we own as well as some other great ones we have checked out in the past.
15 Thanksgiving books to Share
Corduroy’s Thanksgiving, by Lisa McCue
Simple text outlines Thanksgiving Day for Corduroy
Five Silly Turkeys, by Salina Yoon
Cute counting book with shiny feathers to count.
The First Thanksgiving, by Nancy Davis
The Thanksgiving story told in a kid-friendly way.
The Story of Thanksgiving, by Nancy J. Skarmeas
Gives a simplified overview of the holiday, past and present, with a focus on thanking God for our blessings.
Picture Books for Younger Readers (Birth-Age 7):
Bear Says Thanks, by Karma Wilson
Kids love Bear books, and this one focuses on being thankful for the gifts we have, even when we feel like we don’t have anything to give.
Happy Thanksgiving, Biscuit!, by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Cute lift-the-flap story for Biscuit fans
Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving, by Kimberly and James Dean
Who doesn’t love a Pete the Cat book?
10 Fat Turkeys, by Tony Johnston
Funny counting story, kids will get to practice counting backwards with this one!
Thanks for Thanksgiving, by Julie Markes
Cute story that focuses on thankfulness for the little things and time spent together as a family.
Picture Books for Older Readers (Appropriate for Ages 8+):
Balloons Over Broadway, by Melissa Sweet
The true story of the puppeteer of the Macy’s Parade. My sons and I loved reading this story and learning this amazing story!
The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower: Or John Howland’s Good Fortune, by P.J. Lynch
We may be a little biased, since John Howland is one of our ancestors, but my boys and I love this beautifully illustrated picture book about the Mayflower voyage and the beginnings of the new Massachusetts Bay colony, including the story of the first Thanksgiving.
Cranberry Thanksgiving, by Wende and Harry Devlin
This heartwarming, funny story is part of a series of “Cranberry” stories. Warning, you will want to make the cranberry bread from the recipe at the back after reading this book!
Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, by Joseph Bruchac
The story of Thanksgiving from Squanto’s perspective. Beautiful, detailed illustrations accompany the thoroughly researched text.
Thank You, Sarah, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Based on the story of Sarah Hale, who petitioned for Thanksgiving to be made into a National Holiday. Humorous illustrations throughout the story by Matt Faulkner.
The Thanksgiving Story, by Alice Dalgliesh
A Caldecott honor book from 1955, this classic Thanksgiving story is told from the perspective of a family on the Mayflower.
Which Thanksgiving books are your favorites?
Comment or email me to let me know which Thanksgiving stories you love to share.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to focus on the good in our lives. Read some of these books before the holiday this year, and then try brainstorming a list of all of the things you are thankful for this year with your family. Practicing thankfulness helps us to focus on the good, feel happier overall, and prepares us to spread joy throughout the whole holiday season.
Happy Reading, and Happy Thanksgiving!