15 Best Thankful Books for Kids: Thanksgiving Picture Books

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Book covers filled with Pilgrims, Native Americans, Fall Leaves, Diverse people groups, young children, city buses, pink pigs, woodland creatures, and Thanksgiving Day feasts arranged on an autumn orange background with bold black text that reads thankful books for kids and decorated with orange leaves, acorns, and pumpkins.

15 Thankful Books for Kids. Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. It’s filled with such wonderful little things. It is also a time to give and celebrate from a thankful heart. I love reading these books with my kiddos. They are a good reminder to give thanks to the Lord, to remember friendships, and celebrate freedoms.

It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,”

Psalm 92:1-2 (ESV)

Reading books is the perfect way to bond with your little ones. Bonding and sharing memories over a beautiful story with a cup of hot chocolate under a warm, toasty blanket.

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15 Thankful Books for Kids: A Thanksgiving Day Picture Book Collection

1. Thankful by Eileen Spinelli

This is the perfect book to encourage young children to practice thankfulness for everyday blessings. The book is filled with simple rhyming text and whimsical illustrations.

2. Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson

We love Bear so much. Bear wants to throw a Thanksgiving Day feast, but his cupboards are bare. His animal friends pile in his lair with all their delicious dishes. Bear learns a lesson about sharing gifts with others, such as blessing their hearts with his stories.

3. This is the Feast by Diane Z. Shore

In rhythmic verse detailed with colorful illustrations, This is The Feast takes a moment to celebrate our religious freedom on the first Thanksgiving, a three-day celebration with Pilgrims and Indians joined together. This is a great way to introduce young readers to the Pilgrims’ journey.

4. We Give Thanks by Cynthia Rylant

Rabbit and Frog, a friendly duo, go through their day giving thanks and end their day with a big meal with all of their friends. My little ones love to point out all the different animals throughout the book.

5. In November by Cynthia Rylant

This great book is a carol to the cozy month of November: the smells of cinnamon, the leafless trees, the sights of animals scurrying to prepare for winter, and the homes filled with family and friends, gathering to give thanks at “winter’s gate.”

6. Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin

Thanksgiving Day is Grandmother’s favorite holiday. Every year she invites a guest for dinner. Maggie, her granddaughter, was instructed to invite someone too, someone “poor or lonely.” Grandmother wasn’t happy when she discovers the young girl invited Mr. Whiskers to dinner for fear that he might steal her secret cranberry bread recipe. This wonderful book includes a recipe at the end. My two favorite things combined: cooking and reading.

7. A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

Mrs. Moose wants to invite a turkey to their Thanksgiving meal. Mr. Moose sets out to find a Turkey for Turkey Day. However, Turkey trembles with fear as he is ushered to the prepared dinner table. Turkey is greeted with a place to set and finds himself a welcomed guest to the Thanksgiving Day feast.

8. Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

Omu is so excited about her big red stew. The delicious smell brings many individuals from the neighborhood. And, Omu shares her stew with all until it is all gone. She has nothing left for supper. Omu’s generosity is returned by her neighbors, bringing a community feast of delicious food into her home. This is such a lovely story and is a must-read of children’s literature.

9. Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming

Katje’s town of Olst in Holland is devastated after After World War II. One day, Katje receives a package from an American girl named Rosie from Mayfield, Indiana. Katje sends a thankful letter, igniting a beautiful friendship. This story is so inspiring and filled with important lessons. I do not feel that I do it justice in this small summary. This great book is the perfect addition to the thankful books for kids book list.

10. Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson

A great story about the Thanksgiving holiday, celebrating the joys of autumn, visits of distant relatives, the coziness of home, the delicious and mouthwatering smells, and a family prayer for all things wonderful. This sweet book is written in simple rhyme with a powerful message, referencing Psalm 92.

11. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas

This picture book biography by Eric Metaxas tells the difficult story of Squanto, a Native American, who returns to his village after being sold into slavery for ten years. He discovers his village wiped out by disease. Squanto’s faith is tested but not destroyed. Squanto comes to the Pilgrims’ aid to help them survive the winter.

12. Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

This picture book is a biography of Tony Sarg, the master puppeteer who invented the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Melissa Sweet’s collage, detailed illustrations brilliantly depicts Sarg from his childhood inventions to the giant magnificent balloons that floated in the sky down Broadway. If the Thanksgiving Day parade is part of your family traditions, then this is a great book to add to your list of great Thanksgiving books.

13. Pookie’s Thanksgiving by Sandra Boynton

We love so many of Sandra Boynton’s board books. This board book is about Pookie and Mom preparing for a family Thanksgiving dinner. They spend special moments baking pies in the kitchen together. Younger children will love to celebrate Thanksgiving with Pookie.

14. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De la Peña

CJ is not happy about riding the city bus. CJ’s nana helps him see the beauty around him and have fun on the journey. This award-winning book is great for teaching kids about gratitude. “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful.”

15. Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller

This is one of the best Thanksgiving books. Everyone has a part in this Thanksgiving Day feast. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, sister kneads the dough, brother bastes the turkey, and even baby has the job of being quiet as a mouse. This book is written in rhythmic verse and filled with nostalgic folk-art illustrations.

Hands-On Activities and Fun Projects:

Here is a list of simple crafts and activities with a Thanksgiving theme:

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More Booklists Coming Soon!

Thanks for Stopping By!

Finally, I want to thank you for stopping by! Please say Hi in the comment section and share your favorite Thanksgiving book. I hope you and your children find a favorite book from this list of thankful books for kids. Happy Thanksgiving!

– With Great Joy, Katie


Book covers filled with Pilgrims, Native Americans, Fall Leaves, Diverse people groups, young children, city buses, pink pigs, woodland creatures, and Thanksgiving Day feasts arranged on an autumn orange background with bold black text that reads thankful books for kids and decorated with orange leaves, acorns, and pumpkins.

Want more book Recommendations? Click HERE.

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