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15 Thanksgiving Children’s Books

by The Artful Parent Book Review
November 6, 2023

The Artful Parent has an amazing book list of Thanksgiving children’s books with titles that inspire gratitude & family closeness. Blog post by Anna Harpe & Heather Senter.

Thanksgiving books aren’t just about turkeys anymore!

This season is such a fantastic time to explore some big concepts with your kids, and reading together is a great way to start those conversations.

Here are some of our favorite books about Thanksgiving with a focus on gratitude, family, and community.

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Children’s Books about Gratitude

Here are some sweet books that focus on the reason for the season: gratitude.

1. Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora, illustrated by John Parra

Poetic and joyful, this bilingual book will encourage your kids to think of all the everyday things they can be grateful for.

2. Thankful by Elaine Vickers, illustrated by Samantha Cotterill

The unique diorama illustrations in this book are absolutely stunning and will surely inspire your kids to try some paper art of their own.

Follow a young girl as she crafts a chain of gratitude throughout the season. She dreams up a year full of things both big and small to be thankful for.

3. Giving Thanks: More than 100 Ways to Say Thank You, illustrated by Ellen Surrey

We love this book with its practical and concrete suggestions for kids. It gives young people an accessible way to say, “thank you!”

4. Thank You Bees by Toni Yuly

You’ll be smitten with the darling illustrations throughout this sweet book that focus on all we have to be thankful for in nature.

5. My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Julie Flett

With simple text and bold colors, this small book celebrates the everyday pleasures of family and community. The author and illustrator are both connected to their Canadian Aboriginal communities, and these cultural connections are visible throughout the story.

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Thanksgiving Children’s Books

We love these books about Thanksgiving and gathering for a special meal.

1. Thanksgiving is Here! By Diane Goode

A Thanksgiving story that resonates with those familiar with a big, bustling feast. It’s filled with a long table of mismatched chairs and commotion that never seems to stop!

2. Sharing the Bread: an Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jill McElmurry

One of our favorite stories to read this time of year, Sharing the Bread focuses on the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving preparations. Its rhyming text and sweetly nostalgic illustrations perfectly capture the simple magic of a busy family meal.

3. Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf, illustrated by Jennny Lovlie

Follow a young boy as he journeys into the woods with his family for a lovely communal tradition. After reading this story, you’ll be tempted to start your own Thanksgiving in the woods!


4. Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

We always enjoy the rhythmic rhyming text of the Bear stories in this series, and Bear Says Thanks does not disappoint. The friendly bear and his thoughtful friends who each bring their own special gift to their Thanksgiving feast.

5. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson, illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner

This wacky series is always good for a giggle! Your kids will laugh their way through the book as our favorite old lady swallows the whole Thanksgiving dinner.

Books about Family and Community

Here are some great books to read together as a family!

1. We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frane Lessac

This beautiful book follows a Cherokee family as they celebrate moments big and small, expressing gratitude along the way. With bright illustrations and Cherokee vocabulary scattered throughout, this story invites us all to better appreciate the people and things that make us feel thankful.

2. Feast for 10  by Cathryn Falwell

A fun read-aloud counting book that highlights the simple pleasures of enjoying a meal together, from shopping, to preparation, to the final feast. The whole family gets involved in each step of the process, with even the youngest kids contributing their share.

3. Thank you, Omu by Oge Mora

This lyrical book is a celebration of community at its finest. Omu hands out soup to all her neighbors until there is none left. Luckily, the community returns the favor, showing up at her door with their own unique dishes to share.

4. Around the Table that Grandad Built by Melanie Heuiser Hill, illustrated by Jaime Kim

A fresh take on the classic, “This is the House That Jack Built,” we love how this cumulative story reads like an ode to family and community. Each element of the meal honors the traditions or contributions of the people gathered round.

5. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

In simple verse, this lovely book describes fry bread and its meaning to modern native families. Complete with a fry bread recipe and informative author’s note at the back. Readers will learn more about this traditional food and find connections to their own family and communities.

More Thanksgiving Activities for Kids

Want even more creative ideas?

Check out our Thanksgiving Creativity pack!

Full of wonderfully fun ideas to help your family practice gratitude this season, this 38-page printable eBook includes: Drawing Prompts, Conversation Starters, Art Projects, and more!

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