Best Thanksgiving Story Books for kids
Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Where has the year gone already?
If you're looking for Thanksgiving storybooks for little ones and elementary age children, we've got you covered!
Below is our list of our favorite books that go along with the history of Thanksgiving and expressing gratitude.
The Thankful Tree is a children's book that not only includes a wonderful moral lesson of being thankful for all the things that might seem negative at first and finding positing in those things, but it is also a beautiful keepsake for your family! The keepsake portion comes at the end of the book with many pages for your family to fill in responses to questions that get you thinking about what you are thankful for. Examples of questions include, "Foods I'm thankful for", "What skills or abilities I'm thankful to have", "Music I'm thankful for", "Something nice another person did for you". It's an absolutely wonderful way to get your family thinking about the things that you love and are grateful for. Take note of the age of your child next to their responses so you can always look back and enjoy their answers from the past. This book is at the top of my list because it's an absolute priceless keepsake with a story that has a great moral.
Cranberry Thanksgiving is a classic children's book with a wonderful moral lesson. It's all about how judging by appearance can be misleading and that the best way to form opinions of others is by getting to know their character, rather than basing our opinions on the way they look. The book also teaches a lesson of forgiveness. At the end of the story the characters show forgiveness in a lovely way. If you love Five in a Row as much as we do, you'll want to incorporate the Five in a Row lessons (found in Volume 1 of FIAR) when you read this story.
The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving is excellent for explaining the Pilgrims and their voyage to America. It gives the appropriate amount of detail for elementary aged children. I read it to my Kindergartner and Fourth Grader and both of them were interested and engaged throughout the entire book. They both learned new information that they did not know before.
The 12 Days of Thanksgiving is a book most suitable for young children, but older children can appreciate it too. I like to use this book as a springboard to launch a daily activity in November where each day we write on a paper leaf (I cut the leaves with my Cricut) something that we are grateful and we hang it on our Gratitude Tree which is an artificial Christmas tree in our dining room. This is how we decorate the tree during Thanksgiving time, and then after Thanksgiving we remove our homemade leaf ornaments and decorate the tree for Christmas. It's a beautiful tradition to add a new leaf to the tree each day with something new that we are thankful for. The whole idea is similar to a Christmas advent, but the Thanksgiving version is all about expressing gratitude.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving is such a sweet book about compassion. Mr. Moose goes looking for a turkey to satisfy his wife's one desire to have a turkey for Thanksgiving. Many animals join to help with the search for the Thanksgiving turkey. They finally find a turkey who is naturally very nervous to be brought home with them for Thanksgiving. When they arrive home, Mrs. Moose invites the turkey to sit down at the table with them. To the turkey's delight he realizes they wanted him to come and enjoy the Thanksgiving meal with them, rather than BEING the meal! It's a beautiful story that children adore.
We Gather Together is an educational book that covers a wide range of information. It starts out by explaining the harvest season and how summer alternates between the northern and southern hemispheres. Then, it moves into information about the history of harvesting foods in cultures around the world from long ago. Lastly, it talks about the many ways different cultures from around the world celebrate their harvest seasons. It's a wonderful way to teach children that just as we celebrate Thanksgiving in America, people from around the world also have their own harvest celebrations.
Thanksgiving All Around is a lift-the-flap book for young children. I'd say it's probably best for first grade and younger. The Berenstain family goes in search of a turkey, and on the way, they discover various things about fall hidden behind the flaps. It's an easy read and wonderful way to teach about the different signs of fall.
Ox-Cart Man is an award winning book for children that is a magnificent journey through the changing seasons in the life of a New England farmer and his family. It opens chldren's eyes to the way of life from the past and the simplicity of life in those times. It also teaches young chldren about the changing seasons and the cycle of of sewing and reaping. I included this in the Thanksgiving book list because the Fall season is when the story begins and this book is a wonderful conversation-starter to talk about harvest and all that we have to be grateful for.
The Leaf Thief is an adorable book about a squirrel who loves to count his leaves. In the fall, they all change into beautiful shades of red, gold, orange, and more. But he soon discovers that his treasured leaves are disappearing. He begins a quest to find the thief! This book is an adorable exploration of seasons and also the feelings that can arise from change. Perfect for fall and the Thanksgiving season!
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves is just the most adorable book about a fox who is experiencing anxiety over the change he is seeing in the trees during the fall. He soon discovers a wonderful surprise in the winter when icicles cover the branches and he no longer feels sad about the change. Another wonderful book for fall, that is similar to The Leaf Thief, but explores the idea of how change can bring unexpected surprises!
If your kids are fans of the How to Catch series, then How to Catch a Turkey might be a great Thanksgiving storybook option for them. As usual with the How to Catch books, the illustrations are highly detailed and creative. The book takes you through the adventure of the turkey trying to escape from being used in the school play. The book is action-packed and very funny which all kids love. This is a great one for making Thanksgiving extra fun!
Last but not least! A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is a classic that we all grew up with and simply must keep the magic alive by sharing it with our own children. A children's Thanksgiving book list would be incomplete without this one!
That's it for our list of favorite Thanksgiving storybooks for children! Do you love any of these books as much as we do? Do you have a favorite book that we did not include in the list? Leave a comment below to share!
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