The Thanksgiving holiday is full of fun traditions, delicious food, and lots of time with loved ones. There are tons of children’s books about Thanksgiving that can introduce kids to the history of the holiday, the fun traditions surrounding it, and the importance of being thankful for what we have. This list is full of board books and picture books about Thanksgiving, so there is something for everyone!
Thanksgiving Books for Kids
These Thanksgiving Books for Kids are perfect for cuddling up with and reading together this November.
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Thanksgiving Board Books
Five Silly Turkeys was written and illustrated by Salina Yoon. This turkey shaped counting book uses a peppy rhyming text and colorful illustrations to show silly turkeys doing funny things. This is a great way to practice counting from 5 to 1, with a festive twist.
Llama Llama Gives Thanks was written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney. In this Thanksgiving themed entry in the popular Llama Llama series, the adorable little llama celebrates Thanksgiving with his friends and family, introducing kids to some of the traditions of the holiday through simple rhyming text and sweet illustrations.
The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim was written by Jeffrey Burton and illustrated by Sanja Rescek. This festive twist on the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” introduces little ones to the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. The illustrations are bright and colorful, and kids will enjoy the familiar rhyme of the story.
Funny Thanksgiving Books
Turkey Trouble was written by Wendi Silvano and illustrated by Lee Harper. As Thanksgiving approaches, Turkey realizes that he may be in trouble, so he attempts to disguise himself to avoid becoming dinner. The illustrations showcase the hilarious costumes that the smart turkey comes up with, and kids will appreciate his creative solution.
Thanksgiving Rules was written by Laurie Friedman and illustrated by Teresa Murfin. This hilarious story follows a young boy named Percy Isaac Gifford as he unveils his rules for having a great Thanksgiving. Parents and kids alike will appreciate the humor (and truth) in his suggestions, while the illustrations will keep kids laughing throughout the story.
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey! was written by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared D. Lee. What happens when the old lady swallows a turkey, a ball, a balloon, and other Thanksgiving items? This seasonal entry in the popular series has a fun twist at the end, and will keep kids guessing (and laughing).
The Great Thanksgiving Escape was written and illustrated by Mark Fearing. A young boy named Gavin, and his cousin Rhonda, do their best to escape the kid’s room at Grandma’s house and head outside for the swing set. The funny story and energetic illustrations capture the fun and adventurous spirit of cousins playing together at the holidays.
A Plump And Perky Turkey was written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Jeff Shelly. As Thanksgiving approaches, the people in Squawk Valley worry that they won’t have a turkey to eat, so they decide to have a turkey themed arts and crafts fair to lure one in. Pete the Turkey decides to be the model for their crafty turkeys, but will he fall into their trap? Kids will love cheering for the sneaky Pete. Check out these fun turkey activities to pair with this story!
How to Catch a Turkey was written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton. When the energetic turkey breaks free of his cage before the school play, chaos ensues! Kids will love to follow along with the turkey as he evades capture.
Books about Thanksgiving Traditions
Thanksgiving in the Woods was written by Phyllis Alsdurf and illustrated by Jenny Lovlie. Follow along with a family as they gather with their loved ones to celebrate Thanksgiving in the woods. The poetic text is paired with sweet and heartwarming illustrations, making you wish that you could join their festivities.
The Night Before Thanksgiving was written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Tammie Lyon. In this Thanksgiving spin on the classic Christmas poem, a family prepares for the big holiday with lots of traditions. This is a great way to introduce kids to various Thanksgiving traditions, and the familiar rhyming text makes it a fun one to read aloud.
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade was written and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Celebrate the Thanksgiving Day Parade with this introduction to the puppeteer who created the balloons that we have come to love. The collage style illustrations are full of incredible details, while the story shares the dedication and dreams of a man who changed the parade forever.
Franklin’s Thanksgiving was written by Paulette Bourgeois and illustrated by Brenda Clark. When Franklin learns that his grandparents will not be able to make it to Thanksgiving, he decides to invite some friends for dinner. However, he isn’t the only one planning to surprise the family, and the ensuing dinner leads to a new tradition. This is a great reminder that Thanksgiving is about celebrating with those that you love, and sharing what you have with others.
Thanksgiving Historical Books
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving was written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Matt Faulkner. Do you know why we celebrate Thanksgiving the way that we do? This incredible true story shows how one woman fought for the Thanksgiving holiday and made it into what we know today. While the subject matter may seem heavy for young readers, the illustrations are entertaining and provide plenty of humorous moments to keep kids interested.
Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story was written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Jill McElmurry. This story follows a young family in the 19th century as they prepare Thanksgiving dinner together. The rhyming text includes lots of repetition, almost reading like a childhood song, while the illustrations are old fashioned in style, but full of details and deep colors.
. . . If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 was written by Ann McGovern and illustrated by Anna DiVito. This informative book teaches kids about the Pilgrims, life on the Mayflower and in the New World, and the story of the First Thanksgiving. The text is broken down by questions that kids may ask, and is accompanied by colorful illustrations showing what life was like for the Pilgrims.
The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving was written by Ann McGovern and illustrated by Elroy Freem. This richly illustrated story of the first Thanksgiving follows the Pilgrims on their journey on the Mayflower, through life in the New World, and the first Thanksgiving. The text is accessible for kids, and illustrations are large and colorful.
Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving was written by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Greg Shed. This book shares the story of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving from the perspective of Squanto and the Native Americans. The text is aimed at older readers, but the lush illustrations will capture the attention of a variety of age levels.
Books about Giving Thanks
Bear Says Thanks was written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. Bear decides to host a big dinner for all of his friends, but he finds that he doesn’t have any food to share. One by one, his woodland friends come to his aid, bringing all kinds of delicious treats. This sweet rhyming story shares an important lesson about friendship and giving thanks, while the beautiful illustrations showcase the adorable woodland friends celebrating together. Click here for lots of ideas for sharing what you are thankful for as a family!
Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks! (Reading Railroad) was written by Margaret Sutherland and illustrated by Sonja Lamut. This story follows a group of young kids as they share the things that they are thankful for. The illustrations are warm and inviting, and kids may recognize some things that they are thankful for in the text.
Thanks for Thanksgiving was written by Julie Markes and illustrated by Doris Barrette. This sweet rhyming book shares lots of examples of things to be thankful for. From the yummy foods on the Thanksgiving table, to school, playtime, and family, there are lots of examples that kids can relate to. The illustrations are large, beautiful, and full of fun details for kids to explore.
Thankful was written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Archie Preston. This lovely rhyming book explores what people of different ages and occupations are thankful for. From small items to bigger ideas, there are so many things to be thankful for, and this lilting poem shares them through the eyes of different jobs and passions. The illustrations accompanying the text are gentle and fun, and pair perfectly with the sweet poem. Check out this post for more books on gratitude and thankfulness for kids!