Thanksgiving Picture Books

Thanksgiving Picture Books

Happy first day of November!  Although I believe it’s essential to show gratitude all year long, it is nice to have a month that is especially geared towards being thankful and spending time with loved ones.  I gathered up a list of our favorite Thanksgiving picture books, from the silly to the profound to the educational.  I separated them by board books, picture books, and non-fiction picture books.  I hope you find something to enjoy with your family!


Board Books


Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon

This is a simple board book that counts down from five.  The shiny feathers used to count down are engaging for young children.


This Little Turkey by Aly Francis

This one follows the pattern of “This Little Piggy” and is a fun, short read for young readers.


10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston

Available both as a board book and a picture book, this is a fun rhyming story of silly turkeys counting down from ten.


Picture Books


Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

This is my kid’s favorite Thanksgiving book and the one we use most often in activities.  I’ve planned multiple story times around it!  It tells the story of a turkey who doesn’t want to be eaten for Thanksgiving and keeps trying to disguise himself as farm different animals.  He has to get extra creative for his last costume!


The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing

Following the pattern of “The Night Before Christmas” poem this book is a fun look at a family’s Thanksgiving preparations and celebrations.


Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes

This one provides a great example of being grateful for little things all around you as the short text says thank you to things all around.


T is for Turkey: A True Thanksgiving Story by Tanya Lee Stone

This is a fun approach to an alphabet story as kids in the book are acting out a play and using rhymes to tell facts about Thanksgiving.  It’s a great way to teach kids about some of the history of the holiday.


Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson

This is one of several sequels to Bear Snores On, although you don’t have to read previous books to understand it.  My daughter loves Bear Snores On and she enjoyed the opportunity to read more about these characters.


The Littlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty

This is a sweet story of a little pilgrim girl who keeps being told she is too little to help with things, but in the end she finds something important she can do– be a friend!


Giving Thanks by Jonathan London

This book is full of gratitude for nature and appreciation for all the little pleasures it provides.


Around the Table That Grandad Built by Melanie Heuiser Hill

Following the style of “This is the House Jack Built” this one shows a family gathering together for the big meal and all of the contributions they have all made.


This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed

Through a counting story this book tells the story of the first Thanksgiving in a child friendly way.


Apple Cake by Dawn Casey

The illustrations by Genevieve Godbout drew me to this book, because she is one of my all-time favorite illustrators with her vintage style.  The text is also a great message of gratitude as a little girl thanks everything and everyone around her that helps lead to making apple cake.  There is a recipe to make your own included in the back!


Non-Fiction Picture Books


Sarah Gives Thanks by Mike Allegra and Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson

I found these books fascinating as I knew very little about Sarah Hale, the woman who pushed for Thanksgiving to become a national holiday.  She endured so much, worked hard to push herself beyond the limits of women in her day, wouldn’t take no for an answer, and was a trailblazer in making so many changes in society through her opinions.


Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Did you ever wonder how the giant puppets in the Macy’s parade came to be?  This intriguing picture book biography tells the story of Tony Sarg who started as a boy who loved to figure out how things moved and became the creator of the innovative floating puppets through a series of trial and error, experimenting, hard work, and creativity.


Do you have any other Thanksgiving favorites I missed?


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