Ten Books for Thankful Kids

It’s no secret that I love holiday children’s books, and November is one of the best times of the year for them. But squeezed in between the commercial powerhouse holidays of Halloween and Christmas, Thanksgiving books are often overlooked. So here’s a short list of some favorites, new and old, if you want to remind your kids to stay thankful, teach them some traditions about the holiday, or just celebrate turkeys and pilgrims with a little fun. Look for them at your local library or by clicking on the links below.

1. Porcupine’s Pie

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Porcupine can’t wait to share Fall Feast with her woodland friends, so when everyone she greets is unable to bake their specialty due to a missing ingredient, Porcupine generously offers staples from her pantry. When Porcupine discovers that she, too, is missing a key ingredient, the friends all work together to create a new Fall Feast tradition. Porcupine’s Pie will inspire children ages 4-8 to act generously. A recipe for “friendship pie” can be found at the end of the book.

2. Turkey Trouble

Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving . . . and you’re the main
course.
But Turkey has an idea–what if he doesn’t look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead? After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!

3. Thankful

Celebrate everyday blessings, practice thankfulness, and observe the wonderful acts of service that keep us going each and every day. Eileen Spinelli, bestselling and award-winning children’s author, charms with rhymes and whimsy in Thankful, perfect for any young reader and their family.

4. Bear Says Thanks

Bear has come up with the perfect way to say thanks—a nice big dinner! When Bear decides to throw a feast, his friends show up one by one with different platters of delicious food to share. There’s just one problem: Bear’s cupboards are bare! What is he to do? Karma Wilson’s playful text and Jane Chapman’s charming illustrations bring to life this celebration of family and friendship. Young readers will delight in discovering the special gift Bear has to share.

5. Sophie’s Squash

On a trip to the farmers’ market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents’ gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes…. What’s a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble? The recipient of four starred reviews, an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor, and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, Sophie’s Squash will be a fresh addition to any collection of autumn books.

6. Thanksgiving in the Woods

Every year a family and their friends gather in the woods to celebrate Thanksgiving among the trees. Everyone brings something to share and the day becomes a long celebration of family, faith, and friendship. Told in a gentle, lyrical style, this picture book includes warm illustrations of people gathered around bonfires and long tables adorned with candles and food, singing songs and sharing laughter. Thanksgiving in the Woods is based on the true story of a family in Upstate New York who has hosted an outdoor Thanksgiving feast in the woods on their farm for over twenty years.

7. Just a Special Thanksgiving

Little Critter® has charmed readers for over forty years. Now he is going to have a Thanksgiving he’ll never forget! From the school play to a surprise dinner for all of Critterville, celebrate along with Little Critter and his family as they give thanks this holiday. Starring Mercer Mayer’s classic, loveable character, this brand-new 8×8 storybook is perfect for story time and includes a sheet of stickers!

8. Balloons Over Broadway

Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America—the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Parade. Winner of the 2012 Robert F. Sibert Medal and the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award.

9. Sharing the Bread

Celebrate food and family with this heartwarming Thanksgiving picture book. We will share the risen bread. / Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread. / Grateful to be warm and fed. / We will share the bread. In this spirited ode to the holiday, set at the turn of the twentieth century, a large family works together to make their special meal. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, Sister kneads, and Brother bastes. Everyone—from Grandma and Grandpa to the littlest baby—has a special job to do. Told in spare, rhythmic verse and lively illustrations, Sharing the Bread is a perfect read-aloud to celebrate the Thanksgiving tradition.

10. Thank You, Sarah

From the author of Speak and Fever, 1793, comes the never-before-told tale of Sarah Josepha Hale, the extraordinary “lady editor” who made Thanksgiving a national holiday! Thanksgiving might have started with a jubilant feast on Plymouth’s shore. But by the 1800s America’s observance was waning. None of the presidents nor Congress sought to revive the holiday. And so one invincible “lady editor” name Sarah Hale took it upon herself to rewrite the recipe for Thanksgiving as we know it today. This is an inspirational, historical, all-out boisterous tale about perseverance and belief: In 1863 Hale’s thirty-five years of petitioning and orations got Abraham Lincoln thinking. He signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation that very year, declaring it a national holiday. This story is a tribute to Hale, her fellow campaigners, and to the amendable government that affords citizens the power to make the world a better place!

Disclosure: The book links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase of the item, or if you place the item in your shopping cart and purchase it within three months. Thanks so much! ~Rosco’s Reading Room

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