The holiday season is not just about delicious food and scrumptious desserts, it’s also about giving thanks and spending time with people we love. There’s no better way to teach children about gratitude, friendship, and family than with colorful picture books.
The Thanksgiving holiday may be over for this year, but put down those dinner forks and stock up on these books for next year! These are also fun to read during the Christmas season, and all year long, due to their message!
Pete the Cat – The First Thanksgiving, by Kimberly and James Dean
Everyone’s favorite cat, Pete, is nervous about being in the school’s Thanksgiving play! Kids will have a fun time opening flaps to reveal hidden surprises, and the simple, colorful illustrations can make anyone chuckle. Pete the Cat is funny to look at in his little Pilgrim hat, too.
Five Silly Turkeys, by Salina Yoon
This board book is perfect for little hands and features shimmery “turkey feathers” for added entertainment. The story has turkeys doing silly activities like dancing, tanning, or being chased by bees. Plus, it teaches kids about counting! It makes a cute surprise or gift on Thanksgiving morning, too.
Happy Thanksgiving, Biscuit, by Alyssa Capucilli and Pat Schories
Everyone’s favorite puppy is back for some fun Thanksgiving adventures in this interactive flap book. This story is especially sweet because it reflects on all of the things that Biscuit is thankful for and how he hopes to celebrate the holiday with his favorite humans. It’s easy to keep kids entertained while reading since they can lift the flaps to see Biscuit’s antics.
‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, by Dav Pilkey
Dav Pilkey has been delighting kids of all ages with his Captain Underpants and Dogman series of books. He doesn’t disappoint with ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, which is a play on the Christmas story of the same name. On the night before Thanksgiving, a group of children visits a farm for a field trip, and they befriend all of Farmer Mack’s lovable turkeys. Wanting to save them from their fate, the children make some funny decisions to trick Farmer Mack Nugget and rescue the birds. What follows is a fun lesson about gratitude and respect for all living creatures.
Turkey on the Table, by April George and Kerry Maunus
Turkey on the Table is not just a book, it’s a whole new tradition! This kit comes with a storybook, a turkey, blank paper feathers, and a marker. Kids and family members can read the story together, then add what they are thankful for to the turkey feathers. It can be reused year after year as a fun celebration for the holiday, and the turkey makes a cute centerpiece, too. Turkey on the Table also makes charitable contributions. The company has donated more than 900,000 meals to families across the country from the sales of its kits.
Magic Treehouse Thanksgiving on Thursday, by Mary Pope Osborne
Magic Treehouse chapter books are well-loved by kids of all ages. Familiar characters Jack and Annie go on a historical adventure in this story, visiting the pilgrims and witnessing the very first Thanksgiving Day. Readers learn real facts about the settlers, Native Americans, and more through the collection of Magic Treehouse books.
Gobble, Gobble Mr. Wobble, by Becky Cummings and Zuzana Svobodova
Wobble the turkey loves Thanksgiving! He thinks he is “invited” to the farmer’s special dinner and doesn’t really understand what it means to be the guest of honor. Written by a vegetarian, this story is kind to Wobble and teaches kids the concept of meatless meals. The illustrations are whimsical and colorful, and they’re perfect for any child who loves funny animals.
Clifford’s Thanksgiving Visit, by Norman Bridwell
Who doesn’t love Clifford the Big Red Dog? While Emily heads off to visit her grandparents, Clifford decides to visit his mom, who lives in the city. Kids will love reading about Clifford’s journey, which entails stepping over cars and city traffic, as well as his gratitude for home and family.
It’s Thanksgiving, by Jack Prelutsky and Marylin Hafner
Jack Prelutsky is the author of many poetry books for kids. His simple rhymes tell funny stories and always make his words memorable. This book is a collection of 12 Thanksgiving poems covering everything from parades to overeating.
Who Will Carve the Turkey This Thanksgiving?, by Jerry Pallotta and David Biedrzycki
Who carves the turkey in your house? In this book, it could be anyone! Maybe a T. rex or a killer whale! Or maybe it’s grandpa, after all. Jerry Pallotta’s whimsical book encourages children to use their imaginations about who could join them at a Thanksgiving dinner table.
When you’re done reading these special Thanksgiving books, be sure to check out this list of meaningful thanksgiving family activities or this roundup of toys to survive thanksgiving travel. Then, make some memories with these fun ideas for the Thanksgiving kids table!