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Ten Books for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is about more than the turkey! Here are ten recommended books for kids ages 0-9 that celebrate sharing, community, and family. Read these stories to the children in your life to help them see what the spirit of Thanksgiving is really all about.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

1, 2, 3 Thanksgiving

By: W. Nikola-Lisa, Robin Kramer
Illustrated by: Robin Kramer
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This counting book leads children through Papa's one fat turkey, Mama's two pumpkin pies, and so on as the family sits down to a Thanksgiving feast.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving

By: Eve Bunting, Diane De Groat
Illustrated by: Diane De Groat, Eve Bunting
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Mr. and Mrs. Moose invite all their animal friends for Thanksgiving dinner. The only one missing is Turkey. They set out to find him, not realizing that Turkey is quaking with fear because he thinks his hosts want him on their table, not at it.

Fat Chance Thanksgiving

By: Patricia Lakin, Stacey Schuett
Illustrated by: Stacey Schuett
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Carla's book about the first Thanksgiving survives the fire that destroys her apartment. When she and her mother move in to their new building, Carla is determined to bring the residents together in a Thanksgiving no one will ever forget.

Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey

By: Joy Cowley, Joe Cepeda
Illustrated by: Joe Cepeda
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In this warm holiday story, a young Puerto Rican boy saves the life of his pet turkey on Thanksgiving with help from his close-knit New York City family and neighborhood. Spanish vocabulary is woven into the text. Spanish version available.

How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story

By: Eve Bunting, Beth Peck
Illustrated by: Beth Peck, Eve Bunting
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

After the soldiers come, Papa tells his family that they must leave everything behind and set sail for America. The journey across the Caribbean is dangerous and long, and our narrator and his little sister keep asking — just how many days is it to America? Prolific children's author Eve Bunting, herself an immigrant from Ireland, shares the story of a new generation of pilgrims who are willing to risk their lives to look for freedom in America.

It's Thanksgiving

By: Jack Prelutsky, Marylin Hafner
Illustrated by: Marylin Hafner
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This anthology by well-loved children's poet Jack Prelutsky includes twelve sprightly poems about Thanksgiving, including When Daddy Carves the Turkey, I Ate Too Much, and If Turkeys Thought.

Molly's Pilgrim

By: Barbara Cohen, Daniel M. Duffy
Illustrated by: Daniel M. Duffy
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sparkling new illustrations refresh this Thanksgiving classic based on the true experience of a member of Barbara Cohen's family. The touching story tells how recent immigrant Molly leads her third-grade class to discover that it takes all kinds of pilgrims to make a Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving at the Tappleton's

By: Eileen Spinelli, Judith Stuller Hannant
Illustrated by: Judith Stuller Hannant, Eileen Spinelli
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

All the relatives arrive for an enormous Thanksgiving dinner. But this year nothing seems to go right. First the turkey slides down the icy hill and into the pond -- plop! splash! Then the bakery sells out of pies. It looks like it's going to be a pretty bleak holiday...until Grandmother reminds everyone that there's more to Thanksgiving than a turkey and trimmings.

The Squirrel's Thanksgiving

By: Steven Kroll, Jeni Bassett
Illustrated by: Jeni Bassett
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Papa Squirrel says Buddy and Brenda should be grateful for friends and family at Thanksgiving. But these squirrel siblings just can't get along.

The Story of Thanksgiving

By: Nancy Skarmeas, Stacy Venturi-Pickett
Illustrated by: Stacy Venturi-Pickett
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This book tells the story of the first Thanksgiving - how the pilgrims came to America on the Mayflower in search of religious freedom, how they landed at Plymouth Rock, and how the Native Americans taught them to plant and then joined them in a Thanksgiving feast. Parents can use the simple text and the bright illustrations of this book to introduce a very young child to this holiday.

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