Books by Theme
Discover some of our favorite picture books for kids that celebrate sharing, community, and family. You'll also find books about the history of our Thanksgiving holiday. Read these stories to the children in your life to help them see what the spirit of Thanksgiving is really all about. Browse this related booklist: Remembrance and Giving Thanks.
1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving
A considerable amount of information is packed into this pictorial presentation of the reenactment of the first Thanksgiving, held at Plimoth Plantation museum in October, 2000. Five chapters give background on the Wampanoag people, colonization, Indian diplomacy, the harvest of 1621, and the evolution of the Thanksgiving story. — School Library Journal
A Turkey for Thanksgiving
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.
Around the Table That Grandad Built
Several generations of a family prepare for a meal together. Told in the cadence of a familiar rhyme, each member — from the youngest to the oldest — contributes to the celebratory occasion. Bright, childlike illustrations capture the fun and food for a festive meal shared “around the table that Grandad built.”
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
Tony Sarge grew from a boy who liked to figure out how to make things move to the man who invented marionettes controlled from below. It was Sarge who invented huge "articulating" balloons that have been the focus of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1928. Mixed media art combines with lively text to present Tony Sarge, his creativity, and contributions.
Duck for Turkey Day
Tuyet is excited for Thanskgiving! She tells her mother that it is time to buy a turkey, but when she learns that her family will be having duck instead, Tuyet is very worried. It's Turkey Day, not Duck Day! When it comes time to tell the class what she ate for Turkey Day, Tuyet is in for a special surprise. This heartwarming story is a beautiful reminder of the unique ways we each celebrate our own traditions.
It's the fourth Thursday of November, and the members of Fright Club are cooking up something spooky ... a Thanksgiving feast! But when Vlad's family arrives unexpectedly, they put their own spin on each of the dishes. Can this monster-filled family come together to save their feast and celebrate what the holiday is truly about?
Fat Chance Thanksgiving
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.
On a glorious fall day, three woodland friends enjoy a bike ride followed by a trip to a bountiful farmer’s market. Described in gently rhyming prose, the friends indulge in more traditional activities including picking apples and making pie, playing in leaf piles, and harvesting the garden. The bountiful harvest inspires them to plan a meal together.
Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast
Alternating between narratives of Dancing Moccasins, a 14-year old Wampanoag boy, and Resolved White, a 6-year old English boy, the preparation and cooperation between the Pilgrims and Indians unfold. It culminates in the harvest celebration of what is now an annual celebration called Thanksgiving. Full color photographs of actors in authentic clothing and additional notes about sources complete this informative, carefully researched, and respectful book.
Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey
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.
If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving
What do you know about the thanksgiving feast at Plimoth? What if you lived when the English colonists and the Wampanoag people shared a feast at Plimoth? What would you have eaten? What was the true story of the feast that we now know as the first Thanksgiving and how did it become a national holiday? From the If You Lived series, the book explores both sides of this historical event.
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.
Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story
In this Wampanoag story told in a Native tradition, two kids from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe learn the story of Weeâchumun (corn) and the first Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving story that most Americans know celebrates the Pilgrims. But without members of the Wampanoag tribe who already lived on the land where the Pilgrims settled, the Pilgrims would never have made it through their first winter. This picture book honors both the history and tradition that surrounds the story of the first Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving at the Tappleton's
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
Papa Squirrel says Buddy and Brenda should be grateful for friends and family at Thanksgiving. But these squirrel siblings just can't get along.
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
Join the Cherokee people as they celebrate each season of the year and special occasions, as well as the daily activities for which gratitude is expressed. Bold hues and flat forms distinguish the naïve illustrations. Cherokee words, based on Sequoyah’s syllabary (written symbols for syllables), are sprinkled throughout. Additional information concludes this handsome and unique glimpse of contemporary Native life written by a Cherokee poet.
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