Books by Theme

A Harvest of Books for Thanksgiving

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

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving

By: Catherine O. Grace, Margaret E. Bruchac
Illustrated by: Sisse Brimberg, Cotton Coulson
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

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

A Turkey for Thanksgiving

By: Eve Bunting
Illustrated by: Diane De Groat
Genre: Fiction
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.

Around the Table That Grandad Built

Around the Table That Grandad Built

By: Melanie Hill
Illustrated by: Jaime Kim
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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

Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade

By: Melissa Sweet
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

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

Duck for Turkey Day

By: Jacqueline Jules
Illustrated by: Kathryn Mitter
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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.

Fangsgiving

By: Loren Long
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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

Fat Chance Thanksgiving

By: Patricia Lakin, Stacey Schuett
Illustrated by: Stacey Schuett
Genre: Fiction
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.

Friendsgiving

By: Nancy Siscoe
Illustrated by: Sabina Gibson
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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

Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast

By: Kate Waters, Russ Kendall
Illustrated by: Russ Kendall
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

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

Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey

By: Joy Cowley
Illustrated by: Joe Cepeda
Genre: Fiction
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.

If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving

By: Chris Newell
Illustrated by: Winona Nelson
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

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.

It's Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving

By: Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by: Marylin Hafner
Genre: Poetry
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.

Thanksgiving at the Tappleton's

Thanksgiving at the Tappleton's

By: Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by: Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Genre: Fiction
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

The Squirrel’s Thanksgiving

By: Steven Kroll
Illustrated by: Jeni Bassett
Genre: Fiction
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.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

By: Traci Sorell
Illustrated by: Frané Lessac
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

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.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Amazon.com help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

We Are Storytellers promo

 

Space Rangers

Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.

Sign up for our free newsletters about reading

Our Literacy Blogs

"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. " — Neil Gaiman