Reasons to be Thankful: 10 Children’s Books About Thanksgiving

Sometimes the holidays hit so fast that I’m left looking around in the middle of them wondering if my daughter even understands what we’re doing. The commercialization of each holiday often pushes aside the true meanings for more unneeded toys.

This year we want to introduce her to Thanksgiving – past and present. I’d love for her to truly understand that Thanksgiving is more than food and football – even though those are fun and a part of what we do on that day.

No better way helps this than a plethora of books to choose from – ones to read to your kids and ones they can read and explore alone.

When choosing these 10 children’s books about thanksgiving below, I looked for ones that explained Thanksgiving in all its different ways – from the Native Americans, to pilgrims, to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Take some time this year not only to be thankful, but to remind our children just how this time of year came about and the ways we continue it in our homes today.


  • 10 Children’s Books About Thanksgiving 1 of 11
  • Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving 2 of 11

    In 1620 an English ship called the Mayflower landed on the shores inhabited by the Pokanoket, and it was Squanto who welcomed the newcomers and taught them how to survive. When a good harvest was gathered, the people feasted together--a tradition that continues almost four hundred years later.

    To Buy: for $6.29

  • If You Lived In Colonial Times 3 of 11

    If you lived in colonial times
    --What kind of clothes would you wear?
    --Would you go to school?
    --What would happen if you didn't behave?

    This book tells you what it was like to live in the New England colonies during the years 1565 to 1776.

    To Buy: for $6.29

  • Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade 4 of 11

    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"? 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.

    To Buy: for $14.16

  • The First Thanksgiving 5 of 11

    Nancy Davis recreates the excitement and wonder of the first Thanksgiving — how the pilgrims came to America, 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, graphic illustrations of this lift-the-flap book to introduce a very young child to this holiday. 

    To Buy: for $5.39

  • Thanksgiving on Thursday 6 of 11
    The Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie back to the eve of the first Thanksgiving. There they meet the Pilgrims as well as Squanto, a Native American who helped them. The story offers an age-appropriate, in-depth picture of what life was really like for early settlers, as well as the usual Magic Tree House adventure and excitement.

    To Buy: for $4.99

  • The Night Before Thanksgiving 7 of 11

    Similar to The Night Before Christmas, this book tells the story of a family preparing for Thanksgiving with traditions and stories told over the evening. 

    To Buy: for $3.59

  • Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks 8 of 11

    Sure, Thanksgiving is about pilgrims and history — and turkey, of course! — but most importantly, it's a holiday all about everything that we are thankful for. Cheerful, colorful illustrations accompany the simple text in this celebration of family, friends, and the holiday that brings them all together.

    To Buy: for $3.59

  • Thanks for Thanksgiving 9 of 11

    Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks — the question is, where to begin? From the turkey on the table to warm, cozy cuddles, life is full of small things and bigger pleasures. But what is most important is being able to share them with family!

    To Buy: for $6.29

  • Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving 10 of 11

    Starring in the school Thanksgiving play would make even the coolest cat nervous. But when Pete the Cat gets onstage, he makes learning the story of the first Thanksgiving fun. With thirteen flaps that open to reveal hidden surprises, this book is sure to be a holiday favorite for every Pete the Cat fan.

    To Buy: for $6.29

  • The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving 11 of 11

    The Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving lasted three whole days. Ann McGovern's simple text introduces children to the struggles of the Pilgrims during their first year at Plymouth Colony and the events leading to the historic occasion we celebrate today.

    To Buy: for $4.89


Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working MomsShe Reads TruthThe New York TimesStill Standing Magazine, and The Huffington Post. Smaller glimpses into her day are on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.


Article Posted 3 years Ago

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