Lots of attention is given to children’s Christmas books, but the spotlight is not as often focused on Thanksgiving picture books for kids. Over the years we’ve created a list of some of our favorites that we get out from the library every year. Some are fun and silly, others are historical, and others are religious. Here are the titles we enjoy to prepare our hearts and minds for a thankful Thanksgiving day.
Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson
“Never underestimate dainty little ladies” is my favorite quote from this book that details the thirty-eight years Sarah Hale (of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and Godey’s Lady’s Book fame) lobbied for a national celebration of Thanksgiving.
Sarah Gives Thanks by Mike Allegrea
Another picture book about the remarkable story of Sarah Hale and her dedication to the celebration of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley
An entertaining but informative time travel book where the kids go back in time to experience the first harvest feast at Plymouth.
This First Thanksgiving Day by Laura Krauss Melmed
A simple counting book centered on the first Thanksgiving.
Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac
A biographical story of Squanto’s life and his involvement with the Pilgrims and how he taught them about how to survive in the “New World.”
This is the Feast by Diane Z. Shore
A gorgeously illustrated account of the Pilgrims struggle to arrive in America and their first feast.
An Outlaw Thanksgiving by Emily Arnold McCully
McCully is one of my favorite writer/illustrators for children. This story is based on a actual events, although it’s fictional, and tells the story of a girl who unexpectedly spent Thanksgiving with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The Peterkins’ Thanksgiving by Elizabeth Spurr
A hilarious and silly and slightly whimsical story of a Thanksgiving gone wrong.
A Thanksgiving Turkey by Julian Scheer
A hunting story about a boy and his grandfather.
Thanksgiving is Here! by Diane Goode
Another favorite illustrator, Diane Goode, captures the hilarity and chaos of large family dinners in this charming account of a Thanksgiving day.
Thanksgiving Treat by Catherine Stock
A fictional story about a boy who wants to contribute to Thanksgiving too, like the rest of his family.
Mary’s First Thanksgiving by Kathy-jo Wargin
A fictional story about an Irish immigrant family and gratefulness.
Over the River and Through the Woods by L. Maria Child
A lavishly illustrated holiday classic.
Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson
A beautifully illustrated poem that centers on thanking the Lord for the good gifts of food and family.
Does your family have any favorite Thanksgiving picture books?