Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but I don't think I've read a Thanksgiving book with my son ever. That's going to change this year. Here are 8 great Thanksgiving picture books that explain why this holiday about giving thanks and being with family is such a special time of year.
Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland
I love this book. A little boy give thanks for all of the things he appreciates in his life. I especially love his comment about being thankful for parents who love him when he is good and when he is not so good. This book is perfect for helping kinds understand what it means to be thankful and for when they're trying to come up with their own list of "thankfuls".
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
This book lists general things to be thankful for. The rhyming stanzas make it a little less specific, but it's a good book to help kids learn the meaning of Thanksgiving. The illustrations are bright and colorful and enhance the text.
Thanksgiving Treat by Catherine Stock
The whole family gathers at grandma and grandpa's house for thanksgiving, and everyone has a job to do to put the meal together. Everyone except the youngest girl. She goes from group to group asking if she can help, but she's repeatedly told that she's too little. Finally grandpa has a special task just for them, and a special treat for everyone to share. It's a cute story and a great reminder to let our little ones help in any way they can on Thanksgiving, so they can feel special and included in the traditions as well.
Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman
This book is funny. A little boy outlines his rules for thanksgiving day - from greeting guests to eating dessert. Older kids, especially those who love food, will enjoy the humor in this book. It's a less traditional, more fun interpretation of Thanksgiving day.
Thanksgiving at Our House by P.K. Halinan
From friendsgiving to celebrating with relatives, this family does it all. They hike and play football and count their blessings. I enjoyed the busy and love filled Thanksgiving day in this story. The text is short, so younger kids can sit through this story as well.
Thanksgiving Mice by Bethany Roberts
In this book the mice are putting on a play of the first Thanksgiving. It's a very basic explanation of the supposed origins of the holiday, and the mice in costumes and really cute. I especially liked this book because my sister, my cousins, and I always put on our own Thanksgiving play for our family, so plays hold a special place in my family's Thanksgiving traditions.
Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley
Similar to The Magic Tree House series, the characters in this book have the ability to travel back in time and observe history. Two kids and their grandmother visit Plymouth Planation in Virginia in 1612 and participate in the fall harvest feast. This book attempts to correct some misconceptions about the true history of Thanksgiving. I found it very interesting, and I learned a lot.
Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson
This book tells of Sarah Hale, the woman who fought for years to have Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. It's a great story about persistance and the power of letter writing. After 38 years and many presidents, President Licoln finally declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. It's an amazing story.
On the blog last year...
Kid Lit: Dino Swimming