Thanksgiving Books for Kids

Now that Halloween is officially over and the time change has messed with our kids’ internal clocks (and ours too!), it’s time to shift from carving pumpkins to pumpkin pie, from candy to turkey, and from “trick-or-treat” to “I am thankful.”

Gratefulness seems to be a tough one for kids — especially young ones — to grasp, and it’s not an easy one to teach, either.

Any time I’m having trouble getting a concept through to my daughter, I find books that articulate the idea through age-appropriate stories for us to read together. I know it’s not a life-alteringly new concept — seeing as how there are children’s books about pretty much every subject you can fathom — but it is magical nonetheless.

Enter one of my favorite places in Fort Worth: the library. I’m sure they do this at all of the Fort Worth Library branches, but the Central Library (Downtown) that we frequent has a holiday section in the kids’ area that makes it super easy — and fun — to grab festive books for any season. We’ve done this for every holiday since she was old enough to hold a book. This year, a rainy day before Halloween was the perfect time to grab our first run of Thanksgiving books.

And now, for your reading pleasure, a list of kid-approved (both mine and other FWMB contributors’) Thanksgiving-themed books:

Bright Baby: Happy Thanksgiving // Roger Priddy: Our bookshelf overflowed with Priddy books when my daughter was a newborn until she was almost three. If you aren’t familiar, Priddy’s style has real (as opposed to illustrated) pictures correlated with simple words or short phrases. Great for babies! This one just came out in September.


My First Thanksgiving (board book) // Tomie dePaola: This one was recommended by FWMB Contributor Colleen and also receives rave reviews on Amazon. Adding it to my list ASAP!



Bear Says ThanksBear Says Thanks // Karma Wilson: We first got into the “Bear” books via a fortuitous Chick-Fil-A kids nugget meal. (Don’t you love that they give books in their kids’ meals?!) This one is a beautifully illustrated (by Jane Chapman), a simple story about friends coming together for a festive meal and the special part they each play. Sweet as can be.


Marley ThanksgivingMarley: A Thanksgiving to Remember // John Grogan: Remember the incredibly lovable but walking-disaster-of-a-dog Marley from the movie/memoir Marley and Me? Same dog. In this book, Marley’s Thanksgiving Day antics are showcased through lift-the-flap interaction that we can’t get enough of around here. We’ve read this one every day, at least once, since we acquired it.


Pete the Cat ThanksgivingPete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving // Kimberly & James Dean: Ahh, Pete the Cat. You either love him (my daughter and me) or hate him (my husband). Regardless of your feelings about Pete, this one is a fun, straightforward retelling of the first Thanksgiving, presented through Pete being in the school play. Bonus: it’s also lift-the-flap.


Thanks for ThanksgivingThanks for Thanksgiving // Julie Markes: I picked this one up on a whim and am so glad I did. The illustrations (by Doris Barrette) are gorgeous, the cadence is smooth, and the essence is simple: there are so many things — big and small — to be thankful for. There’s also a place in the back (if you purchase the book and not borrow from the library like me, obviously) for kids to write their “thankful thoughts.” Adorable.


Cranberry ThanksgivingCranberry Thanksgiving // Wende and Harry Devlin: This one I haven’t read, but it came highly recommended by FWMB Contributor Emma. Originally published in the 70s, it is enjoying a bit of a renaissance among nostalgic parents. I’m going to check it out for sure.



So many to choose from! What are some of your favorites that I missed?

Kelly has called Fort Worth home since April 2006 when she moved here to start her life with her then-fiance. Married for 8.5 years, they have a fiery, curly-headed three-year old daughter (January 2012) whose personality matches the size of her hair when she wakes up (BIG). Kelly is a full-time mom and wife and works at home as a freelance graphic/web/communications designer. In her kid-free time, she can be found crafting just about anything, unwinding with a glass of wine and a magazine, meeting girlfriends to catch up, or binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with her husband.



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