Now that Halloween 2013 is in the books, it’s time to look toward Thanksgiving! Here’s a selection of fiction and nonfiction picture books, beginning readers, and early chapter books. Enjoy!
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
At Thanksgiving time, children express their gratitude for the people and things in their lives.
Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’ by Eileen Spinelli
When calamity stalks every step of the preparations for the Tappletons’ Thanksgiving dinner, they realize that there is more to Thanksgiving than turkey and trimmings.
Thanksgiving Day Thanks by Laura Malone Elliott
Sam has trouble deciding what he is grateful for during a Thanksgiving-themed classroom assignment.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
Mr. and Mrs. Moose try to invite a turkey to their Thanksgiving feast.
Thanksgiving Rules by Laurie Friedman
Young Percy Isaac Gifford provides a list of ten rules for getting the most out of Thanksgiving Day, especially how best to enjoy the buffet.
The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing
Tells the story of one family’s Thanksgiving Day celebration.
Duck for Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules
When Tuyet finds out that her Vietnamese family is having duck rather than turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, she is upset until she finds out that other children in her class did not eat turkey either.
Beginning Readers and Early Chapter Books
Katie Saves Thanksgiving by Fran Manushkin
When a snowstorm causes the power to go out, Katie and her parents think their Thanksgiving dinner with JoJo and Pedro is ruined, but by being a good neighbor, Katie saves the day.
Trucksgiving by Jon Scieszka
The trucks of Trucktown create their own annual day of giving thanks.
Amelia Bedelia Talks Turkey by Herman Parish
When Amelia Bedelia volunteers to fill in as director of a third-grade Thanksgiving play, she misunderstands everything from one girl’s desire to play a big role to an opening night wish that she “break a leg,” but all is well in the end.
Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House) by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie travel in their magic tree house to the year 1621, where they celebrate the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians in the New Plymouth Colony. Also check out Pilgrims: A Nonfiction Companion to Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne.
Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble by Abby Klein
Freddy is unhappy about playing the turkey in his first-grade Thanksgiving Day play, especially with Max bullying and teasing him, but his grandfather and principal both give him ideas for making the part fun.
Nonfiction Picture Books
The Story of the Pilgrims by Katharine Ross
From the dangerous voyage across the Atlantic to the first harsh winter to the delicious Thanksgiving feast, all the excitement and wonder of the Pilgrims’ first year in America is captured in this retelling that is perfect for the youngest historians.
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet
Award-winning artist 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 Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Sarah Gives Thanks by Mike Allegra
The story of the writer and magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, who pushed the idea of establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
Thanksgiving Crafts by Jean Eick
Keep children busy by having them make decorations for your feast or home! Activities include the classic handprint turkey, napkin holders, and Thanksgiving cards and envelopes.
Thanksgiving is– by Gail Gibbons
An introduction to the history and customs of Thanksgiving.
Picture Books about Being Thankful
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
Bear thanks his friends for bringing food dishes to his dinner party and finds a way of sharing something of his own.
Splat Says Thank You by Rob Scotton
Splat the Cat figures out how to let Seymour know that he’s thankful for their friendship.
The Thankful Book by Todd Parr
Easy-to-read text encourages the reader to find something every day for which to be thankful, from underwear that is just the right size to birthday cakes and the wishes they bring.
The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood
While learning the secret to a good life, a child says thank you for the natural world and for being loved, because a grateful heart is always happy.
Thank You for Me! by Marion Dane Bauer
Rhythmic text enumerates what various body parts can do, including hands to clap and a body to twirl, then expresses thanks for each of those parts–and for the whole.
Thank You, World by Alice McGinty
Eight children from eight different countries express their thanks for many special things including the sun that colors the sky, breezes that lift kites, clouds that paint cotton pictures and send rain, and sparkling stars that “shine like Mommy’s eyes.”
Submitted by Dana