20 of the Best Thanksgiving Picture Books to Delight Your Kids

20 of the Best Thanksgiving Picture Books to Delight Your Kids


Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. Being from the south, it’s the time of year when it finally begins cooling down and the leaves start to fall.

It’s the day we make cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce. We eat too much and then take a nap or a walk, and sometimes both.

It’s a peaceful holiday, with no worries of costumes or presents, just happiness of being together.

Fall has me pulling my favorite titles from our shelves and among those are my favorite Thanksgiving picture books.

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The Best Thanksgiving Picture Books

The Thanksgiving Story – Alice Dalgleish

A 1955 Caldecott Award winner and a Thanksgiving classic, The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh is one that we always pull off our shelf. It is a longer picture book, so better for older children, but a great book for a literature-based unit study.

Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving – Joseph Bruchac

This is a fascinating look at Squanto’s life and travels.


Cranberry Thanksgiving – Wende Devlin

Cranberry Thanksgiving is our favorite Thanksgiving book. Who doesn’t love Mr. Whiskers? If you’ve never read this, you’re going to love it, and it’s perfect for the entire family. Cranberry Thanksgiving is also on my list of 100 picture books kids will love.

Three Young Pilgrims – Cheryl Harness

I only found this one recently, but I love the illustrations and the story being told from the perspective of children.

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland’s Good Fortune – P.J. Lynch

This is a new to me book that I found fascinating. It has a lot of information that provides a jumping off point for many rabbit trails. This would be another great book for a Thanksgiving literature unit.

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Give Thanks for Each Day – Steve Metzger

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims – B.G. Hennessy

This is a perfect book for the little ones and introduces them to the Thanksgiving story from the perspective of children.

The First Thanksgiving – Linda Hayward

This would be great for that child that is just learning to read.

A Plump And Perky Turkey – Teresa Bateman

A clever, rhyming story for the younger kids about a town without a Thanksgiving turkey and a turkey that has the last laugh.

Franklin’s Thanksgiving – Paulette Bourgeois

The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks – Jan and Mike Berenstain

I know the Berenstain Bears aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we’ve always enjoyed them.

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie – Alison Jackson

Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet – Jane O’Connor

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving – Dav Pilkey

Thanks for Thanksgiving – Julie Markes

Little Critter: Just a Special Thanksgiving – Mercer Mayer

Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving – James Dean

The Story of the Pilgrims – Katharine Ross

Thanksgiving in the Woods – Phyllis Alsdurf

Thankful – Eileen Spinelli

Bonus Book!

Milly and the Macy’s Parade – Shana Corey

Another family favorite, that we enjoy year after year, is Milly and the Macy’s Parade. This gives the history of the Macy’s Day Parade through the eyes of the fictionalized character, Milly.

Enjoying Thanksgiving

Whether you create an entire unit study around a few of these books or simply stop and pick one up when you have a minute, Thanksgiving offers so many opportunities to enjoy a great picture book.

What do you think is the BEST Thanksgiving picture book?

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20 of the Best Thanksgiving Picture Books to Delight Your Kids

About Bethany Ishee

Bethany is the mom of six always homeschooled children who one day realized she'd lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of homeschooling draws upon Classical to Unschooling and everything in between.  While homeschooling her children and writing about learning outside of school, she tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills.

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