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 about costumes or presents, just the happiness of being together.
Fall always 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.
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.
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
Franklin has always been a year round favorite for my little ones (we love the show as well), so of course there should be a Franklin book included with the best Thanksgiving picture books.
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. And though some may find the characters annoying, they do often include a great lesson.
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 Thanksgiving 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.
While enjoying this list of the best Thanksgiving picture books, you can also check out this free Thanksgiving online unit study from Techie Homeschool Mom.
We enjoy this every Thanksgiving and it includes quite a bit about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
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.