Picture Books for Thanksgiving!

Most libraries have a holiday picture book section for Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and December Holidays.

There aren't as many Thanksgiving-themed picture books as there are for Halloween, but I still enjoy reading a few annually.

Here is a list of my favorite books to read aloud for Thanksgiving storytimes!


My Favorite Picture Books About Thanksgiving

Over the River and Through the Wood, book cover

Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Child

One of my favorite kind of picture books for babies and toddlers are sing-along books like Lydia Maria Child's Over the River and Through the Woods.  Derek Anderson has also done a wonderful version, but I have a slight preference for Child's due to illustrator David Catrow.  David Catrow illustrated one of my favorite picture books of all time, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patti Lovell.

If you get up especially early to watch Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning, you will appreciate how the child accidentally pops into the parade!

I also note that one of my favorite orchestral instruments makes an appearance on a few pages.  Originally, this instrument was one I disliked intensely because when I was a child, a soloist started playing this instrument as an earthquake struck.  Very scary for seven-year-old me!  But one of my kids picked it up for for 8 years, so now I have a fondness for it.  Let me know if you can guess what that instrument is in the comments below!

Apple Cake, book cover

Apple Cake by Dawn Casey

I noticed this book in 2019 before the pandemic.  Little did I realize how important the message of gratitude would be in the coming months!

Dawn Casey's book about being thankful is not specifically about Thanksgiving, but its brevity and beautiful illustrations by Genevieve Godbout are perfect for toddlers.

The girl in the story thanks the environment, different animals and people, and her close-knit families and friends in this lovely tribute to being more aware of our surroundings.

For those who love to bake, the author has also included a recipe for apple cake!  Yum!

This First Thanksgiving Day a Counting Story, book cover

This First Thanksgiving Day a Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed

Geared for preschoolers, The First Thanksgiving Day: a Counting Story is perfect as a very brief introduction to young children about the original Thanksgiving.

I used this book in outreaches to preschools during November, as a short introduction for young children to Thanksgiving.

Children enjoy helping you count the items on each page that match the number in the story.

Laura Krauss Melmed's illustrations are perfectly realistic and colorful, making counting very easy!

Thanksgiving Mice!, book cover

Thanksgiving Mice! by Bethany Roberts

Originally released in 2001 as a picture book, Thanksgiving Mice by Bethany Roberts is now in easy reader format.  You can still find the picture book version on Link+!

If you remember participating in holiday plays, you will certainly enjoy this book!

The story of Thanksgiving is told by animals in a Thanksgiving play.

Very short, but concise, preschoolers and kindergarteners will certainly enjoy the colorful and engaging illustrations!

Turkey Trouble, book cover

Turkey Trouble by Wendi J. Silvano

Preschoolers and elementary students will enjoy Lee Harper's humorous illustrations and Wendi J. Silvano's fun and engaging story, Turkey Trouble.

Turkey is trying to hide himself from Thanksgiving dinner through various ingenious animal disguises, using only materials on hand.

Finally, he devises a clever way to avoid trouble in a way that highlights ingenuity and flexible thinking!

I especially enjoyed how Turkey found a way to negotiate a better and more successful way to harness his many talents.  This book is one of my favorites because it teaches us all to think outside of the box!