11 Fascinating Children's Books About Pilgrims and the Mayflower

the story of the pilgrims

The Story of the Pilgrims

 A simple introductory picture books for budding historians. The story begins with the pilgrims' trek across the Atlantic Ocean to seek a life of freedom. Kids will learn about the trials and tribulations of settling into a new land, adjusting to harsh weather conditions, and the very first Thanksgiving Day feast.





Fiction and Non-Fiction Children's Books about Pilgrims

Most of the children's books about Thanksgiving are funny stories about turkeys, usually trying to avoid their fate. This year, you may want to add some non-fiction or historical fiction books about the people who made the voyage to start life anew. This collection of picture books about pilgrims will give your children a solid understanding of why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Some of these books are very basic, easily accessible accounts of pilgrims and what life was like when they arrived. Other pilgrim books go into more depth for kids ready for a serious history lesson about the first settlers. 


the itsy bitsy pilgrim

The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim

This charming board book for toddlers, based on The Itsy Bitsy Spider, is the cutest little poem about pilgrims. Toddlers will get a little lesson about the Mayflower and the first feast the settler shared. Whimsical illustrations will delight young readers eager to learn about Thanksgiving.



100 questions about colonial america

100 Questions about Colonial America

 Learning about an important time in America's history has never been more fun. This colorful book has almost 50 pages of facts presented in a kid-friendly question and answer format. Children will learn what life was like for the pilgrims and all of the important events leading up to the Revolutionary War. Reluctant readers and history buffs alike will thoroughly enjoy this lively book about colonial America.

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the pilgrims of plimoth

The Pilgrims of Plimouth

A fantastic, historical fiction book about pilgrims for children ready for a more advanced story. Told through the first person, the book begins by providing readers with insight about why people wanted to leave England in the first place. It does not gloss over the hardship and sacrifice the pilgrims made when they boarded the Mayflower and embarked on a challenging journey. Kids will have a much better understanding of what life was like in the 1600s through the artwork and detailed description of what the pilgrims' days entailed.



three young pilgrims

Three Young Pilgrims

 This historical fiction picture book is about three pilgrims, Bartholomew, Remember, and Mary Allerton, who are met with unexpected hardship after arriving in the New World. The long and difficult journey on the Maryflower was supposed to lead them to a better life. They encounter harsh weather conditions and illness that will take the lives of many of the colonists. But what they do find is the support of two natives, Samoset and Squanto, who help them grow crops and sit down together for the very first Thanksgiving feast.



sarah morton's day a day in the life of a pilgrim girl

Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl

Kids will loves this photographic picture book that gives readers a look at life as a settler in 1867. Sarah rises at dawn to take care of all of her chores, like starting a fire and milking the goats. She then practices writing letters and studying scripture. This book draws in young readers and opens up conversation comparing life today with that of the settlers. 



<you wouldn't want to sail on the mayflower

You Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Mayflower!

Readers will thoroughly enjoy this interactive book about a treacherous journey on the Mayflower. The harsh reality of what the pilgrims had to endure on their trek from England to the New Land is not sugarcoated, but those who do survive have an opportunity for a fresh start. Best suited for readers 8 and up, this entertaining book has a map, a timeline, and tons of facts for kids ready for an in-depth history lesson.



the landing of the pilgrims

The Landing of the Pilgrims

A fascinating historical chapter book with most of the material drawn from the pilgrims' journals. Williams Bradford believed in religious freedom, so he led his friends on a journey to Holland and then on to America. Their initial enthusiasm was tapered by the harsh conditions they confronted. Only about half of the pilgrims survived the first year, but those who did helped to establish important traditions, including the Thanksgiving day feast.



you wouldn't want to be an american colonist

You Wouldn't Want to Be an American Colonist

Children reading this book are invited to join the colonists who sail across the Atlantic and settle into a new land. This interactive picture book paints an accurate picture of the drought, famine, conflict, and other hardships faced by the settlers.  Humorous illustrations add a light touch to the harsh and unexpected reality pilgrims faced in this strange, new land.  There is no shortage of historical facts, including timelines, recipes, and more.



the boy who fell off the mayflower or john howland's good fortune

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower, or John Howland's Good Fortune

Dramatic illustrations capture a significant event that occurred during the Mayflower's journey. John Howland, indentured servant to John Carver, miraculously survived a fall into the Atlantic Ocean. He went on to help safely land the boat and assist the sickly pilgrims. This awe-inspiring event gives readers a fresh perspective of what life was like for a teenager who exhibited leadership and bravery beyond his years. 



mayflower 1620 a new look at the pilgrim voyage

Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage

This meticulously researched book was written jointly by National Geographic and the Plimouth Plantation. Captivating photography of a reenactment depict the harrowing journey on the Mayflower. Kids will learn how the pilgrims dressed, what they ate, and all about their hopes and dreams for a new life. Due to the depth of the content, including a highly detailed chronology of events, this pilgrim book is best suited for children at least 10 years old. 


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Read Kids Books about the Mayflower for a Lesson in History

It's never too early to start teaching your kids about the lives of the pilgrims. Ordinary men and women made the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1620, motivated by a desire for religious freedom. One hundred people made the voyage on the Mayflower. When they arrived on the shores of Cape Cod, the were weak from their diet at sea that was high in salt. The first year was extremely difficult and almost half of the settlers died most likely from scurvy and pneumonia. Reading children's books about pilgrims will help kids understand the impossible obstacles they had to overcome. 




Adventurous Stories About the Mayflower 

Children will be interested in knowing that the Mayflower was originally a cargo ship, most frequently transporting wine between European countries. Then in 1620, the Mayflower traveled for 66 days across the Atlantic before finally landing in Massachusetts.

When it first set off on the journey, the Mayflower was accompanied by a second boat, the Speedwell. But shortly after departure the Speedwell began to leak, so both boats turned around. A month later, the Mayflower embarked once again, but this time it carried all of the passengers.

Today, the Mayflower has come to symbolize freedom, and many Americans like to say that they can track their ancestry back to the pilgrims on the boat. Reading children's books about the Mayflower will teach you children about the treacherous conditions this boat had to overcome before reaching its final destination.


Discover More Thanksgiving Reading for Kids

 Funny Turkey Stories

Thanksgiving Tales for Toddlers

Tween Thanksgiving Novels


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