Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang have been around for a long time. Their timeless message of friendship and thanks will always have a place on a child's reading list. Peppermint Patty invites herself and the others to Charlie Brown's house for a Thanksgiving Day feast. How will Charlie ever manage to put together a nice meal when he seems to fail miserably at every attempt in the kitchen?
Best Children's Books About Thanksgiving
Hours of food prep, delicious aromas, messy kitchens filled with laughter, and family coming together to enjoy a long, lazy day of eating and spending time together. This is Thanksgiving. At the center of it all is our feathered friend- the turkey! The Thanksgiving turkey is a traditional bird that graces so many dining room tables across the country every year. Baked or deep fried, stuffed, and served with gravy- there are many ways to enjoy it. But beware! This Thanksgiving staple is personified in some of the most adorable kids Thanksgiving books. Reading these picture books about Thanksgiving day may make you think twice about what you put on your plate this November! Don't forget to add some books for younger reader to the mix, too! Here are the best Thanksgiving stories for toddlers made with sturdy pages and other interactive features.
Classic Thanksgiving Books for Kids
This is a holiday filled with customs that are passed down from generation to generation. A really special tradition to share with your children are some the classic books that you enjoyed as a child yourself. Here are some titles for you to read with your children that will take you down memory lane.
Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'
This oldie but goody is a must-read for everyone who wants to pull off the perfect Thanksgiving dinner! Funny illustrations and an even funnier story capture the frustrations experienced by a family that just can't seem to catch a break. Once the Tappletons' finally come to the realization that their dinner is not going to come together as planned, they take a few moments to appreciate what the day is really about. The kind of food on the table is a whole lot less important than the people sitting around the table.
The Thanksgiving Story
A 1955 Caldecott Honor Book, this is story of the pilgrims journey on the Mayflower. They endure a harrowing adventure to a strange, new land where they are confronted with even bigger challenges like cold and hunger. The Native Americans welcome the pilgrims and share their food during a feast that will eventually be come to celebrated every November.
Maggie's grandmother makes cranberry bread and invites someone new for dinner. She asks Maggie to invite a guest as well, but with a special caveat. Maggie has to ask someone who is lonely and has nowhere else to go. Maggie heeds her grandmother's advice and invites Mr. Whiskers. Grandmother is less than pleased with this guest selection as she finds Mr. Whiskers to be quite unpleasant. Will the holiday be ruined this year? And more importantly, will grandmother's cranberry recipe be preserved for her future generations?
Arthur is doing his best in his new role- director of a play at school. As usual, the cast of characters is arguing over the parts they want to play. Everyone wants to be the start and Arthur has the tough job of resolving conflict. Arthur is a classic character with a book for every holiday. Young children will laugh at all the silly fighting and cheer on Arthur as he does his best to pull off a flawless production.
The Berenstain Bears: Thanksgiving All Around
This Berenstain Bears book may be new, but our favorite bears are a classic to be shared for generations to come. A lift-the-flap Thanksgiving book can be enjoyed by little kids excited to explore all of the holiday images and treats.
Little Critter: Just a Special Thanksgiving
Little Critter books have been around for more than 40 years, and fans never seem to tire of this lovable creature. He is back and ready to enjoy all that Thanksgiving has to offer, from school plays to feasts with friends.
When kids start kindergarten, Thanksgiving is a big celebration at school. They learn all about the pilgrims, the Mayflower, and all the important historical events. Children are taught how and why Thanksgiving has become such an important holiday. A great way to reinforce values we cherish on this holiday is by reading stories about the holiday. These selections are funny, entertaining, and sneak in some good lessons along the way.
Our favorite black cat is back and he's trying to figure out how to express his thankfulness. His friendship with Seymour is so special to Splat and so he's got to come up with the best way to express his feelings.
One is a Feast for a Mouse: A Thanksgiving Tale
Little mouse spots the delicious food left on the dining room table and his mouth is watering. There is an opportunity here for mouse to have the feast of a lifetime, but how in the world will he ever be able to squeeze all of that food through his peephole? Preschoolers will enjoy the humor in this tale about a mouse's problem-solving skills and all of the hurdles he must overcome to have his own little Thanksgiving day meal.
Bear Says Thanks
Bear books are always a good choice to read to kindergarten children, and this Thanksgiving story is no exception! Bear loves his friends and decides to show his appreciation by inviting them over for a holiday dinner. Each of his friends excitedly accepts his invitation and arrives with delicious food to share at the feast. There's just one problem- Bear hasn't done any planning himself and his shelves are empty. Join a loving crew as they embrace their love for each other and share the real meaning of the holiday.
Little pilgrim mice journey to America and settle down for their first Thanksgiving dinner. Preschool children will delight in the fun verse and adorable illustrations. Educational and entertaining book that's a favorite of little ones.
Turkey is one smart bird and his knows his day of reckoning is right around the corner. He is not happy about being the main attraction on the dining room table and knows that time is running out! Hilarity ensues as Turkey disguises himself as a number of different animals in an effort to avoid the seemingly inevitable. Will he manage to outwit the people and live a long and happy life? Kids will laugh at all of the silly costumes and root for Turkey along the way.
Preschoolers will love to lift the flaps and discover all there is to know about Thanksgiving. Pete the Cat plays a pilgrim in a play and learns all about this important holiday. A fun, interactive picture book balancing a little education and a whole lot of humor.
Count along with ten pilgrims and ten Indians as they gather around and prepare for a festive meal together. Colorful illustrations combined with a familiar childhood rhyme are perfectly matched in this fun read-aloud.
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
There seems to be a rendition of I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Spider for every holiday. This funny version works so well! Preschoolers who are familiar with the original version will particularly enjoy following along as each scenario builds. Rhyming verse, whimsical illustrations and completely preposterous feasting all make this a winning holiday story.
Over the River: A Turkey Tale
Brilliant artwork and humor abound in this fun twist. A family of turkeys is headed out to enjoy a vegetarian feast (of course!) when they are spotted by a boy and his dog who are hungry for meat. An exciting chase over the river and through the woods leaves readers wondering who will come out on top in this action-packed book for kids.
Marley: A Thanksgiving to Remember
Calling all Marley fans! Our favorite furry troublemaker is back his antics this Thanksgiving. The family is as busy as ever preparing for the big day and Marley is causing trouble, as usual! A fun lift-the-flap interactive Thanksgiving book perfect for preschoolers.
A little boy has compiled a list of all the rules to be followed for a perfect Thanksgiving day. He circles around the dining table and shares his words of wisdom about each delicious dish. After he has finished with his advice about the food, he digs a bit deeper into the real importance of the holiday- gratitude and thankfulness.
Turk and Runt: A Thanksgiving Comedy
Turk is the superstar of the farm. He is talented, strong, athletic, and admired by everyone. It seems that only his brother, Runt, see the problem that awaits Turk. He may be living his best life right now, but very soon he will be basted, baked, and eaten just like the other turkey standouts of the past. It is up to Runt to save his big brother, and that he does. Funny and downright witty, this fantastic picture book guarantees giggles.
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
No matter where you live, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade can be enjoyed and everyone feels like a part of New York that day. Brilliant illustrations and magical balloons paint the pages and capture the moment when everyone feels like a kid. The story of Tony Sarg, a puppeteer genius who began the parade, is shared for anyone curious about the beginnings of a special tradition.
Thanksgiving Day Thanks
Sam has a big project he has worked on for school but something goes really wrong. Read along as Sam's friends from school try to help save the day. Both touching and funny, the warm Thanksgiving book captures all the good feels of the season like friendship and family.
'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
In an energetic spin on the Christmas classic, a classroom goes on a visit to a turkey farm. Each child pairs off with a new turkey friend, enjoying a carefree day, until they learn of the turkeys' fate. With Thanksgiving the next day, the children must act swiftly. They successfully carry out their plot to sneak the turkeys off the farm and let them live a happy life. It's a vegetarian happy ending for all.
Thanksgiving for Emily Ann
Thanksgiving can be a very busy holiday with all of the food preparation and housework that needs to be done before guests arrive. It's not uncommon for little kids, just like Emily Ann, to feel a bit ignored. Well, Emily Ann is not going to have it, so she plans to do something naughty to gain some attention from the adults around her. Fortunately, her family sees what is going on and with a little prevention and a whole lotta love, they stop Emily in her tracks. A heartwarming story about family and togetherness that many kids will find relatable around the holiday.
The Very First Thanksgiving Day
Many boys and girls will appreciate Charlie's dilemma- his family expects him to take care of his irritating cousin all Thanksgiving day. The holiday pretty much goes as expected with Charlie getting in trouble and feeling frustrated by the antics of his little cousin Chip. When he returns to school on Monday, his first assignment is to write about the meaning of family. Can Charlie get some perspective and see past everything about Chip that annoys him? Kids will laugh and relate to Charlie's situation.
The Night Before Thanksgiving
This Thanksgiving picture book is part of the best-selling Night Before Series that captures all the excitement leading up to a special event. Charming pictures capture a happy family preparing the meal, greeting their cousins, and gathering around the table to enjoy a delicious feast together. It's a fun rhyming book to read out loud.
We Give Thanks
A heartwarming book about practicing thankfulness all year long. A bunny and frog take a stroll around their neighborhood and stop to appreciate all of the beauty around them. They literally stop to smell the roses and soak in all the other gifts of nature. Along the way, they hatch a plan to shower all of their friends with appreciation. This feel-good book is wonderful to read any time throughout the year.
Thanksgiving in the Woods
A gorgeously illustrated Thanksgiving picture book that takes readers deep into the woods for a holiday feast. The story is based on the author's personal tradition of an annual outdoor Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. The pictures capture the sentiment of the day with long tables covered with delicious food, people gathered around bonfires, and laughter in the air. Although categorized as a children's book, this beautiful book deserves a spot on the coffee table.
How to Catch a Turkey
All the kids have worked hard to put on the best play. But when a rogue turkey races around the school, turning everything upside down, the play is in jeopardy. In this zany Thanksgiving book, kids are taken on a wild chase up and down the hallways until the wild turkey is caught. In a funny turn of events, peace is restored and the play goes on as scheduled! For more action, check out the rest of the book in the How to Catch book series.
I Am Thankful
A darling Thanksgiving book for kids that features a three diverse families and their unique traditions. The poetic texts flows beautifully in three different stories about giving back, acts of kindness, and other heartwarming gestures.
Happy Thanksgiving, Snoopy!
Thanksgiving is not shaping up the way Charlie Brown expected. Dinner at his Grandma's house was canceled, so he and the rest of the Peanuts gang have to improvise. With some quick thinking, they pull together a non-traditional feast and end up really enjoying their time together, Snoopy included.
The Berenstain Bears Meet BigPaw: A Thanksgiving Story
The Berenstain Bears have always opened their home to neighbors. But when Brother and Sister want to invite the biggest bear in town to Thanksgiving dinner, Mama and Papa are not sure this is a very good idea. So they do their very best to convince their parents as well as all their neighbors that BigPaw is a gentle giant who deserves a place at the dinner table. Just like with the rest of the Berenstain Bears stories, a valuable lesson is shared.
Part of the popular dino-holiday series, this Thanksgiving picture book is the perfect gift for kids who love dinosaurs. The pictures pop off the page with the bold colors and a three-dimensional effect. Kids will feel like they are sitting at the table with this lively bunch. There is plenty of food to go around, with delicious choice for both the carnivores and the herbivores. A lively, bouncy rhyme makes this book even more fun to read aloud.
The 12 Days of Thanksgiving
A clever spin on The 12 Days of Christmas, this book is a fun one to add to your child's reading list. Instead of counting French hens and turtle doves, festive fall objects like squash and apples are pictured. This upbeat book is fun to sing until the very last page when the entire family gathers around for a feast.
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Teach Your Children to be Thankful
Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to reflect on all the good in your life and really take time to appreciate friends and family. The big day of celebration is filled with chaos, cooking, laughing, and just being with the people you care about. Sometimes things get so busy that the little kids get lost in the mix and the entire point of the celebration is lost on them.
Here are some suggestions to keep young children engaged and thankful:
(1) Start a Tradition Called "Month of Thanks"
Ask your children to think about all the people who have done nice things for them over the past year. Teachers, friends, neighbors, coaches, relatives and anyone else in your child's circle should be in the list. Have your child write a thank you note to all of these special people. Make each note very personal and specific to really make an impact. Encourage your kiddo to write down a particular moment or event that really made a difference. It could be something big like a grandparent taking a child to professional sporting event, or it may be something seemingly small like a friendly neighbor who waves from the window. All of these thoughtful gestures are reasons to be thankful.
(2) Visit a Food Pantry or Participate in a Food Drive
Food on the table is something that many fortunate children take for granted. Full tummies after a meal and lots of snacks in the cabinet for in-between times is something they expect. So unless you teach your children that not everyone has the same good fortune, they will never stop to appreciate their own situation. And they also may never think about what they can do to help others who go hungry. The best way to educate your kiddos is by signing them up to volunteer at a food pantry. Stocking shelves, loading boxes, and delivering meals to people in need is a wonderful way to open their hearts to their neighbors who are struggling. They will also learn to be thankful for their own food security at home.
(3) Make Thanksgiving Cookies and Deliver Them to a Nursing Home
Many elderly people in assisted living facilities do not have frequent visitors. These seniors may feel depressed, sad, and lonely, especially during the holidays. At the beginning of November, before things get too busy, take a weekend to bake some Thanksgiving cookies with your children. Wrap them up in cellophane, tie the package with a festive bow, and deliver the goodies to a local nursing home. Ideally, your child could walk the hallways and pass out the treats to the residents. Imagine how many spirits would be lifted with this easy, yet impactful, gesture.