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When I was a public school kindergarten teacher, I read a seasonal story or two to my sweet students every day after lunch. Thanksgiving stories were some of my favorite because they are contain such wonderful themes – family, gratitude, and acknowledging what is really important in life. What better messages to impart upon young minds? Every bookshelf should have a few Thanksgiving books for kids – even if they are from the library!
When I left my classroom to stay home with my daughter, I had boxes and boxes of books. I planned to save them for ever, but once my son was born space was at a premium. I needed to sort through the boxes and keep only my favorites. These are the Thanksgiving books for kids that I kept. They still tempt my children from a basket near the fireplace every November.
Favorite Thanksgiving Books for kids
Emily Elizabeth’s family is busy getting ready for Thanksgiving. Clifford isn’t sure what is going on, but he is pretty sure he is just in the way. His friends help him realize the true meaning of the holiday.
This simple story is part of the Little Red Reader section of the Clifford storybooks. Each page has only 1-3 sentences, which is great for young children or emerging readers.
This cute rhyming story tells the tale of a family preparing for Thanksgiving visitors.
This short story counts down to celebrating Thanksgiving with rhyming text.
This book is a compilation of Thanksgiving poems. The titles include If Turkeys Thought, When Daddy Carves the Turkey, and Leftovers.
We read this book every year during our Thanksgiving tea with poetry.
This feels like a ‘new’ classic holiday story. Charlie Brown and the gang have to figure out how to celebrate Thanksgiving with the cooking skills of 8 year olds. They resort to preparing toast, jelly beans, pretzels, and popcorn. When I was a classroom teacher, we had a lot of fun reenacting the story with this Thanksgiving feast.
This nonfiction picture book tells the story of how there came to be gigantic inflatable balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Did you know that at one time the parade included live zoo animals?
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November is a bad time of year to be a turkey. This turkey does not intend to end up on the Thanksgiving table. Instead, he attempts a variety of hilarious disguises.
A turkey is loose in the school right before the Thanksgiving play is about to begin!
The rhyming text makes this another great choice to add to a Thanksgiving poetry tea time.
Sarah Josephina Hale is pretty much the mother of Thanksgiving as we know it. She spearheaded a letter writing campaign to convince President Abraham Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Without her efforts we might not celebrate today.
This novel is a new addition to our list of the best Thanksgiving books for kids. My daughter and I read it together last year in sixth grade. We both felt so grateful for the things we typically take for granted – running water, a safe home, time with family. It is a little different than the other titles because it is geared towards tweens/teens and isn’t overtly about Thanksgiving. It does encourage an honest form of thanksgiving and gratitude.
What are you reading with your kids this November?
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