Thanksgiving is drawing near, and I love reading holiday-themed books to my little one each year. Rather than scouring the library, or your local book store, I’ve put together this list of the best Thanksgiving books for preschoolers. Each book is aimed toward ages 3-6, and are written in a way that is easy for their little, inquiring minds to understand.
This list includes books that tell the history of Thanksgiving in an easy-to-understand way, books that are themed toward gratefulness and thankfulness, as well as just off-the-wall funny books with a Thanksgiving theme.
I hope you find a book in this collection that you and your family can love and use to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Best Thanksgiving Books for Preschoolers
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Thanksgiving Is For Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland. Thanksgiving is a special time of year. It’s a holiday about pilgrims, turkeys, and family, but it’s also about giving thanks for the things we have. What are you thankful for?
Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano. Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving… and you’re the maincourse. But Turkey has an idea–what if he doesn’t look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead?
The Story Of The Pilgrims by Katharine Ross. A great book to read to young children (ages 3-6) about the first Thanksgiving, Mayflower, and pilgrims. This book is great for explaining to a preschooler why we have Thanksgiving feasts. The book is informative easy for little ones to understand.
The Thankful Book by Toddy Parr. This is a favorite book of mine to read during Thanksgiving time. Preschoolers will love the brightly colored, cute illustrations that are drawn in a kid-friendly way! This book walks through all the little, everyday things a child could be thankful for. “My hair because it makes me unique.” “My ears because they let me hear words like ‘I love you'” Being grateful is a worthy subject, but this book brings it to life in a unique, childlike way!
The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing. I am huge fan of all of the “night before” books! This book is written in the same syntax as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. It combines all the elements of the hectic preparation of Thanksgiving, but also the warmth and familiar elements of the big day: cooking, family, watching football, and parades.
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson. Bear has come up with the perfect way to say thanks—a nice big dinner! When Bear decides to throw a feast, his friends show up one by one with different platters of delicious food to share. There’s just one problem: Bear’s cupboards are bare! What is he to do? This is a great story to read when discussing gratitude. With rhymes that children will enjoy and illustrations that are very detailed and beautiful, this is sure to be a book that your child loves. A repeated line, ‘and the bear says thanks’ gives children a chance to participate in the story.
Turk and Runt by Lisa Wheeler. Turk is “the biggest, strongest, and most graceful bird on Wishbone Farm.” His younger brother, “Runt,” has figured out why people come to the farm in November, but no one wants to listen. Their mom thinks people are coming to choose a turkey to be the star role in “Swan Lake”, while their father thinks the chosen turkey will play in the Thanksgiving Day football game. This hilarious story is a great Thanksgiving tale that your preschooler will love.
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes. Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks—the question is, where to begin? From the turkey on the table to warm, cozy cuddles, life is full of small things and bigger pleasures. But what is most important is being able to share them with family! This book celebrates Thanksgiving by showing appreciation for the big and small things that occur in a young child’s life, from “playdates, swings, and slides” to “dancing, music, and art.” And the book states the main theme is that we should be most thankful for family.
Olivia Talks Turkey. Olivia’s fine turkey talk brings a pet turkey into her life…but Mom and Dad won’t let her keep it. Luckily, Olivia knows someone who’s also a great turkey talker and who has wanted a pet turkey her whole life…Mrs. Hoggenmuller! This isn’t a traditional Thanksgiving book, but is included here because of a preschooler’s familiarity of Olivia.
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by B.G. Hennessy. Ten little Pilgrims and ten little Wampanoag boys and girls are getting ready for the harvest feast. In colonial Plymouth, the young Pilgrims hunt ducks and geese and dig up turnips and carrots. In a nearby village, the Wampanoag children dig for clams, fish for cod, and gather nuts and berries. Finally, it’s time for the meal. Turkey, cornbread, cranberry stuffing, pumpkin, and Indian pudding are all on the menu-yum! First, everyone gives thanks, and then it’s time to eat and celebrate. The simple, rhythmic text and autumn-colored illustrations are just right for sharing the history and fun of Thanksgiving with young children.
10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston. Children will gobble up this hilarious story about ten goofy turkeys and their silly antics: swinging from a vine, strutting on a boar, doing a noodle dance, and more. The book has written a joyful text, and the illustrations bring to life the wild and wacky fun!
I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson. Hilarious book with a very funny twist on Thanksgiving. After the pie, the old lady swallows a whole squash, all of the salad, and the entire turkey! As Mother and Father watch in shock, the two children are delighted to see the old lady growing fatter and fatter. And, in the end, the old lady makes a surprising and humorous contribution to the holiday festivities.
Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving books?