Books Reading

Top Thanksgiving Books for Kids & Why

Are you looking for some books to read on Thanksgiving? The kids will absolutely love these titles! These are the highly rated books of 2023. Read the full post and grab a set of some fun letter tracing coloring pages at the end of this post!

  1. There Was Once an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey.
  2. Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie. Great for teaching the pumpkin life cycle.
  3. Pete The Cat: The First Thanksgiving.
  4. The Night Before thanksgiving.
  5. Thanksgiving is For Giving Thanks.
  6. Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden.
  7. Turkey Trouble.
  8. The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim.
  9. The Berenstain Bears and The Prize Pumpkin.
  10. Thanksgiving on Thursday.
Are you looking for some books to read on Thanksgiving? The kids will absolutely love these titles! These are the highly rated books of 2023. Read the full post and grab a set of some fun letter tracing coloring pages at the end of this post!

Thanksgiving Books for Kids

As the Thanksgiving season approaches, the air is infused with the warmth of gratitude and the joy of shared traditions.

Amidst the anticipation of festive meals and family gatherings, there’s a treasure trove of stories waiting to be explored. Join me on an enchanting journey through the pages of some of the finest children’s books that encapsulate the spirit and essence of Thanksgiving.

From whimsical tales that tickle the funny bone to educational narratives unraveling the pumpkin life cycle, each book holds a unique key to unlocking the richness of this beloved holiday.

Let’s embark together on an adventure through literature, where we’ll encounter turkeys and old ladies, pilgrims and pumpkins, all woven into narratives that celebrate the magic of Thanksgiving.

So, gather ’round as we flip through these captivating pages, discovering the wonders and lessons these tales bring to our holiday celebrations.

“There Was Once an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey”

Title: “There Was Once an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey” by Lucille Colandro

Thanksgiving tales often come in whimsical packages, and this book is no exception. Lucille Colandro’s delightful series takes a humorous spin on the classic cumulative tale, following an old lady who has an insatiable appetite leading up to Thanksgiving.

In this installment, the old lady is on a quirky spree, swallowing everything related to Thanksgiving. From a turkey to some straw, a pot, a pie, and even a entire table, her appetite knows no bounds. As the story unfolds, children delight in the absurdity and the anticipation of what the lady will consume next.

This book is a fantastic read-aloud for young children, filled with repetitive text that invites audience participation. Kids eagerly join in on the refrain, chanting along as the tale progresses. The vivid and humorous illustrations by Jared Lee complement the story perfectly, adding visual cues that enhance the reading experience.

“There Was Once an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey” serves not only as a fun story but also as an educational tool. It introduces children to the elements of Thanksgiving while reinforcing sequencing and memory skills as they remember the items swallowed in order.

This whimsical take on the classic song “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” is a surefire hit for Thanksgiving storytime, leaving kids giggling and engaged while embracing the joy of the holiday.

This activity is a fun one for kids in preschool or kindergarten. You can print two pages on one A4 paper and have the kids complete the activity. They trace the letters on the pumpkin and then write each letter in the box. Then, they try to make a word from the letters they found.

“Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie” by Jill Esbaum

As we delve deeper into the enchanting world of Thanksgiving stories, we encounter “Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie” by Jill Esbaum—a delightful exploration of the pumpkin life cycle.

Esbaum’s book is a captivating journey from seed to scrumptious pie, tracing the fascinating transformation of a tiny seed into a magnificent pumpkin. The vivid illustrations and descriptive text take young readers on a visual and educational adventure, from planting the seed in spring to watching it grow into a vine, blossoming into a flower, and ultimately forming a plump pumpkin ready for harvest.

Through this engaging narrative, children learn about the different stages of a pumpkin’s growth, grasping the concept of life cycles in a way that’s both entertaining and informative. Esbaum skillfully weaves in simple yet evocative language, making complex concepts accessible and engaging for young minds.

“Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie” is an invaluable addition to Thanksgiving-themed reading lists, offering a hands-on exploration of nature’s cycles and the bounties that grace our holiday tables. It not only educates about the life cycle of a pumpkin but also instills an appreciation for nature’s wonders, making it a perfect read for both the classroom and home during the Thanksgiving season.

Next on our journey through Thanksgiving tales, let’s explore the heartwarming adventure of “Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving.”

“Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving” by Kimberly and James Dean

In the realm of beloved children’s books, Pete the Cat reigns as a charming and lovable character. This time, Pete takes young readers on a special journey back in time to experience the very first Thanksgiving.

Kimberly and James Dean’s delightful tale brings Pete the Cat into the heart of the Pilgrim’s story, offering a kid-friendly introduction to the origins of Thanksgiving. Through Pete’s playful and inquisitive nature, children witness the excitement and camaraderie as the Pilgrims and Native Americans come together for a feast of gratitude and friendship.

With its signature catchy rhymes and vibrant illustrations, “Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving” engages young readers in an accessible and entertaining way. As Pete navigates this historic event, children not only learn about the significance of Thanksgiving but also absorb the values of friendship, sharing, and appreciation for diversity.

This book serves as a wonderful educational tool for introducing the historical context of Thanksgiving to children, fostering a deeper understanding of the holiday beyond its modern-day celebrations. Through Pete’s adventures, kids embark on a journey through time, celebrating unity and the spirit of gratitude.

Next in our exploration of Thanksgiving stories is the delightful anticipation of “The Night Before Thanksgiving.”

“The Night Before Thanksgiving” by Natasha Wing

As the holiday spirit fills the air, Natasha Wing invites us into the spirited anticipation of Thanksgiving Eve with “The Night Before Thanksgiving.” In this playful and rhythmic story, Wing captures the excitement that precedes the big feast, echoing the classic cadence of “The Night Before Christmas.”

Through the lively rhymes and engaging illustrations, young readers join a group of spirited children as they embark on a farm visit, reveling in the anticipation of Thanksgiving Day. From animal encounters and hayrides to the joys of cooking and family gatherings, the book brims with the infectious energy and enthusiasm of holiday preparations.

Wing’s storytelling weaves together elements of tradition and togetherness, inviting children to relish in the anticipation and festivities surrounding Thanksgiving. The book serves as a delightful primer, igniting excitement and setting the stage for the beloved holiday celebration.

“The Night Before Thanksgiving” is not just a story; it’s an invitation to share in the joy and anticipation that precedes the holiday, capturing the essence of family, gratitude, and the warmth of gathering together.

Moving forward on our journey through Thanksgiving tales, let’s explore the heartfelt message of “Thanksgiving Is For Giving Thanks.”

“Thanksgiving Is For Giving Thanks” by Margaret Sutherland

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, Margaret Sutherland’s “Thanksgiving Is For Giving Thanks” serves as a poignant reminder of the true essence of Thanksgiving—expressing gratitude.

Through simple yet profound prose, the book eloquently conveys the importance of appreciating life’s blessings. It gently guides young readers through various everyday moments, highlighting reasons to be thankful, from family and friends to nature’s beauty and the joy of shared meals.

Sutherland’s narrative, accompanied by Sonja Lamut’s charming illustrations, beautifully captures the essence of gratitude. It encourages children to pause and reflect on the abundance of blessings in their lives, fostering an attitude of thankfulness that transcends the holiday season.

This book is a heartfelt invitation to instill the value of gratitude in young hearts, emphasizing that Thanksgiving is not just a day of feasting but a time for acknowledging and appreciating the richness of life’s gifts.

Stay tuned as we venture into the captivating journey of “Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden” next on our Thanksgiving book exploration.

“Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden” by George Levenson

In “Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden” by George Levenson, young readers are taken on a captivating journey that celebrates the life cycle of a pumpkin. This beautifully illustrated book invites children to witness the magical transformation of a seed into a vibrant pumpkin.

Through vivid photography and lyrical text, Levenson narrates the story of a pumpkin’s growth, from seed planting to sprouting, blooming, and finally forming the iconic pumpkin. Along this journey, readers gain insight into the intricate stages of growth and the interconnectedness of nature.

The book not only educates children about the life cycle of a pumpkin but also imparts valuable lessons about the importance of nurturing and respecting the environment. It fosters an appreciation for the wonders of nature and the beauty of growth and change.

“Pumpkin Circle” is a visual delight that engages young minds, offering a unique perspective on the natural world. It’s an excellent resource for classrooms and homes, providing an engaging way to learn about plant life and the bounties of the harvest season.

Next on our journey through Thanksgiving tales, let’s discover the comical antics of a clever turkey in “Turkey Trouble.”

“Turkey Trouble” by Wendi Silvano

In “Turkey Trouble” by Wendi Silvano, readers are introduced to a clever and resourceful turkey named Turkey. As Thanksgiving approaches, Turkey realizes that his fate might involve more than just gobbling up delicious treats—he might end up as the main course!

Determined to avoid becoming Thanksgiving dinner, Turkey hatches a humorous and ingenious plan: disguising himself as other animals on the farm. From trying on various costumes to adopting different farm animal personas, Turkey’s antics bring laughter and delight as he attempts to outsmart the farmer.

Wendi Silvano’s delightful storytelling, coupled with Lee Harper’s lively and expressive illustrations, creates an entertaining tale that tickles the funny bones of both children and adults. The book not only entertains with its comical scenarios but also subtly highlights themes of problem-solving, creativity, and the value of thinking outside the box.

“Turkey Trouble” serves as a wonderful addition to Thanksgiving-themed stories, offering a fun and engaging way to approach the holiday while celebrating the spirit of cleverness and ingenuity.

As our Thanksgiving book journey continues, let’s now uncover the adventure of “The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim.”

“The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim” by Jeffrey Burton

“The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim” by Jeffrey Burton takes young readers on a delightful adventure, reimagining the classic nursery rhyme of the itsy bitsy spider in a Thanksgiving setting. This charming book introduces children to the story of a determined itsy bitsy pilgrim making its way through the holiday season.

With vibrant illustrations and playful rhymes, Burton weaves a tale that follows the itsy bitsy pilgrim as it navigates Thanksgiving preparations. From baking pies to gathering with family and giving thanks, the itsy bitsy pilgrim encounters various festive activities, capturing the essence of the holiday in a whimsical and relatable manner.

The book not only entertains but also introduces young readers to the customs and traditions associated with Thanksgiving. Through the familiar tune of the nursery rhyme, children are immersed in the excitement and warmth of the holiday, celebrating the joy of togetherness and gratitude.

“The Itsy Bitsy Pilgrim” is a delightful addition to Thanksgiving-themed literature, blending the familiar melody of the itsy bitsy spider with the spirit of Thanksgiving, creating a memorable and engaging reading experience for little ones.

Next on our Thanksgiving book journey, let’s venture into the heartwarming world of “The Berenstain Bears and The Prize Pumpkin.”

“The Berenstain Bears and The Prize Pumpkin” by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Join the beloved Bear family in their festive Thanksgiving adventure in “The Berenstain Bears and The Prize Pumpkin.” Written by the iconic duo Stan and Jan Berenstain, this heartwarming tale follows the lovable Bear family as they immerse themselves in the spirit of the season.

As Thanksgiving approaches, Papa Bear enthusiastically prepares to enter the local pumpkin contest. His dedication to growing the perfect pumpkin for the contest leads to humorous mishaps and family bonding along the way. The story beautifully portrays the importance of perseverance, teamwork, and embracing imperfections.

Through the Berenstain Bears’ endearing antics and engaging illustrations, children learn valuable lessons about the significance of family, cooperation, and the joy of participating, regardless of the outcome. The book not only captures the excitement of Thanksgiving activities but also imparts essential values about determination and the true meaning of success.

“The Berenstain Bears and The Prize Pumpkin” is a delightful addition to Thanksgiving-themed literature, offering a warm and relatable story that resonates with families. Its charming narrative and vibrant illustrations make it a cherished read-aloud, emphasizing the importance of celebrating togetherness and the spirit of the season.

As our Thanksgiving book journey continues, let’s uncover the magic of “Thanksgiving on Thursday” from the celebrated Magic Tree House series.

“Thanksgiving on Thursday” by Mary Pope Osborne

In “Thanksgiving on Thursday” by Mary Pope Osborne, Jack and Annie embark on another thrilling adventure through time, courtesy of the Magic Tree House. This time, the magical siblings journey back to the year 1621 to experience the very first Thanksgiving celebration with the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans.

As Jack and Annie navigate their way through history, they immerse themselves in the preparations for the iconic feast, learning about the hardships and triumphs faced by the Pilgrims. Through Osborne’s captivating storytelling, young readers are transported back in time, experiencing the significance of gratitude and unity that shaped the historic event.

The book seamlessly blends educational content with an engaging narrative, providing insights into the history of the Thanksgiving holiday while sparking curiosity and imagination. The Magic Tree House series uniquely combines adventure, history, and exploration, making learning an exciting and immersive experience.

“Thanksgiving on Thursday” serves as an educational tool that introduces children to the historical context of Thanksgiving in a captivating and accessible manner. With vivid descriptions and relatable characters, Osborne brings history to life, offering a glimpse into the past while celebrating the essence of Thanksgiving.

As our journey through Thanksgiving tales draws to a close, let’s reflect on the diverse stories and lessons these books bring, embracing the spirit of gratitude, family, and the rich tapestry of traditions that define this cherished holiday.



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