Grateful for These: Our Favorite Thanksgiving Books (That Aren’t About Turkeys)

I’ve shared before that I’m not typically a big fan of holiday books. I am, however, a big fan of Thanksgiving as a holiday so I went on a hunt to find the best books for kids relating to gratitude and thankfulness. In the remaining days leading up to Thanksgiving (15?! How did that even happen?!), we are taking time as a family to focus on God’s blessings in our lives.

Each night during bedtime routine with Preschool Bookworm, we pray and thank God for various experiences of the day. Last night, as usual, we prayed and thanked God for our friends we had visited with, for cuddle time with stuffed animals, for time spent playing with the couch cushions, and the like. After our final amen, we were chatting and Preschool Bookworm related a memory he had created that evening with his Pop while Daddy Bookworm and I were out for date night (can we take a moment to thank God for date night, by the way?).  Preschool Bookworm excitedly shared about venturing out into the dark of the backyard with a flashlight to close the back gate that had been mistakenly left open. After he finished his tale, he said “pray for it!” He insisted that we thank God for that experience, a great oversight that we had missed it during our initial prayer time.

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I hope that the titles below encourage you and your bookworms to name specific blessings in your lives! Because these are not specifically Thanksgiving holiday books, they can be enjoyed year round! They are also not faith oriented, but more generally related to gratitude, or able to be used as a jumping off point to discussions about gratefulness.


100 Things That Make Me Happy by Amy Schwartz

Told in rhyming pairs, this book is, as the title suggests, a list of 100 things that bring joy. The list is varied and kid-centric, focusing on some tangible items, and many experiences common to children: “flip-flops, lollipops, French fries, fireflies… mud puddles, soap bubbles.” I wondered if Preschool Bookworm would grow tired of it, but he has asked for repeated readings.  I am reminded of the power of the word book: he loves books that help him add to his vocabulary, and this one provides so many relateable high interest words that we are both grateful for.

thankful book

The Thankful Book by Todd Parr

Todd Parr’s books are bright & simply told. Here he provides 22 things to be thankful for and reasons, for example, ” I am thankful for the library because it is filled with endless adventures.” True story.

bear says thanks

Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson

We love Karma Wilson’s bear books! In this installment, Bear’s friends come over one by one with platters of delicious food to share while Bear’s cupboards are bare. He is grateful for each of his friend’s offerings, but he wants to contribute something too! His friends remind him of the great gift of friendship and of storytelling. They cozy up around the fire and enjoy a meal, a story, and time spent together.


ten thank you letters

Ten Thank-You Letters by Daniel Kirk

As Pig settles in to write a thank you note for his birthday gift, Rabbit asks him to go play. Instead, Pig inspires Rabbit to write his own thank you note, which turns into… you guessed it, ten thank you letters. Text of each letter is provided along with an illustration of a variety of community helpers and family members that kids can write their own thank you notes to. I love that these are “old fashioned” letters and the characters relate their need for stamps, envelopes, and a mailbox to mail them!

before we eat from farm to table

Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson

“As we sit around this table, let’s give thanks as we are able/ to all the folks we’ll never meet who helped provide this food we eat.” So begins this rhyming book which shows the various hands involved behind the scenes in allowing a meal to come together: plowing, planting, tilling, harvesting, milking, egg gathering, fishing, packing crates, driving delivery trucks, and cashiering at the grocery store.

Titles mentioned in this post should be readily available at your local library, or at the Amazon affiliate links provided.

Keep Reading, and Happy Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for you, my readers!



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