If you are looking for some Thanksgiving themed books to read with your kids, I think you’ll enjoy the five I’ve selected. I’ve tried to add some variety to my recommendations. Some books tell the Thanksgiving story, one talks about the season, and others are about people who have influenced the way the day is celebrated.
Pilgrim Cat by Carol Antoinette Peacock is the story of a cat who hops aboard the Mayflower and the little girl who adopts him. The story of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving is engaginly woven into this story of child and pet. This book is idea for introducing the Thanksgiving story to younger children.
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh is a more in-depth retelling of the Pilgrims’ immigration to America, their hardships, Squanto’s help, and the first Thanksgiving. This Caldecott Honor book is better for kids with a longer attention span.
In November by Cynthia Rylant never specifically mentions Thanksgiving, but it talks about how people “travel very far on a special November day just to share a meal with one another and to give thanks for their many blessings.” It also tracks what the weather and animals are doing as fall settles in. The illustrations are in a lovely impressionistic style.
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson tells the little-known story of how Thanksgiving became a national holiday, all thanks to a tenacious woman named Sarah Hale. This book is an interesting tid-bit of history as well as an inspiring story about the power of persistence.
Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet is a charmingly illustrated (and written) book about Tony Sarg, the man you can thank for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Sarg was an interesting man, an immigrant, and a master of marionettes. This book is bound to enchant you and your kids alike.
I hope these books inspire some beautiful memories and springboard some interesting conversations with your kids this Thanksgiving!