Reading books aloud is a great way to teach your kids and create warm memories at the same time! With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, here are some of our favorite books about the holiday, the Pilgrims, Native Americans and more. Some are funny while some are more serious. But they’re all excellent Thanksgiving books for preschoolers.
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Thanksgiving Books for Kids
1 – Pilgrim Cat by Carol Antoinette Peacock
This book is about a young Pilgrim, Faith Barrett, and a stray cat that she finds on the Mayflower. Together they face the long, cramped voyage and the perils of the first winter at the Plymouth colony.
2 – Thanksgiving Day Alphabet by Beverly Barras Vidrine
This ABC book presents an alphabet of words inspired by events, people, and places related to the holiday. A great way to be sure your children are familiar with the various aspects of Thanksgiving while reinforcing the alphabet at the same time.
3 – Priscilla Alden and the First Thanksgiving by Alice Benjamin Boynton
This book describes how Priscilla Alden came to the New World with the other Pilgrims, helped settle the colony of New Plymouth, and celebrated the first Thanksgiving.
4 – The Amazing Turkey Rescue by Steve Metzger
When a fox is spotted prowling around the henhouse, the turkeys smell trouble. Can they help the chickens fly the coop before it is too late?
5 – Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey’s Cautionary Tale by Mary Jane and Herm Auch
Beauty and her friends think Lance is the most conceited bird in the hen yard. From the moment the turkey arrives on the farm, he spends his time swaggering boasting that he is the only bird invited to a special feast. But when Beauty accidentally discovers just what kind of guest Lance will be at the feast she attempts to come up with a plan to save Lance before it’s too late!
6 – Indian Two Feet and the ABC Moose Hunt by Margaret Friskey
A young Indian goes hunting for his first moose!
7 – The Boy Who Loved Morning by Shannon K. Jacobs
A Native American tale about a boy who learns that he can summon the morning sun by playing his flute. But until he uses his power wisely, he will remain nameless.
8 – The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
The true story of young Sarah Noble and her father traveling through the wilderness to build a new home for their family. “Keep up your courage, Sarah Noble,” her mother had said, but Sarah found that it was not always easy to feel brave inside. The dark woods were full of animals and Indians, too, and Sarah was only eight! As she cares for her father and befriends her Indian neighbors, she learns that to be afraid and to be brave is the greatest courage of all.
9 – David’s Little Indian: A Story by Margaret Wise Brown
David finds a real pocket-sized Indian deep in the woods, and together they find something very special in each new day.
10 – Turtle’s Race With Beaver by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey
A Traditional Seneca story, this charming fable of brains versus brawn is a great read.
11 – Sometimes It’s Turkey – Sometimes It’s Feathers by Lorna Balian
Mrs. Gumm finds a turkey egg and raises the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, but things do not go according to plan.
12 – Over the River and Through the Wood by Lydia Maria Child
13 – Albuquerque Turkey by B. G. Ford
The heartwarming friendship between a man and his pet turkey. As the holiday approaches, and the man begins to shop and cook, Albuquerque starts to get nervous. Will he end up as dinner?
14 – Squanto and the First Thanksgiving by Teresa Celsi
A favorite of Thanksgiving books, this is a simple biography of the Wampanoag Indian who helped the Pilgrims survive in their early days in the Plymouth colony.
15 – Friendship’s First Thanksgiving by William Accorsi
Friendship, a Pilgrim dog, celebrates the first Thanksgiving. The story of the Pilgrims is told from the dog’s viewpoint.
16 – The Great Turkey Race by Steve Metzger
Ollie the turkey hears the farmers talking about the Thanksgiving turkey. Ollie, Wing, and Cassie decide to have a field day to prove to the farmers who should be chosen as the “special” turkey for Thanksgiving. They are all wanting to win until they figure out that the special turkey means you will get eaten.
17 – One Tough Turkey: A Thanksgiving Story by Steven Kroll
Recounts the “real story” of the first Thanksgiving when the Pilgrims pursued such tough turkeys for dinner that they had to settle for squash.
18 – The First Strawberries by Joseph Bruchac
A Cherokee Legend which explains how strawberries came to be.
19 – A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
The turkeys around Squawk Valley have gotten smart and have forced the townspeople to hatch a clever plan. They host a turkey-themed Arts and Crafts Fair and lure a vain bird into town by advertising for an artist’s model. See what happens when Peter the Turkey, proud of his well-stuffed form, comes to town.
20 – Run, Turkey Run by Diane Mayr
With Thanksgiving only one day away, can Turkey find a place to hide from the farmer who’s looking for a plump bird for his family feast? This is one of my favorite simple Thanksgiving books!
21 – Thanksgiving in the White House by Gary Hines
President Abraham Lincoln’s youngest son, Tad, is very fond of Jack the turkey. He has tamed him and taught him tricks, and the bird follows him all around the White House yard. But Jack was meant to be the main dish of the first official Thanksgiving celebration. Tad doesn’t want his pet to be eaten for dinner, not even for a day as special as Thanksgiving! Can he convince his father to save Jack’s life?”
22 – Turk and Runt by Lisa Wheeler
Turk’s parents are proud of him, the biggest, strongest, most graceful bird at Wishbone Farm. “He’s a dancer,” says his mother. “He’s an athlete,” says his father. “He’s a goner,” says his little brother, Runt.
23 – Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin
Every year Grandmother invited a guest for Thanksgiving dinner and allowed Maggie to do the same. “Ask someone poor or lonely,” she always said. But she wasn’t happy to find out Maggie had invited the unsavory Mr. Whiskers to dinner.
I hope you enjoy these books! Any other family Thanksgiving books you would like to recommend? Please leave a comment below!