Favorite Thanksgiving Picture Books

IMG_3840We adore picture books around our house, especially when they are themed around the upcoming holiday season. Today, I wanted to share some of our favorite Thanksgiving picture books that will be enjoyed by all ages! Many of these you can find at the library, but some of them you’ll really want to add to your family collection to pull out year after year.

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin – this by far our all-time favorite Thanksgiving book! I highly recommend you add to your collection. A delightful story of welcoming the outcast. 1971 classic returned to print. This book also includes a fabulous recipe for Cranberry Bread on the back cover that is really incredible. We made it for neighbors and friends last Christmas and received no end to complements on it.

Over the River and Through the Woods – by Lydia Child – This is a lovely fun poem that is compiled in a beautiful picture book. Find a recording online and enjoy singing this engaging poem. My children have requested we memorize this poem for the month of November.

Sharing the Bread: An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Story – by Pat Zietlow Miller – This is another one of our favorites as it emphasizes the beauty of celebrating with family and how a family works together in preparing for the celebration. Delightful!


The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh – In this festive Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, Alice Dalgiesh brings to life the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday for readers of all ages. If you want just one book on the history of the first Thanksgiving, then pick this one to add to your shelf.

Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation (Time Traveling Twins) by Diane Stanley – My kids beg for this one every year. Join the time traveling twins and Grandma as they head back in time to learn about the first Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation. Fun and engaging!

The Very First Thanksgiving Day - Greene, Rhonda Gowler – A simple but lovely rhyming account of the first thanksgiving.

Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving  by Joseph Bruchac – I love this re-telling of the story of Squanto and how he helped make the first thanksgiving possible. Another good title option is Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas.

Sarah Gives Thanks (how thanksgiving became a national holiday) by Mike Allegra – A fascinating account about how Thanksgiving became a national holiday and the courageous woman behind it. Another good version of the same story is Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Saying Grace: A Prayer of Thanksgiving – Virginia Kroll – A Christian fictional account of a young pilgrim girl and how her family learned to say thanks.

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving – Louisa May Alcott (illustrated by Jody Wheeler) – this is a sweet picture book adaption of Louisa May Alcott’s classic. The abridged edition illustrated by James Bernardin is also a lovely version.

The Pumpkin Patch Parable – by Liz Curtis Higgs – A fun story about shining your light in the harvest season.

P is for Pumpkin: God’s Harvest Alphabet by Kathy-jo Wargin – a rhyming alphabet themed book highlighting different themes of the Thanksgiving/Fall season.

Give Thanks to the Lord – Karma Wilson – A lovely book based upon Psalms 92.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving books?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

7 Responses to Favorite Thanksgiving Picture Books

  1. Gina October 25, 2016 at 7:10 am #

    I LOVE these book recommendations! There are several here that I am unfamiliar with, I will definitely be checking these out. One book I love to read in the fall (it is not a Thanksgiving theme) is Ox Cart Man. The paintings are gorgeous and I love hardworking/planning/family work themes.

  2. Melissa Rank October 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm #


    Thank you! Thank you! As this is our kids’ first Thanksgiving in America, and first year with a library card, I was itching to find some special books. I have put almost all of these on hold at our library. I am so looking forward to snuggling up and sharing these with my girls next month!

    • Lindsay October 19, 2016 at 5:20 am #

      So fun for your family Melissa! Enjoy!

  3. HeatherH October 18, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    Yes! We have read most of these books to our children for over 20 years! I still have my original Cranberry Thanksgiving from when I was 4 yeawrs old!
    I have two other recommendations that we’ve gotten out every year. “Sarah Morton’s Day” and “Samuel Eaton’s Day.” I would highy recommend purchasing the earliest copyright date for these books, pre-Scholastic publishers, but if this is all you can find, that’s fine too! The pictures are life-like and they’re just such wonderful books to read with your kiddos!

    God bless!

  4. Alana October 17, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

    Your blog is SO helpful and a great resource. I’m thankful that you are sharing your homeschool journey.

    Thank you for sharing these books! I like all of Alice Dalgliesh’s books. I am adding Cranberry Thanksgiving to my amazon list.

    Thanksgiving Poems by Myra Livingston (it is out of print, but can get it used) is the only other Thanksgiving book we own, which is a great collection of poems – illustrations are good. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2733751-thanksgiving-poems

    I do like Gail Gibbons’s The Pumpkin book.

    • Lindsay October 17, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

      Thanks for the Thanksgiving poetry recommendation! I love finding good poetry books.

  5. Laura October 17, 2016 at 9:28 am #

    I LOVE lists like these! Thank you so much!