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10 Great Read-Aloud Books About Thanksgiving

mom reading to her daughter by a cozy fire
Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to learn about thankfulness, Pilgrims, and turkeys. Bond with your family this holiday by enjoying these funny, thoughtful, and inspiring books together.

Looking for ways to squeeze in storytime during the chaos of cooking, traveling, and entertaining family? Set aside time during dessert to read aloud to the entire family. Bring a few books on the plane or long car rides. Or read a Thanksgiving-themed book before bed during the holiday week.

With these books, you’re bound to laugh, hug, and remember what’s really important—spending time with family.

The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh

If you’re looking to sprinkle in a bit of history with storytime, then this book is for you!

This story follows one family’s brave journey across the ocean aboard the cramped Mayflower. Watch as they struggle with hunger, cold, and hardship in the New World, determined to persevere against all the odds.

The family is forever grateful when the Native Americans step forward to offer a helping hand. Together they have a marvelous feast to celebrate the successful November harvest. Thus the tradition of Thanksgiving is born.

There are five chapters, with delightful illustrations on most pages. This book is best for ages 5+.

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey

An entertaining story about a group of children visiting a farm, meeting Farmer Mack, and eventually saving all eight turkeys from ending up on the Thanksgiving dinner table. The tone and cadence of this story are similar to the traditional ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and is bound to spark excitement in children of all ages.

It’s important to note that this book has a vegetarian theme, but not so strong that meat-eaters can’t enjoy reading it.

That said, some parents have reported that their children refused to touch their turkey dinner after hearing it. Either save the story for after dinner or have a vegetarian main dish prepared—just in case.

Clifford’s Thanksgiving Visit by Norman Bridwell

A classic story with the adorable, lovable, oversized Clifford the Dog! He goes to visit his mom in the city—who is a miniature version of himself and can actually sit on his nose!

He even sees a life-sized Clifford balloon floating by in the Macy’s parade. What fun!

This book shows Thanksgiving the way we all imagine it—with food, family, friends, and tons of fun! Suitable for ages 2+ or anyone who loves Clifford the Dog.

Pete the Cat—The First Thanksgiving by Kimberly & James Dean

Learn all about Thanksgiving through the eyes of Pete the Cat as he stars in his school’s play!

This book includes some key historical aspects of how Thanksgiving came to be, such as mentioning the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and the first Thanksgiving.

It’s nice to have a reason as to why we gorge ourselves silly on Thanksgiving, right?

Tons of cool lift-the-flaps reveal fun surprises and keep little hands busy. This is definitely a holiday favorite for kids.

Too Many Turkeys by Linda White

Belle’s garden is suddenly transformed into the most beautiful one in town, but what’s her secret? It has something to do with a lost turkey who stumbled onto her and Fred’s farm.

But then it gets crazy when Belle leaves town—hundreds of turkeys arrive, taking over the farm. Will Belle’s garden be destroyed by all these turkeys? Can Fred convince the neighbors to take them?

A truly delightful Thanksgiving tale for all ages to enjoy.

Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Marks

We all know that the real reason for Thanksgiving—besides copious amounts of food and scrumptious pie—is to give thanks.

We want our children to learn about compassion, gratitude, and kindness. But where do we start?

This book is all about life’s sweet pleasures, whether it’s a delicious turkey, warm hugs, or spending time with family. Take a moment to appreciate everything good in your life with this thoughtful and meaningful book.

Just a Special Thanksgiving by Mercer Mayer

Join the cute Little Critter as he performs in the school play, watches a parade, enjoys a surprise dinner with the entire community and gets plenty of family time in.

This book doesn’t explicitly talk about the true meaning of Thanksgiving, but we see Little Critter being helpful—such as volunteering at the community center.

Overall, it shows how important it is to help and be compassionate towards others. Plus, the book comes with a sheet of stickers. Who doesn’t love stickers?

Setting the Turkeys Free by W. Nikola-Lisa

In this imaginative story, a young boy makes charming turkeys using his handprint, sparkles, sequins, and sweet drawings. Suddenly the turkeys have a life of their own, but Foxy the fox is after them!

Watch as he works hard to keep the turkeys protected from danger in this heart-warming story.

Afterward, pull out your craft supplies and have your children make their own turkey drawings, starting with their handprint. You can hang them on the wall, or use them to make cards. Read 10 Easy Thanksgiving Crafts to Make with Your Kids for more ideas.

Gobble Gobble Mr. Wobble by Becky Cummings

Mr. Wobble, the turkey, is excited when he discovers that Farmer Joe is “having him for dinner!” He prepares for the big day by styling his gobbler, practicing enthusiastic gobbles, and going to bed early.

His friends on the farm are quite worried, but Mr. Wobble doesn’t get it. He’s going to Thanksgiving dinner—with the humans!

Spoiler: Mr. Wobble doesn’t get eaten! Instead, he ends up as the farmer’s guest of honor. This is another vegetarian-themed story, perfect for all the meat-eaters out there.

The Perfect Thanksgiving by Eileen Spinelli

A humorous book that shows the stark contrast between families—one creating the most perfect Thanksgiving dinner and the other having everything fall apart.

The book continues to bounce back and forth between the “perfect” family’s bountiful dinner, and the “not-so-perfect” family’s disastrous dinner.

But what do both families have in common? Laughter, gratitude, and love. In the end, it helps children learn that no family is perfect, not even during special holidays such as Thanksgiving.

Sharing books and stories is a great way to celebrate the essence of Thanksgiving. Hopefully, these books will help bring your family closer together this holiday season. Don’t forget; you’re never too old to enjoy a good story. So don’t forget to invite Grandma and Grandpa to join in on the storytime fun.

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »
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