You guys, I love Christmas. Love. It. I won’t tell you how many VERY LARGE bins of decorations I have, or how many traditions I attempt to foist upon my family, but believe me when I say there are a lot. Of all of it.
I also love Thanksgiving! And I have too many turkey decorations to just skip over this holiday for Christmas. Growing up, it was our biggest family holiday, and it continues to be that way. It now includes my family, my husband’s family, and any random friends that happen to need a place to go on Thanksgiving. The food is the best (my mom could take down Martha Stewart any day), the kids have a great time, and some years it’s even cold enough for a fire in the fireplace. (60 degrees or below if we’re hoping for a holiday fire!)
So in honor of the holiday that everyone seems to skip over in order to start decorating for Christmas, I’m going to share some of our favorite Thanksgiving books to read, as well as some new ones that I’ll be adding to our collection. I’ll probably also be sharing some of my many stuffed turkeys on Instagram over the next couple of weeks, so if you want to see just how many I actually have, head over there!
This isn’t a Thanksgiving book, but it might as well be. This is one I grew up reading, and it’s all about Mrs. Hedgehog and her forest friends, the trouble they get into, and the food they make. And somehow, she makes even dandelions sound delicious. I love reading this with my kids in the fall!
By now, you know that we love the Berenstain Bears, and every year we read this one right before Thanksgiving. Papa Bear decides he’s going to outdo the farmer next door and grow the biggest pumpkin in Bear Country. As you can imagine, things don’t go as planned, and it’s a fun story to read! (Both of my boys still love it.)
If you have elementary or middle school age kids, this one is great! Jack and Annie are transported back to 1621 for the very first Thanksgiving. They want to help out, but they don’t know how to do things the way the Pilgrims did. They learn what the Pilgrims actually ate back then (not turkey), get an interesting visit from Squanto, and learn what it means to work together.
I got this years ago from a Scholastic book order form, and I still insist on reading it every year. It’s perfect for young kids and great for early readers. There are cute illustrations, and some funny parts about certain family members (grandma falls asleep), and of course there’s a big finale with the final meal!
This is a really fun book for younger kids about a group of turkeys who get into mischief on a train ride. The illustrations are really cute (I do love turkeys), and it’s a fun one to read out loud since it’s written in verse.
If your kids love Olivia (like mine used to), they’ll love her Thanksgiving book! She’s convinced she can “talk turkey” and tries to convince her parents that a turkey would make a great pet. If you can find the TV episode that this is based on, it would be fun to watch and read!
Do your kids love Pete the Cat? Ours do, and I have to say it’s one of the more fun books to read out loud. In this one, Pete is in the school play about the first Thanksgiving, and as usual, he uses his groovy ways to make it interesting! (There are also flaps with fun pictures hidden underneath.)
My 6-year-old LOVES this series, and I’m going to get this one for our collection this year! She swallows many things, including a turkey, a football, and a boat. This old lady must have an iron stomach to continue surviving this series.
This is for older kids (9 or 10 and up), and if you have a kid who loves history, this is for them. It’s a fun way for kids to find out how the pilgrims really celebrated (or didn’t celebrate) Thanksgiving, and what the true history of Thanksgiving is.
This is such a fantastic book series, and so far I’ve loved every one we’ve read. It’s for older kids (8 and up) but I think it would be ok to read to younger kiddos as well. It’s a really great way for kids to learn about the pilgrims, Thanksgiving, the Wampanoag tribe, and how our Thanksgiving celebrations have changed throughout history.