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Thanksgiving books for the kids - recommendations from a children's librarian.

Thanksgiving Books for the Kids

It’s been a while since we’ve let our children’s librarian, Janssen, do her thing. So get your library cards out, here are her picks for the the books that will get your kids super excited for Turkey Day this year. If you’re looking for a couple more Thanksgiving recommendations, check out these on her blog.)

With kids, it’s sometimes easy for Thanksgiving to get lost in the shuffle. Halloween is such a kid-centric holiday and then Christmas is, indisputably, the biggest holiday of them all – at least in the United States. Sandwiched between the two, Thanksgiving can be almost entirely forgotten.

But, even though the selection of books for children around Thanksgiving is slimmer than for either Halloween or Christmas  (I’ll admit, my living room Halloween book display was much more impressive than my current Thanksgiving one), there are still some stellar books for the season. (

Check out these six winners:

  1. Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet. This is, hands down, my favorite Thanksgiving book. Melissa Sweet does such amazing illustrations, and in this book, you really get to see her top-tier research and writing abilities on display. The Macy’s Parade is such a Thanksgiving staple, but I had no idea how it’d all come about. Reading this book made it even more magical for me.
  2. One is a Feast for a Mouse by Judy Cox and Jeffrey Ebbeler. This is a sweet and funny little book about a mouse who, when the humans finish their Thanksgiving feast, sneaks out to gather a feast of his own. But he’s not the only creature lurking about the table.
  3. Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson and Matt Faulkner. Sarah Hale was worried that Thanksgiving Day observance was dying out. Over the next 38 years, she wrote to five presidents in a row, relentlessly trying to convince them to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. Finally, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln responded positively to her letters. The text and illustrations make this book vibrant, interesting, and even funny. A complete winner.
  4. In November by Cynthia Rylant.  This gorgeous book celebrates November, indoors and out, from aniamls preparing to hibernate to friends and family gathering together for Thanksgiving.
  5. . . . If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern and Anna DiVito. If you’ve wondered what life looked like for the Pilgrims even before they celebrated the first Thanksgiving, this is the book for you. It’s a great introduction to early American history and perfect for a little background to a holiday that’s not just about pumpkin pie and turkey (although, I love both of those things too).
  6. Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon. This rhyming book, with cloth feathers, is perfect for the littlest Thanksgiving celebrator.

*post contains affiliate links.

P.S. If you’re really looking to have the holidays in the bag this year, check out our new eBook, Hands-On Holidays, packed with low-prep and low-stress ideas for make memories crafting, cooking, reading and adventuring with the kids!



P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and save time so you can connect with your family? Follow these 3 steps:

1) Check out our "Save Your Spring" bundle: over 50 pages of 2015 daily/weekly/monthly planners, cleaning schedules, meal planners, kids’ routine charts, budgeting sheets and much more PLUS 84 pages of kid activities perfect for spring break!

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2) Sign up for our newsletter:

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3) Bookmark our famous Gift Guides for the next time you need the perfect kids' gift! (350+ detailed descriptions including age recommendations)

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Janssen is a former librarian and avid reader who is always maxing out her library card. She now stays at home with her two-year-old daughter (with another girl on the way) and blogs about books for readers of all ages, her favorite recipes, and parenting adventures at Everyday Reading.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky November 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm

For the little ones, I also like Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell. It’s a counting book. It doesn’t explicitly mention Thanksgiving, but it seems like the family is preparing for something like Thanksgiving, and it’s just adorable.


Steph (MPMK Founder) November 15, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Thanks for the suggestion Becky!


Cath @ Where the Watermelons Grow November 26, 2013 at 1:27 am

I love Thank You, Sarah! What a sweet story, one you don’t hear often.

I loved It’s Thanksgiving by Jack Prelutsky (Children’s Poet Laureate). The rhymes in it linger in your head. I used to beg my mom to read it as a child and now I read it to my own daughter and hardly need to look at the page. :)


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