Thematic Reading List: 10 Thanksgiving Family-Themed Picture Books


Thanksgiving picture book lists typically include a mixture of books about the first Thanksgiving, turkeys trying to escape becoming dinner, and dinner mishaps. For this year’s Thanksgiving list, we focus on the dynamic of the family get-together. Enjoy these 10 picture book recommendations about the most stressful dinner of the year.

Apple-Cake-A-Gratitude-by-Dawn-Casey-9780711247796 Apple Cake: a gratitude
By: Dawn Casey
Illustrated by: Genevieve Godbout

In this simple rhyming story, a child says thank you for the gifts nature provides, from hazelnuts in the hedge to apples from the tree, eggs from the hens to milk from the cow. Eventually, the family has enough ingredients to make something special… a delicious apple cake! Since this book involves the autumn tradition of apple picking and gathering with family and friends, it is an excellent addition to Thanksgiving reads.
9781930900639 Cranberry Thanksgiving
By: Wende and Harry Devlin

Grandmother almost loses her secret recipe for cranberry bread to one of the guests she and Maggie invite for Thanksgiving dinner. Includes the secret recipe.
9780807517345 Duck for Turkey Day
By: Jacqueline Jules

When Tuyet finds out that her Vietnamese family is having duck rather than turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, she is upset until she finds out that other children in her class did not eat turkey either.
9780439769877_p0_v1_s600x595 Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey
By: Joy Cowley
Illustrated by: Joe Cepeda

Trouble ensues when Papa gets Miguel a turkey to fatten up for Thanksgiving, and Miguel develops an attachment to it.
9780763663063 The Great Thanksgiving Escape
By: Mark Fearing
It’s another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. Gavin expects a long day of boredom and being pestered by distantly related toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it – out of the kids’ room to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn’t so sure, especially when they encounter vicious guard dogs (in homemade sweaters), a hallway full of overly affectionate aunts, and worse yet, the great wall of butts! Will they manage to avoid the obstacles and find some fun before turkey time? Or will they be captured before they’ve had a taste of freedom?
9780823419777 One is a Feast for Mouse: a Thanksgiving tale
By: Judy Cox
Illustrated by: Jeffrey Ebbeler

On Thanksgiving Day while everyone naps, Mouse spots one pea, a perfect feast, but he cannot help adding all of the fixings–until Cat spots him.
9780062363978_p0_v1_s600x595 Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’
By: Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by: Maryann Cocca-Leffler

When calamity stalks every step of the preparations for the Tappletons’ Thanksgiving dinner, they realize that there is more to Thanksgiving than turkey and trimmings.
0618240365 The Thanksgiving Door
By: Debby Atwell

After burning their Thanksgiving dinner, Ann and Ed head for the local cafe, where they are welcomed by an immigrant family into an unusual celebration that gives everyone cause to be thankful.
9780822579830 Thanksgiving Rules
By: Laurie Friedman
Illustrated by: Teresa Murfin

Young Percy Isaac Gifford provides a list of ten rules for getting the most out of Thanksgiving Day, especially how best to enjoy the buffet.
0618274669 Thank You, Thanksgiving
By: David Milgrim

While on a Thanksgiving Day errand for her mother, a girl says thank you to all the things around her.


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