Looking for a book that helps you child understand the significance of the Thanksgiving holiday?  Or maybe you're just looking for a book that follows the theme of the holiday as you gather together on Thanksgiving day.  Either way, there are lots of great Thanksgiving book that do more than just talk turkey.  Here are a few that will fit the bill:


My First Thanksgiving

by Tomie dePaolo

In just six double-page spreads and fewer than 10 sentences, dePaola manages to capture the significance of the Thanksgiving holiday and the relevance of many contemporary celebrations.

The Story of Thanksgiving

by Nancy J. Skarmeas, illustrated by Stacy Venturi-Pickett
This sturdy little board book tells the story of the first Thanksgiving -- how Pilgrims came to America on the Mayflower in search of freedom, how they landed at Plymouth Rock, and how the Native Americans taught them to plant and then joined them in a Thanksgiving feast.

Ages 4-8

Don't Know Much About The Pilgrims
by Kenneth C. Davis, Illustrated by S.D. Schindler
Kids can have fun learning about those famous men and women who inspired the Thanksgiving holiday with this easy-to-understand book. Interesting and quirky facts abound between the covers -- in fact, you will probably learn a thing or two yourself!

Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey
by Joy Cowley , illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Miguel's father gets him a turkey to fatten up for Thanksgiving, and soon the boy and bird are firmly attached. What ensues is a humorous story of Miguel's increasing attachment to the bird he nicknames Gracias. His new amiga follows him everywhere, even to Mass. Will Miguel be able to save Gracias from being seasoned and cooked? Can Papa make it home in time for the holidays? This picture book, illustrated with colorful oil paintings, offers a heartwarming narrative that captures the boy's close-knit sense of community and family.

How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story
by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Beth Peck
A family flees its native country in a small boat and lands in America on a particularly appropriate holiday ... Thanksgiving.  This story is a moving fictional representation of the perilous voyage made by the Pilgrims to reach a land of safety and freedom.

Thanksgiving at Obaachan's
by Janet Mitsui Brown
A Japanese American girl describes the Thanksgiving celebration at her grandmother's house and things that make it her favorite holiday.  The girl does not speak Japanese and her grandmother (Obaachan) does not speak English.  But their affection for each other helps them surmount the language barrier and grow closer together as family.

AGES 9-12

1621 A New Look at Thanksgiving
by Catherine O'Neill Grace, Margaret M. Bruchac with Plimoth Plantation
This book provides a well-researched account of the Wampanoag side of the Thanksgiving story, arguing that "a number of today's assumptions about that event are based more on fiction than on fact."  This book uses maps, recipes and photographs of historical reenactments to debunk the myths of Thanksgiving. 

Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl

by Kate Waters

This book tells the story of day in the life of young Sarah Morton, a historical character who was a child in early Plymouth Colony. It shows how the people lived then and how their world view differed from ours, yet it entertains at the same time.

If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620

by Ann McGovern

In lively question-and-answer style, this fact-filled book answers all sorts of questions about the Pilgrims' journey on the Mayflower and their first year in America.

Thanksgiving books for kids
Thanksgiving books for all ages that go beyond the meat and potatoes of the holiday.