5 Books For Thanksgiving

Our top recommendations for 2022

By Amanda Elshahawi, Creator, Enchanted Literacy November 15, 2022

    With Thanksgiving a week away, I wanted to share a few of my favorite Thanksgiving books with you! In a season where commercialism soon tries to turn our attentions and hearts to want more and have an inward focus, I do all I can to help teach my kids to focus outward. Thanksgiving is a great start to look at what’s around us with a grateful heart and begin to share with others. No matter how you celebrate, and we find that neighbor to neighbor we all have our own traditions, we can all join in a spirit of kindness and generosity.

Duck For Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules

Recommended Ages 4-8 years

“It's almost Thanksgiving, and Tuyet is excited about the holiday and the vacation from school. There's just one problem: her Vietnamese American family is having duck for Thanksgiving dinner - not turkey!” Young Tuyet is on a mission to do Thanksgiving the way she thinks it’s supposed to happen. Through this heartwarming story she learns a few things, families have different traditions but what connects them all is their hearts and coming together to celebrate!

I have been fortunate enough to sit at many different tables to share a Thanksgiving meal, and I love identifying and experiencing the uniqueness that each table spread brings! This is a great tale to read to your class or children and talk about different traditions that your family does around the table.  

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet

Recommended Ages 4 years and up

Many of us in the city are lucky to experience the Thanksgiving Parade in person, and the rest of us have likely watched it with friends and family from the TV set. A staple in my household growing up. This non-fiction picture book is a fun way to learn about the history of those giant characters flying through the streets of New York. “Tony Sarg, a self-taught immigrant with a fascinating imagination” is behind the magic of the floating puppets. This book is worth the read for the history, illustrations and educational fun.

Peyton Picks the Perfect Pie by America's Test Kitchen Kids 

Recommended Ages 3-9

Peyton is one of the most relatable characters I’ve read about. A particular eater who likes to try new things but has preferences when it comes to food. As her family prepares to host a thanksgiving meal Peyton greets each of her friends and family who all bring unique pies to share. A great book to read for those young ones who get overwhelmed by all the new food on the table over the holidays. With inclusive illustrations, a lovable family, this story gets an all-around five stars and a recommendation for your upcoming reads.

The Firefighters Thanksgiving by Maribeth Boelts, Illustrated by Terry Widener

Recommended Ages 3-8

As the firefighters plan for a shared Thanksgiving meal they are also doing what they do best, fighting fires. Every time the bell rings we see them drop their knives and unbaked bread to rush off to help those in need. Toward the end of the night, a firefighter gets hurt, and we see how the team and community come together to celebrate and take care of one another.

Harvest Days by Kate DePalma, Illustrated by Martina Peluso

Recommended Ages 4-10

“Explore harvest festivals from around the globe! Lyrical, rhyming text and lush, detailed artwork from Italian artist Martina Peluso immerse young readers in some of the most ancient traditions in the world. Nine pages of rich, educational endnotes dive deep with more information about the 12 cultures explored in the book and invite young readers to ask questions about food and the labor that produces it.”

    For other ways to get together and practice thankfulness, you can go on a sensory walk. In your house, neighborhood or park walk around and notice the things you are. What can you see, hear, smell, touch and taste that you are thankful for? This practice is a great way to ground you and help bring a tangible realization of thankfulness to your kids! Happy Thanksgiving!

Amanda is a preschool teacher, mother and avid Central Park picnicker. She values community and is an advocate for families in the foster care system. One day she hopes to publish a children's book of her own. In the meantime, you can follow her Instagram, Enchanted Literacy, which encourages imagination and passion for reading.