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Best Thanksgiving books for kids and families

Thanksgiving books for kids are the perfect way to end a fun, food-filled holiday. What will you read first?


When you can't possibly have another helping of turkey or scoop of stuffing, take a load off with great Thanksgiving books for kids. After a busy afternoon of chowing down, you're going to want to unwind with a few good stories. 

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Our roundup has something for all ages—from The Night Before Thanksgiving to Junie B Jones' holiday tale. All that's left to do is find a cozy blanket and youngsters in need of a little entertainment. Happy reading! 

After you've turned the final page of those Thanksgiving books for kids, grab the whole crew for a marathon of Thanksgiving movies for kids while munching on delicious holiday desserts (perhaps some of the best hot chocolate in NYC is in order). 

Best Thanksgiving books for kids

1. The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing

Give your kids the full scoop on this fall holiday with Natasha Wing's beloved children's book. Each page is filled with details about what goes into the preparation—making delicious food, spending quality time with loved ones and of course, giving thanks before indulging in a scrumptious dinner. Ages 4–8. 

2. Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

Who doesn't love Thanksgiving? You guessed it—the turkey! (Understandably so.) In this giggle-inducing picture book, Turkey goes under cover to ensure that he doesn't end up as the main dish at the holiday dinner. Your tots will love the adventure that comes along with Turkey dodging trouble. Ages 3–7. 


3. Junie B. Jones: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff) by Barbara Park

First grade can be challenging, and Junie B is certainly feeling the struggle. She and her classmates have a holiday assignment to compile a list of things they're most thankful for this year—and there's a delicious prize awarded to the winning students. She can't quite fulfill the task...unless her teacher wouldn't mind reading a list of things she doesn't like! It's time to step up the game—after all, a pie is at stake for Room One. Ages 6–9.

4. 10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston

Teaching your tots how to read? This holiday book is the perfect way to introduce them to rhymes, numbers and a fun story as 10 big 'ol turkeys pull out all the stops during the holiday. It's a quick, entertaining read to tackle before or after dinner. Ages 3–5.


5. Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade by Melissa Sweet

No NYC Thanksgiving is complete without the Macy's parade. This story offers a behind-the-scenes peek at what it takes to put the production together. It chronicles Tony Sarg, the mastermind who first created the giant balloons for the department store way back when. Ages 4–7. 

6. Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon

Another toddler book featuring five funny turkeys doing silly things like dancing, getting chased by bees and sunbathing. Ages 2–5.


7. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas

This story follows the life of Squanto, who was kidnapped from his Patuxet village at the age of 12 by the Spanish and sold to slavery. He grows up among the monks and returns to America years later to find that his village has been wiped out by an epidemic. He relies on his faith in God and later finds himself coming to the aid of the newly settled Pilgrims who are suffering from starvation. Ages 5–10.

8. 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey

This one’s for the animal lovers. The classic Christmas poem is reworded to tell the tale of eight kids who visit a turkey farm and are horrified to learn that the turkeys will be killed for Thanksgiving feasts. The group helps the birds escape their fate and force their families to go vegetarian for Thanksgiving. Ages 3–5.


9. Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks! by Margaret Sutherland

Remember the true spirit of Thanksgiving by expressing gratitude and teaching the little ones that there’s much to be thankful for—and it’s not just about the delicious food and pies. Ages 3–5.

10. Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving by James Dean

When the school Thanksgiving play arrives, it’s up to Pete to tell all about the history of Thanksgiving, which he does beautifully with fun flaps to lift and secrets to uncover. Ages 4–8.

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