Favorite Picture Books About Giving Thanks


 I want Elliot to learn gratitude from an early age. Gratitude towards the people in his life as well as gratitude towards God. We have read some wonderful books on gratitude that I wanted to share. Many of these should be in the local library. Some are Christian (which I will note in the review) and others are more generic/secular books on gratitude that are also wonderful. I will mention in the review if it's a book that is specifically a Thanksgiving book or whether it can be read all year long, since gratitude is an attitude for the rest of the year, not just November.  We started reading some of these books in September with other fall books and discussed gratitude for weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. These books were a great help in explaining what it means to be grateful and thankful. 


A Very Thankful Prayer by Bonnie Rickner Jenson, illustrated by Natalia Moore
An absolutely adorable board book about woodland animals thanking God for a variety of things, from family, friends, harvest of apples and other fall foods, etc. Most of all, it mentions thanksgiving for His love. This book is set in the fall and has a Thanksgiving theme, but I am sure it can be read all year long. The author wrote a Christmas book called A Very Merry Christmas Prayer that is also precious.
Recommended age: infants to kinder


Thank You, God by J. Bradley Wigger, illustrated by Jago
I loved all the many things readers can be grateful for: food, home, family, life, day and night. It reads like a prayer in easy language for kids. The artwork is by Jago, whose style  many will  recognize from The Jesus Storybook Bible. This can be read all year long since there isn't any mention of Thanksgiving.
Recommended age: 2 and older.

I'm Feeling Thankful by Natalie Shaw
Daniel Tiger is fun and a sweet character. He talks about how to thank people he loves for "Thank You Day", from his parents, his grandpa, and his friends. Sturdy board book.
Recommended age: It might be too wordy for infants and young toddlers, so I would recommend it for 2+ years old. 

Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
Bear wants to have a feast with his friends, but his cupboards are bare. His friends coming baring delicious treats of their own, and to each one, he says a big “thanks!”. Elliot loved this book and it was great for our continuing lesson on giving thanks. This can be read all year long since there isn't any mention of Thanksgiving.
Recommended age: toddlers and up. Easy language but may be a bit long for infants.


Thankful by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Archie Preston
A sibling duo shares what they’re thankful for. They dress up and act out adult roles like a waiter and doctor. Fun, adorable illustrations. Elliot enjoyed it. This can be read all year long since there isn't any mention of Thanksgiving.
Recommended age: toddlers and up. Easy language but may be a bit long for infants.


The Thank You Book by Mo Willems
Piggie goes on a thank-o-roma of thanking everyone he knows — but he forgot the most important person and Elephant Gerald is hinting at it the whole book. A funny book from the hilarious Elephant and Piggie series. This can be read all year long since there isn't any mention of Thanksgiving.
Recommended age: toddlers and up. Easy language but may be a bit long for infants.


The Thank You Book by Mary Lyn Ray
Absolutely darling illustrations. It mentions thank you is not just for manners, but also “for when something wakes a happy little hum inside you and you want to answer back.” A sweet way to explain gratitude from a secular perspective (versus a Christian perspective where the thank you is directed towards God). It was easy to add on a sentence to make it fit our Christian faith, so that wasn’t a problem. This can be read all year long since there isn't any mention of Thanksgiving.
Recommended age: Some of it seemed above Elliot's comprehension level since it has a poetic style, so I would say 3 and up.


A Thank You Walk: A Story About Gratitude by Nancy Loewen, illustrated by Hazel Quintanilla
A mom and child go on a walk and imagine the animals saying thank you along the way. A fun way to talk about gratitude. I liked the color template (orange, black, white) that was used for the whole board book. Elliot and I have taken a few Thank You walks (where we point out things along our walk for which we are thankful), so it's been a great tool for helping us be more aware of God's gifts around us even though it is not a Christian book. 
Recommended age: infants to preschoolers


God Gave Us Thankful Hearts by Lisa Town Bergren, illustrated by David Holm
A little long and advanced for a two-year old, but Elliot still sat through it each time we read it (though I doubt he absorbed all of it). It’s a great story about learning to have an attitude of gratitude, from the perspective of an adorable wolf family. The way the wolf cub's parents explain gratitude from a Christian perspective with many examples in nature is really great. We will return to it next year for sure.  From the author of God Gave Us Christmas. This book is set in the fall, but I think you can still read it year-round.
Recommended age: preschool and up.


Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Amy June Bates
A beautiful book about a young boy giving thanks to God during the Thanksgiving season. It references Psalm 92 in an easy-to-apply way for kids. A family is gathering for their Thanksgiving meal and there is much to be thankful for. A sweet story that get me excited for the holiday!
Recommended age: toddler and up

I Will Rejoice: Celebrating Psalm 118 by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Amy June Bates
The same author & illustrator team created another sweet picture book based on another psalm. Throughout the book, a girl repeats different parts of verse 24 ("This is the day that the Lord has made. I will be rejoice and be glad in it") as she points out different things that help her rejoice and be glad. It is a book that can be read throughout the year since there isn't any mention of the holidays.
Recommended age: toddler and up



Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland, illustrated by Sonja Lamut
This is a sweet book about things that children are grateful for during the Thanksgiving season. Most of it has a fall theme, so it is most appropriate during that time of year.
Recommended age: Toddlers and up


All Things Bright and Beautiful, illustrated by Bruce Whatley
The lyrics from Cecil Frances Alexander’s hymn, accompanied by exquisite watercolor illustrations of a girl on a farm. The many bright, beautiful, wise, and wonderful things God has made in our world is a great way to give God thanks for nature all year round. 
Recommended age: toddlers and up, though I am sure infants would enjoy you singing the lyrics to them even if they don't understand them all.


Father, We Thank You. Poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, illustrated by Mark Graham
A beautiful poem by Emerson accompanied by gorgeous impressionistic watercolors of nature. It was a great way to talk about God’s beautiful creation. 
Recommended age: preschool and up


Let's Be Thankful by P.K. Hallinan 
People, animals, and things in nature are mentioned in this board book about being thankful. It doesn’t mention God, so it can be used by anyone, but it’s easy to add a quick “thank you, God!” at the end of each page of you want to attribute the thanksgiving to God.
Recommended age: toddler and up

Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes and illustrated by Doris Barrette
A beautifully illustrated book with kids listing things they are thankful for on Thanksgiving day, from gold leaves floating by, school, music and dancing and art, hopscotch and piggyback rides, dress-up, cozy cuddles with mom, sled rides with daddy, etc. 
Recommended age: toddler and up


Biscuit is Thankful by Alyssa Satin Capucelli and illustrated by Pat Schories 
A sweet, simple book about the adorable Biscuit and what he is thankful for, including his bone, his biscuits, his morning walk, and his friends.
Recommended age: infants and toddlers

Before You Sleep: A Book of Gratitude by Annie Cronan Romano, illustrated by Ioana Hobai
A sweet, gentle bedtime book that uses the five senses to point out things for which to be grateful. From the taste of a favorite snack, to the cozy feel of a favorite blanket, it is a creative way to approach gratitude. I paused after each sense was mentioned and asked, "What did we smell/touch/see/taste/hear today that we can thank God for?"
Recommended age: toddler and up




Do you have any books about gratitude or Thanksgiving that you recommend?



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