Books About Thanksgiving & Gratitude


Here is a list compiled by the entire Youth Services Team of the Bentonville Public Library of books that will inspire gratitude and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Please check the Bentonville Library Friends & Foundation Facebook page for Stories Online with BPL:


Hello, Fall!

Diesen, Deborah

2018 • Grade level PreK-2

A grandparent and child recall the beautiful and wonderful sights and sounds of a fall day spent together.

Turkey Trouble

Silvano, Wendi

2009 • Grade level PreK-3

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, Turkey nervously makes a series of costumes, disguising himself as other farm animals in hopes that he can avoid being served as Thanksgiving dinner.

Little Elliot, Fall Friends

Curato, Mike

2017 • Grade level PreK-1

In this fourth picture book about Little Elliot the polka-dotted elephant and his best friend Mouse, the pair take a trip out of the Big City and discover the sights and smells of autumn in the country.

Our Little Kitchen

Tamaki, Jillian

2020 • Grade level PreK-3

A crew of resourceful neighbors comes together to prepare a meal for their community. Includes a recipe and an author’s note about the volunteering experience that inspired the book.

Apple Cake: A Gratitude

Casey, Dawn

2019 • Grade level K-2

In this simple rhyming story from the author of Held in Love, 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! With captivating illustrations that brim with emotion, this sweet picture book encourages children to be grateful for the world around them—the perfect read for Thanksgiving. A recipe for apple cake at the end allows you and your child to share in the joyful gratitude.

Thank You, Omu!

Mora, Pat

2018 • Grade level PreK-2

Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?

Run, Turkey, Run

Mayr, Diane

2007 • Grade level PreK-1

The day before Thanksgiving, Turkey tries to disguise himself as other animals in order to avoid being caught by the farmer.

The Thankful Book

Parr, Todd

2012 • Grade level PreK-K

The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, Todd inspires readers to remember all of life’s special moments. The perfect book to treasure and share, around the holidays and throughout the year.

Before We Eat: From Farm to Table

Brisson, Pat

2014 • Grade level PreK-1

As a family sits down to enjoy a meal, thoughts of those who provide the food, from farmers who plant and tend seeds to store clerks who sell groceries, fill each one with gratitude.

Thanksgiving in the Woods

Alsdurf, Phillis

2017 • Grade level PreK-3

A boy relates the preparations for, and enjoyment of, his family’s annual Thanksgiving in the Woods celebration on his grandparents’ farm. Includes words to the Shaker hymn, Tis a Gift to be Simple, and notes about the real gathering on which the story is based.

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

Jackson, Alison

1997 • Grade level PreK-K

Based on the classic song about the old woman who swallowed a fly, this retelling with a twist features an old lady attending a Thanksgiving dinner who swallows a pie, then a whole squash, all of the salad, and then an entire turkey. In the end, the old lady makes a surprising and humorous contribution to the holiday festivities. Full-color illustrations.

The Littlest Pilgrim

Dougherty, Brandi

2008 • Grade level PreK

All the other villagers tell Mini that she is too small to help them with their chores, but she is not too small to be kind to another girl she meets.

Maddi’s Fridge

Brandt, Lois

2014 • Grade level PreK-3

With humor and warmth, this children’s picture book raises awareness about poverty and hunger. Best friends Sofia and Maddi live in the same neighborhood, go to the same school, and play in the same park, but while Sofia’s fridge at home is full of nutritious food, the fridge at Maddi’s house is empty. Sofia learns that Maddi’s family doesn’t have enough money to fill their fridge and promises Maddi she’ll keep this discovery a secret. But because Sofia wants to help her friend, she’s faced with a difficult decision: to keep her promise or tell her parents about Maddi’s empty fridge. Filled with colorful artwork, this storybook addresses issues of poverty with honesty and sensitivity while instilling important lessons in friendship, empathy, trust, and helping others. A call to action section, with six effective ways for children to help fight hunger and information on antihunger groups, is also included.

Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic

Lo, Ginnie

2012 • Grade level 2-5

When Jinyi and her family discover a soybean field, they begin a tradition that becomes a staple of the Chinese American community in the Midwest.

Duck for Turkey Day

Jules, Jacqueline

2009 • Grade level PreK-3

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!

Bear Says Thanks

Wilson, Karma

2012 • Grade level PreK-1

Bear thanks his friends for bringing food dishes to his dinner party and finds a way of sharing something of his own.

Gracias the Thanksgiving Turkey

Cowley, Joy

1996 • Grade level PreK-3

Trouble ensues when Papa gets Miguel a turkey to fatten up for Thanksgiving and Miguel develops an attachment to it.

The Thank You Book

Willems, Mo

2016 • Grade level PreK-3

Piggie is determined to thank everyone she knows, but Gerald thinks she will forget someone important.

Don’t Say a Word, Mama

Hayes, Joe

2013 • Grade level PreK-3

Sisters Rosa and Blanca are so kind, thoughtful, and generous—and such good gardeners—that their Mamá who lives between the two winds up with a great deal of corn, tomatoes, and red hot chiles.

What is Given from the Heart

McKissack, Patricia

2017 • Grade level 3-5

Despite their own poverty since Daddy died, Mama tells nine-year-old James Otis they need to help Sarah, whose family lost everything in a fire.

Milly and the Macy’s Parade

Corey, Shana

2002 • Grade level PreK-3

The Macy’s Parade is a treasured American pastime. But few people know that the first parade in 1924 was organized by immigrant employees at Macy’s eager to incorporate their old-world traditions into their new American heritage. With facility & flair, Shana Corey tells the fictional story of a Polish immigrant girl who helps envision this grand event. Brett Helquist’s expressive, exquisitely detailed paintings are like holiday window displays come to life. Author & artist evoke the glamour & nostalgia of another era as well as the pride of what it means to be American.


Applegate, Katherine

2015 • Grade level 4-7

A story about a homeless boy and his imaginary friend that proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.

White Bird: A Wonder Story

Palacio, R.J.

2019 • Grade level 4-9

Tells the story of Julian’s Grandmére’s childhood as she, a Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II and how the boy she once shunned became her savior and best friend.

I Am Thankful

Capozzi, Suzy

2017 • Grade level K-2

I Am Thankful follows a young boy through his busy holiday adventures, from running in the turkey trot to helping his family bake pies. Even though the weather might ruin the annual family football game, the jam-packed day proves there’s never a shortage of things to be thankful for.