Looking for a great book to read with your kids as we head into the Thanksgiving season? Look no further! Here is a collection of books packed full of generosity, gratitude, community, and thanks—perfect to start your season off right!
Good Morning, Neighbor by Davide Cali and Maria Dek (Princeton Architectural Press; ages 4-8)
Mouse wants an omelet but has no eggs; perhaps his neighbor has one to share? No, but there’s flour which could be used with an egg to make a cake. Does dormouse have an egg? No, but there’s butter to add to the flour and egg. And so it goes until the generosity of 9 different neighbors combine to make a delicious cake to be shared by all.
Charming illustrations and a fairytale-paced story make this a magical read about the value of generosity and community.
Porcupine’s Pie by Laura Renaldo, illustrated by Jennie Poh (Beaming Books; ages 4-8)
It’s Fall Feast Day and Porcupine is off to collect cranberries for her Famous Cranberry Pie. Along the way she encounters friends, each of whom cannot make their traditional recipes for lack of a key ingredient. Porcupine always has enough to share, but by the end of the day she doesn’t have enough ingredients for her own recipe. Good thing all her friends have brought their surplus to share, and it’s just the right ingredients to make a Friendship Pie!
These adorable friends and their sweet tale teach readers that generosity begets generosity and there’s nothing as bountiful as friendship.
Bear Says Thanks (The Bear Books) by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman (Margaret K. McElderry Books; ages 3-8)
Bear wants to share a feast with his friends, but his cupboards are bare. As each friend arrives with food to share, Bear says “Thanks.” But his gratitude is overshadowed by distress that he has no food to share with them. With a gentle reminder that he has stories to share, the friends tell Bear that his friendship is enough.
Warm illustrations and a delightful rhyme scheme make this a wonderful read about the value of friendship and giving thanks.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers; ages 3-5)
CJ leaves church with his grandma and boards the city bus. As they ride along we learn of his many desires — a car, an iPod, an obligation free afternoon. With each grumble of discontent, his Nana points out all the beautiful experiences he is overlooking. And when they arrive at their weekly destination — the soup kitchen— CJ feels grateful to be part of his community.
This book is winner of the John Newberry Medal, Caldecott Honor, and Coretta Scott King Award. At a time to celebrate having plenty, it’s an excellent opening to discuss how we can help those less fortunate and a wonderful reminder that true wealth cannot be measured in material goods.
Thanks a Million poems by Nikki Grimes, illustrations by Cozbi A Cabrera (Greenwillow Books; ages 4-8)
In this collection of sixteen poems, the author answers “What makes you thankful?” Some focus on gratitude for tangible things, like a roasted turkey, family, and a roof over one’s head. Others focus on experiences that show one is valued and loved. Each reminds the reader that there are a million reasons to be thankful and the importance of saying, “thank you.”
These wonderful poems vary in form and tone as much as they reflect a variety of life experiences. The result is a beautiful message that each life has its own reasons to be grateful, and a prompt to the reader to reflect on their own.
Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson (Capstone Young Readers; ages 3-5)
Rabbit loves carrots so much that he hoards them in his burrow until there is no room left for himself. His friends each generously offer the use of their homes, but each time Rabbit’s massive volume of carrots results in destruction. In the end, Rabbit decides that sharing his home and his carrots with friends is the best solution of all.
Adorable illustrations and hilarious carrot-induced chaos combine to create this delightfully fun tale about generosity and friendship.