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Best Picture Books for Thanksgiving

There are so many picture books for Thanksgiving.  How do you know which ones are the best?  If you are anything like me, you hate to spend your limited resources on a book that just doesn't fit your purpose or looked cute but didn't hit the mark.
I am sharing with you my November favorites with a quick synopsis so you know what to expect.


fall picture books read aloud, best picture books Thanksgiving



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Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano and Lee Harper is hilarious!  It is about a turkey who is determined to stay off the Thanksgiving Day menu by disguising himself as farm animals. However, no costume he makes seems to work. In the end, he comes up with a winning idea. First graders just love this book and really empathize with the turkey.

Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley is a book about Miguel who becomes friends with one of his dad's turkeys named Gracias.  What Miguel doesn't know is that Gracias is supposed to be his family's Thanksgiving dinner. Great ending!


The Secret of Saying Thanks by Douglas Wood is all about being thankful for the many blessings in our lives big and small.  I pair this book with Thankful before doing "I am Thankful" writing.

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora isn't a traditional Thanksgiving book but one I love to read in November. Everyone wants Omu's stew but she is so generous that it's all gone. Did she give it all away before she had some?


Thankful by Eileen Spinelli and Archie Preston is a sweet book with the perfect message that we have so much to be thankful for.  The list of blessings in this book is illustrated with beautiful pictures.  It's a great book to read before doing "I am Thankful" writing.


In November by Cynthia Rylant is a beautifully written book that is great for mental images or visualizing. I always read this book before we do descriptive writing about November.  I also use this book to practice visualization.

Turk and Runt by Lisa Wheeler is a book I use to compare and contrast with Turkey Trouble because they are similar in nature. Whip out a Venn diagram and compare and contrast these two entertaining books!

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet  Who doesn't watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade?  This fascinating book is about Tony Sarg, the original puppeteer of the parade. Children love to hear about this parade that signifies the start of the Christmas season.

If You Were on the Mayflower by Ann McGovern is my favorite book to use to teach students what it was really like on the Mayflower.  We read a page or two at a time and jot down what we learned.  This is a good book to read when studying about the journey.


A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting is about Mr. and Mrs. Moose, who have everything for Thanksgiving, except a turkey.  Mr. Moose tries to get one but they are all very scared.  The surprise ending gets me every time!


Tapenum's Day by Kate Waters is an insightful book about a Wampanoag Indian boy in Pilgrim times. Tapenum is chosen to be a warrior prince and this book is about how he prepares.

Sarah Morton's Day by Kate Waters is a fabulous book to read before having students write about whether or not they would want to be a pilgrim.  Kate Waters also wrote Samuel Eaton's Day, a book about a day in the life of a Pilgrim boy.


These are my favorite books for November right now.  Check out the full list here.

Did I forget one of your favorites?  Tell us about it in the comments!

fall picture books read aloud, best picture books Thanksgiving


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