our favorite young children’s Thanksgiving and fall books


I love books. I really love books. I mean, I really really really love books.  I think I may have an addiction. Our library wall is full, our schoolroom is full, they are spilling into our living room and I am begging Joey for more space somewhere. But I don’t only love books for the journey they take you on through their story, I don’t only love them for their inspiring illustrations, I don’t just love them because they infuse learning while entertaining…. I also love books because they create an atmosphere of love, of caring and of safety. With books come togetherness, bonding, cuddling, snuggling; a moment of time close together that may not have been if it wasn’t for that book. When I read my kids a story book, I have all four of them nuzzled in around me; one on either side and one on each knee. I think that’s why I have such a fondness for books. Since we homeschool and I have four children to educate, I allow myself my “collection” without any much guilt.

But enough about my obsession. Today I want to share a few of our favorite books on Fall, Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. My favorite books are ones that not only entertain but also educate; books that include beautiful illustrations.


The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll is a cute book. It’s about a pumpkin that is inadvertently cared for by two mice as it grows, and because of all of the attention, becomes the biggest pumpkin ever. There’s no real educational value in this book (although my boys do want to perform a science experiment to see if feeding a pumpkin sugar water through a wick does make it grow larger). There is a mention of Halloween which isn’t my favorite, but it is very brief and it allowed me an opportunity to discuss Halloween with the kids. The writing is a bit repetitive for me but all of my children love it, and truthfully, it wouldn’t be fall now without reading this book.


The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern is a great educational story but it is not entirely factual. It begins with the Pilgrims’ leaving on the Mayflower and ends at the first Thanksgiving.  All in all my kids enjoy this book. This is still a great kid’s story and I love that it’s part of my collection.


Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving Laurie Halse Anderson is a great story about Sarah Hale and her perseverance in preserving Thanksgiving as a holiday for our united family nation. I love how they described Sarah’s pen as a secret weapon. The illustrations are a little overwhelming for me but I love the overall message of the importance of Sarah’s perseverance. The story is followed by a “feast of facts” and includes a little biography on Sarah and “encourages the kids to pick up a pen and change the world”. I love that we own this one.


I love the book Mary’s First Thanksgiving: An Inspirational Story of Gratefulness by Kathy-jo Wargin. It’s a story about an immigrant family and how a little girl learns that even when life is hard, there are always things to be thankful for. It includes the legend of the five kernels of corn that serve as a reminder to be mindful and thankful for our blessings. This book is definitely one you will want to add to your collection.


How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting is a great story about a family giving up everything for freedom. In a simple children’s story, the author conveys to the reader how thankful we should be for our freedom, something we often take for granted. I’m thankful this book is part of our library.


This next little book is a collection of silly poems about Thanksgiving. It’s Thanksgiving by Prelutsky put smiles on the faces of my children. This easy reader book is a silly but fun little read. I’m happy we own this one as well.


Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson is a sweet book. It centers around Psalm 92 and has a great message.


The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh received a Caldecott honor and is a great informative children’s book about Thanksgiving. It is longer than your typical children’s book but it is broken up into chapters which allows for good stopping points if your children aren’t able to sit for long periods of time. It provides you with a detailed account of the Thanksgiving story but it is written in a way suitable for young children. The illustrations by Helen Sewell are beautiful. This book is my favorite in telling the Thanksgiving story to young children and definitely one you will want to add to your library.


The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell is my favorite Thanksgiving book. It is a book that I could read over and over and over…. It is a story about an older couple whose Thanksgiving dinner gets burned. They decide to go out for dinner and stumble upon a restaurant whose door is open. The restaurant was supposed to be closed as the family was preparing to have their own private Thanksgiving celebration. The couple is included and all share an evening of friendship and remembering of what Thanksgiving is truly about. If you only buy one book, this would be my pick.

This next book I don’t have a picture of. It’s called Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane by Victoria Sherrow. It’s about a little chipmunk preparing for winter. This book always gets me in the mood for fall. The illustrations are filled with vibrant autumn colors and my kids love this book so much, it has been loved to death (hence I have no picture). I would recommend getting this book in the hardcover large edition (there is a mini edition available). We love this book so much that I have ordered it again and it is on it’s way to us just in time for fall.

I typically find my books at yard sales but when I “need” a particular book I tend to buy it at either Amazon or Thriftbooks. Please note that if you do buy these books on Amazon through our blog, we do receive some compensation.

In the next few weeks I will be writing a post on my favorite fall/Thanksgiving books for older children, although the books I mentioned above are loved even by children of my age :). Please share with us your favorite fall books in the comments section. We would love to add them to our collection!

12 thoughts on “our favorite young children’s Thanksgiving and fall books

  1. What a wonderful selection! I know Karma Wilson’s book wasn’t your favorite, but… I love her rhyming books about bear! Joey should like her bear books too – since he likes bears! The rhyming is so great for those early readers. So, is your personal library a lending library? Adventurers may want to borrow one or two. 🙂

    1. I did like her book, it just wasn’t one of my favorite fall books. I will need to read her book about a bear.

  2. Thanks for the book recommendations! Blessings on your homeschool journey! I think our paths crossed in Loma Linda. We have 3 little girls. I’ve homeschooled up until this year. The oldest is now at the little SDA Church School (4th grade). Different reasons, but I think it’s been a positive for our family. All the best to you and thanks for sharing on your blog!

    1. Thanks Heidi! I sat here and read this to Nadia while ordering our collection at the same time. The books will arrive just in time for fall. Thanks for sharing your collection with us!

    2. Thank you so very much. I am terrible with names, better with faces and I hope that our paths cross again soon! Blessings to you as well…

  3. I met your husband at the Carole Joy Seid conference this last weekend. We have 8 children and you listed some of our favorites as well. Thanksgiving Door is a top choice! For babies we also love “I Love Fall” by Alison Inches, “Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin” by Tad Hills, “Autumn” by Gerda Muller (this one is wordless) and “a pumpkin prayer” by Amy Parker. For a bit older kiddos we also love “In November” by Cynthia Rylant, “Too Many Pumpkins” by Linda White (huge favorite with all the kids) and “This Is The Feast” by Diane Z. Shore. The next step up we also would add “The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving from A to Z” by Laura Crawford, “Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving” by Eric Metaxas and another, very loved by all book, “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” by Louisa May Alcott. Fall is our favorite time of year! Blessing to you!

    1. I wish I could have met you at the conference. Thank you so VERY much for your recommendations. I can’t wait to add them to our collection.

  4. I found your blog recently and I am really enjoying reading about your family! One of the books that we have in our fall basket is called “Thanks for Thanksgiving”. It is very cozy with beautiful illustrations full of family. Thanks for the used bookstore idea Thrift Books. I like that they have free shipping! Another good one is Half Price Books online marketplace. http://www.amazon.com/Thanks-Thanksgiving-Julie-Markes/dp/0060510986/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425603644&sr=1-1&keywords=thanks+for+thanksgiving

    1. I’m so glad you found us! Thank you for the book suggestion. Another great place to buy books is abebooks.com!

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