Being thankful is such a good habit for children (and adults) to develop. The books in this list are not limited to one particular time of year (such as Thanksgiving). Their message of being thankful can be read and discussed all year round.
The Thank You Book
(an Elephant and Piggie book)
In his most recent (and reportedly final) Elephant and Piggie book, Mo Willems shows us how to say “thank you” to those around us. Piggie greets each character from this series and thanks them for something very specific. Of course, she saves the best for last, and it might not be who you think.
Bear Says Thanks
We are huge fans of Bear and his critter friends. This book gives the same heartwarming feeling of the others in Karma Wilson’s much-loved Bear series. Bear says, “Thanks” to each of his forest friends as they contribute something to a spontaneous feast. But Bear feels sad because he thinks he has nothing to contribute in return since his cupboard is bare. The friends quickly point out what he does have to offer.
This bilingual picture book by Pat Mora is a Pura Belpré Honor Book. The story, written in Spanish and English, follows a boy through his day from sun up to sun down as he finds things to be thankful for. He thanks people, animals, and things in nature (…”the foamy waves that chase my sister and me…”). His examples of being thankful are things all kids can relate to (…”the ladybug that landed on my finger…”) and laugh at (…”for my little brother who threw mashed peas at my sister and made me laugh so hard I fell off my chair…”)
The Thankful Book
If you’re not yet familiar with the works of Todd Parr, start with this one, The Thankful Book, and you’ll be hooked. Each of his books focuses on specific social skills that children (and adults) face. His intensely colorful illustrations draw readers in to his completely relatable text. (“I’m thankful for my feet because they help me run and play.”)
Berenstain Bears Count their Blessings
We can always count on the Berenstain Bears to teach us life lessons. In this book, Mama Bear is tired of her kiddos wanting what others have so much that they forget about being thankful for the important things they already have. As in so many of the other books in this series, Mama Bear helps the family remember what is important.
The Giving Tree
A book that should be on every child’s bookshelf, this poignant classic by Shel Silverstein reminds us to be grateful.
These are our current favorite picture books about being thankful. I hope you’ve been inspired to pick one up and read it with a child you’re thankful for. I would be grateful if you pinned this post and shared it with others.
See below for more lists of favorite picture books.