Here are some of our favorite picture books about Thanksgiving and Turkeys. These are the children’s books my kids look forward to each year.
You might think that, as a vegetarian, I have little love for a holiday that centers around a feast featuring a whole roast bird. I do love pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole, and apple muffins, though! Plus, my first two children were born in August. Go ahead. Do the math. I’ll wait.
So, you can expect a few Thanksgiving-themed crafts and activities over the next couple of weeks, as well as some Native American and Colonial lifeways.
We’re also working on my daughter’s Thanksgiving costume and “medicine pouch”–pictures and instructions on the way. She’s very insistent on doing most of this independently without much advice and counsel from mom.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy our picks for Thanksgiving and Turkey Picture Books and share some of your own favorites!
This Is the Feast (ages 3-8), by Diane Z. Shore, tells the story of the Pilgrim’s journey, settlement, and feast in rhyming verse. Most pages have just a few lines, paired with detailed and vivid images, making it manageable for preschoolers and even more patient toddlers. The vocabulary, however, is varied and challenging enough for bright grade school students. The book is a fascinating introduction for young children to this episode in history.
Pilgrim Cat (Ages 4-8), by Carol Antoinette Peacock, helps young children relate to the story of the Pilgrims’ journey and settlement by telling the tale through the eyes of a young girl. Faith Barrett befriends a cat she names Pounce and Pounce offers her comfort through the moldy food, frightening storms, and life-threatening illness that were part of the trying passage across the Atlantic. The book ends on a hopeful note with the first Thanksgiving feast.
Five Silly Turkeys, by Salina Yoon, is a funny little counting rhyme. You won’t learn much about turkeys but toddlers will enjoy counting along. And the crinkly feathers have a fun texture babies love to touch.
Sometimes Its Turkey, Sometimes Its Feathers, by Lorna Balian, is the story of an elderly woman and her cat, who watch their turkey chick devour food all year in anticipation of a fat bird for their Thanksgiving Feast. When the day arrives, the woman realizes she just can’t serve up their friend for dinner. My children were very amused by this story and were surprised by the ending. They also loved seeing all the traditional Thanksgiving foods laid out on the table–minus the turkey, of course.
Gobble, Gobble, by Cathryn Falwell, illustrates a flock (or rafter, or gobble) of wild turkeys throughout the year in a young child’s back yard. We also had the good fortune of spotting a trio of wild turkeys in our yard earlier this year, although they have not been back, and my children are fascinated by the birds. The text describes what the turkeys are doing in each season. Although the narrator is a young girl, there is not much of a storyline beyond the birds’ habits. At the end, there are some interesting facts about turkeys and tips for starting a nature journal and creating collage pictures.
Filed under: 0-3 (Babies and Toddlers), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture · Tags: Birds, Colonial America, Native American Culture, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, Turkeys