I love having special books on display for holidays and themes in the classroom. Thanksgiving is no exception, but I used to have a pretty sad and bare shelf. That has all changed over the past few years thanks to Scholastic Book Club flyers and recommendations from friends on social media. Here are some great Thanksgiving picture books to share in the classroom.
You can click on any of the covers below to learn more about each book or find all of these Thanksgiving picture books on my Amazon page.
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Thanksgiving Picture Books
by Wendi Silvano
Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it’s almost Thanksgiving . . . and you’re the main course. But Turkey has an idea–what if he doesn’t look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead? After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever!
Turk and Runt
by Lisa Wheeler
Turk’s parents are proud of him, the biggest, strongest, most graceful bird at Wishbone Farm. “He’s a dancer,” says his mother. “He’s an athlete,” says his father. “He’s a goner,” says his little brother, Runt. But no one ever listens to Runt — even after people with seasonal plans and roasting pans begin showing up at Wishbone Farm, or even after the juiciest turkeys are chosen, one by one. “Chosen for what?” Turk asks. No one wants to hear Runt’s answer. But you will laugh at what he has to do to get his family’s attention. They are, after all, turkeys.
How to Catch a Turkey
by Adam Wallace
A turkey is running loose in a school right before a Thanksgiving play. Can YOU help catch it? Follow along as students turn their school upside down trying to catch the turkey, ending with a twist that ensures no turkeys are harmed (or eaten!).
The Great Turkey Race
by Steve Metzger
Cassie, Wing, and Ollie all want to be the Thanksgiving Turkey! They decide to have a conest to see which of them Farmer Joe should pick. Is it going to be a happy Thanksgiving for all?
The Amazing Turkey Rescue
by Steve Metzger
Cassie, Wing, and Ollie are back on the farm for another wild Thanksgiving adventure! When a fox is spotted prowling around the henhouse, the turkeys smell trouble. Can they help the chickens fly the coop before it is too late?
The Silly Turkey Party
by Steve Metzger
Farmer Joe is sick! Cassie, Wing, and Ollie will have to keep quiet during Thanksgiving dinner so they won’t disturb his nap. But when uninvited guests crash the party, the turkeys wonder if they’ll be kicked off the farm for good…
Note: This set of books is often available in the Scholastic Book Orders this time of year.
Thanks for Thanksgiving
by Julie Markes
Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks—the question is, where to begin? From the turkey on the table to warm, cozy cuddles, life is full of small things and bigger pleasures. But what’s most important is being able to share them with family!
The Very Stuffed Turkey
by Katharine Kenah
A Thanksgiving story featuring a large turkey with a big problem – he’s been invited to EVERYONE’S home for dinner! With five homes to visit — Horse’s, Pig’s, Sheep and Goat’s, Cow’s, and Mouse’s –Turkey knows there’ll be a ton of food to eat. But there’ll also be friends and their families who can’t wait to celebrate the holiday with Turkey! Can this very plump bird make it through every meal without bursting?
Thanksgiving in the Woods
by Phyllis Alsdurf
Every year a family and their friends gather in the woods to celebrate Thanksgiving among the trees. Everyone brings something to share and the day becomes a long celebration of family, faith, and friendship.
A Plump and Perky Turkey
by Teresa Bateman
Turkeys around Squawk Valley just don’t jump into pots anymore—they are way too smart for that. So the townspeople hatch a clever plan. They host a turkey-themed arts and crafts fair and lure a vain bird into town by advertising for an artist’s model. Peter the Turkey, proud of his well-stuffed form, takes the bait but doesn’t fall for the trap.
The Perfect Thanksgiving
by Eileen Spinelli
Enter two families who couldn’t be more opposite. Family one seems just perfect―with a plump golden turkey, gorgeous whipped cream swirls atop their pie, and lace napkins on the table. Family two, on the other hand, seems far from it! The turkey burns, the Jell-O wiggles and jiggles right to the floor, and Dad’s shirt serves as napkin. What could these two very different families possibly have in common?
Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’
by Eileen Spinelli
Thanksgiving is always a big day at the Tappletons’. But this Thanksgiving each task is interrupted by calamity and hilarity: first the turkey slips away . . . then the bakery is sold out . . . and so on, until Uncle Fritz and Grandfather Tappleton despair of ever eating dinner at all! It’s not until Grandmother Tappleton reminds everyone, “there is more to Thanksgiving than a turkey and trimmings,” that the Tappletons begin to improvise . . . and end up enjoying a most unusual holiday “feast.”
The Littlest Pilgrim
by Brandi Dougherty
Mini is the littlest Pilgrim in her village. Too little to sew, too little to bake, and too little to fish. But she’s not too little to make a friend.
This is the Turkey
by Abby Levine
This Thanksgiving, there’s a turkey to shout about―and Max is the one who picked it out! Join him and his family on this wonderful day, when cousins come to play, neighbors come carrying pumpkin pie, and there’s plenty to be thankful for. Everything’s perfect, until…
The Great Thanksgiving Escape
by Mark Fearing
It’s another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. Gavin expects a long, boring day full of pesky toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn’t so sure, especially when they encounter vicious guard dogs (in homemade sweaters), overly affectionate aunts, and worst of all, the great wall of butts. Can they avoid all the obstacles and find some fun before turkey time?
Five Flying Turkeys
by Barbara McGrath
SWISSSSSSSH went the wind, and up went the flock. Then the five flying turkeys plopped down on Plymouth Rock. Trot along with rhyming turkeys as they gather to celebrate a special day.
10 Fat Turkeys
by Tony Johnston
This silly rhyming story about ten turkeys counts backwards. Children will enjoy the goofy turkeys and their silly antics: swinging from a vine, strutting on a boar, doing a noodle dance, and more.
by Phil Bildner
Ethan has waited his whole nine-year-old life to be old enough to play in the annual family Turkey Bowl football game. This is his year. He wakes up Thanksgiving Day, dresses in all of his football finest, and runs downstairs to greet the team — his whole family. But the kitchen isn’t full of aunts and cousins and uncles — a blizzard has snowed them out. And it looks like the Turkey Bowl just isn’t meant to be this year. After all, who could play football in a blizzard? Ethan, that’s who!
Gus the Pilgrim Turkey
by Teresa Bateman
Gus loves being a turkey, that is, until his friends tell him about Thanksgiving. Pilgrims–no problem; feast–NO WAY! So Gus heads south, the way birds do, to escape being part of someone’s dinner.
Gobble Gobble Mr. Wobble
by Becky Cummings
Wobble the turkey loves Thanksgiving! Especially when he finds out Farmer Joe will be “having him for dinner!” He can’t wait to be the dinner guest on this most special day. As Farmer Joe sharpens his ax and prepares, Wobble prepares too. He styles his gobbler. He practices his loud, joyous gobbles and gets to bed extra early. Meanwhile his friends on the farm do not share his excitement. Wobble just can’t understand why! How will dinner turn out for Wobble?
T is for Turkey
by Tanya Lee Stone
This alphabet book follows an elementary school putting on a play that tells the true story of the first Thanksgiving. Rhyming couplets that flow through the alphabet help kids celebrate everything from Harvest to Pilgrims to Turkey.
Pete the Cat’s First Thanksgiving
by James Dean
Starring in your school’s Thanksgiving play would make even the coolest cat nervous, including Pete the Cat! But the show must go on….
Run, Turkey, Run!
by Diane Mayr
With Thanksgiving only one day away, can Turkey find a place to hide from the farmer who’s looking for a plump bird for his family feast? Maybe he can hide with the pigs . . . or the ducks . . . or the horses . . . Uh-oh! Here comes the farmer! Run, Turkey, run!
Duck for Turkey Day
by Jacqueline Jules
It’s almost Thanksgiving, and Tuyet is excited about the holiday and the vacation from school. There’s just one problem: her Vietnamese American family is having duck for Thanksgiving dinner – not turkey! Nobody has duck for Thanksgiving – what will her teacher and the other kids think? To her surprise, Tuyet enjoys her yummy thanksgiving dinner anyhow – and an even bigger surprise is waiting for her at school on Monday. Dinners from roast beef to lamb to enchiladas adorned the Thanksgiving tables of her classmates, but they all had something in common – family!
Note: This book is also known by the title, No Turkey for Thanksgiving.
Turkey’s Thanksgiving Adventure
by Clay Sproles
A turkey is getting nervous as the holiday approaches. He knows what’s coming on Thanksgiving Day, and he knows he has to think of something quick to save himself! He tries his best to hide with his animal neighbors, such as cows, pigs, ducks, and goats, but nothing seems to work. The turkey starts to lose hope, but remembers that he still has a few tricks up his sleeve!
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
by Charles M. Schulz, adapted by Daphne Pendergrass
When Peppermint Patty invites herself (and most of her friends) to Charlie Brown’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, Charlie Brown reluctantly agrees to make a holiday feast even though he can barely make toast and cold cereal! Can he pull together a memorable meal, or will he and his friends just be grateful when it’s over?
The Night Before Thanksgiving
by Natasha Wing
Everyone’s favorite fun-filled, family-filled, food-filled holiday is almost here! Follow along as the feast is prepared, cousins are greeted, and everyone gathers around the table, all with an extra helping of holiday fun.
‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
by Dav Pilkey
On the night before Thanksgiving, a group of children visit a turkey farm and meet Farmer Mack Nuggett and his coop of cockerels: Ollie, Stanley, Larry, Moe, Wally, Beaver, Shemp, and Groucho. The children and turkeys giggle and gobble, and everything is gravy. As the trip comes to an end, the children leave the farm with full hearts — and bulging bellies — reminding people and poultry alike that there is much to be thankful for.
Sarah Gives Thanks
by Mike Allegra
During the nineteenth century, Sarah Josepha Hale dedicated her life to making Thanksgiving a national holiday, all while raising a family and becoming a groundbreaking writer and women’s magazine editor.
by Gail Gibbons
The story of the Pilgrims’ journey and first Thanksgiving feast is retold, as well as the history of Thanksgiving as a national holiday, and the traditions and celebrations that have developed over the years.
Balloons Over Broadway
by Melissa Sweet
Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire!
You can find all of these Thanksgiving picture books on my Amazon Page.
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