Books to Foster Thankfulness and Gratitude Year-Round

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States, which means many of us are spending time with our loved ones, reflecting on what we are thankful for and recognizing our gratitude. As you follow me more, you’ll learn quickly that I LOVE a good themed bookshelf, whether for a holiday (stay tuned for our favorite Christmas books coming after Thanksgiving!) or something we have going on in our lives (when we get ready for a week at the beach we read beach stories, and when we realized my oldest was terrified of dinosaurs we spent some time with dino books!).

And, these themed books are wonderful to check out from the library, but I really prefer to spend my money on books that we can enjoy year-round, not just for specific holidays. If you’re like me, and you want Thanksgiving books that can be read year-round, then this is the post for you! There are many wonderful Thanksgiving-specific books for the Thanksgiving season, but here are some wonderful books on gratitude and being thankful that can be read year-round!


Thankful by Eileen Spinelli— Spinelli walks children through a day of creativity and play, reminding the reader what many real people (doctors, artists, clowns, queens…) can be thankful for… And ends with a very sweet parent-child moment!


Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp— A beautiful message of thanks to Mother Earth traditionally said by Mohawk children each morning, wonderful reminders of all that we have to be thankful for in nature every day.


Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes— This collection of poetry in a variety of forms reminds the reader how good it can feel to say thanks, to be told thank you, and to feel thankful for something.


Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora— Just released last month, this is a wonderful story of sharing and community (and the collage illustrations are stunning!). Omu (pronounced AH-moo) makes a delicious-smelling stew and shares little by little with grateful neighbors until it’s all gone. You’ll have to read and see how the gratitude her friends and neighbors felt from her generosity comes back to her!


Look and Be Grateful by Tomie dePaola— Short, sweet, and directly to the point, dePaola writes, “For today is today. Be grateful for everything you see… Today is today, and it is a gift.” This one is perfect for even the youngest readers!


Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes— Thanksgiving is only explicitly mentioned on the first and last page. Otherwise, Makes addresses everyday moments of gratitude for things such as playdates, swings, and slides.


The THANKFUL Book by Todd Parr— Using his traditional brightly-colored illustrations, Parr depicts a diverse group of children each thankful for something different. This book gives children wonderful reminders for different things people can be thankful for! (Be aware– my girls’ favorite pages is the one that talks about being thankful for underwear because you can wear it on your head…!).


What are your favorite Thanksgiving books to read year-round? I’d love to build my collection on thankfulness and gratitude, so comment below!

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