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17 of the Best Thanksgiving Picture Books for Read Alouds

November is a great time to read about Thanksgiving which is why I created a list of 17 of the best Thanksgiving picture books for read alouds. These are some of the best Thanksgiving picture books out there to read to your elementary students. Young readers will love the fun thanksgiving themes as you read aloud each of the Thanksgiving picture books in the month of November. Along with sharing a bunch of the best Thanksgiving picture books with you, I also wanted to share about some Thanksgiving resources that teachers are loving right now. Read on for some wonderful Thanksgiving picture books and Thanksgiving themed activities to do with your young readers all November long!

​Thanksgiving Picture Books

These best Thanksgiving picture books for read alouds include stories about family members, Thanksgiving dinner, family traditions, or even a funny book or two about the Thanksgiving turkey. I asked my followers on Instagram to help me build my Thanksgiving bookshelf and they sure delivered. I couldn’t resist all these amazing Thanksgiving picture books and knew I had to share these children’s literature titles with you as well. Each great book is a cute story that your elementary students are sure to love. Your young readers will likely have a favorite Thanksgiving book of their own once the month of November comes to a close. These Thanksgiving picture books also include beautiful illustrations for each Thanksgiving story. Check out a super brief explanation of each of these Thanksgiving picture books for read alouds below!

These are Amazon affiliate links and I earn a small commission.


  1. Turkey Trouble Such a fun story about a turkey trying to disguise himself before Thanksgiving. 
  2. Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving Dav Pilkey always knows how to get young readers laughing. This funny story about a visit to a turkey farm is sure to make your elementary students laugh while always thinking about things they are thankful for. 
  3. The Great Thanksgiving Escape This is a great story about activities kids get involved in before their main course of turkey. 
  4. Run, Turkey, Run! Another funny story about a turkey on a farm trying to run away from the farmer so he doesn’t get eaten for the Thanksgiving feast.
  5. Duck for Turkey Day If you have students from different countries or cultures, this is a great one to read to make them feel welcome. It’s a sweet book that explains how the girl has different family traditions than others are used to on Thanksgiving. 
  6. Bad Kitty Does Not like Thanksgiving These is another fun book to read to students who want to follow this bad kitty on his adventures as he tries to get turkey for his Thanksgiving feast. 
  7. I am Thankful A Thanksgiving Book for Kids This one has a great theme all about being thankful. It’s a heartwarming story that reminds us of the real meaning of Thanksgiving time together. 
  8. Thank You, Omu  This favorite Thanksgiving book with beautiful illustrations reminds elementary students that it is important to be giving and thankful.
  9. The Ugly Pumpkin While pumpkins are usually featured in October, this book follows the pumpkin all the way to Thanksgiving, as he is not selected from the pumpkin patch. 
  10. Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’ This is all about how plans can change on Thanksgiving day and how new holiday traditions can be created. 
  11. A Plump and Perky Turkey This fun Thanksgiving story is all about how a town tries to get their own turkey for their Thanksgiving meal. 
  12. Balloons Over Broadway Your young readers will love learning all about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
  13. Thanksgiving in the Woods This isn’t your typical Thanksgiving meal story as it takes place outside as families and friends gather in the woods. It is a sweet book all about how Thanksgiving is a great time to gather with others and be grateful.
  14. The Scarecrow This book is primarily about friendship. This book is the perfect way for elementary students to find appreciation for the friends they’ve made at home or school.
  15. Turkey Goes to School This fun story is all about turkey and his friends trying to go to school. Young readers will love hearing what happens.
  16. How to Hide a Turkey Another story about how to disguise a turkey, which we know is always fun for students to hear.
  17. The Great Turkey Race Kids will love listening to this great read-aloud as the turkeys all want to win the contest to be chosen as the turkey for Thanksgiving.

You can grab all these great Thanksgiving picture books through my Amazon store front. I made a special list just for the month of November- click the link below to see them all in one spot!

The entire list of these great read-aloud Thanksgiving picture books!

No matter which of these 17 best Thanksgiving picture books you choose to read in November, they’ll all lead to great discussions on friendship, family traditions, being thankful, and the enjoyment of Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Themed Activities

While you’re reading all these great Thanksgiving picture books in November about the national holiday, this is the perfect time of year to also let students participate in Thanksgiving themed activities. I’ve got some great Thanksgiving themed activities that will go along with these favorite books. 

These activities are great for Kindergarten, first Grade, 2nd Grade, and even can be used with 3rd grade students who need more practice with phonics patterns and decoding. With the happy Thanksgiving themes students will be thinking of their own traditions and Thanksgiving meal as they complete the Thanksgiving activities.

Your elementary students will read through the passages while they focus on decoding and comprehension in the Thanksgiving I am a Reader passages. They will also focus on decoding in and out of context in words, sentences, short stories, and games in the Thanksgiving themed Phonics Games and Fluency Activities

The Thanksgiving I am a Reader Passages include a word work activity before beginning each passage. As well as a follow up word work activity, after students have read the passage and answered the comprehension questions. These Thanksgiving passages are a great way to build confidence in early readers. The sentences are very short and the passages are also not long. Students can make their way through these passages in one sitting, in small groups, for independent work, or even sent home for fun themed reading practice. Read more about the Thanksgiving I am a Reader Passages here!

The Thanksgiving Phonics Games and Fluency Activities are a hit amongst early readers as well. As they are developing their fluent reading skills, especially accuracy, they will enjoy the fun Thanksgiving themes of each page. You can have students build up from reading words, to sentences, to the short stories. The games included give them an enjoyable way to play against a partner or in a small group while practicing decoding words. 

It is also easy to differentiate any of these activities as well with all the various phonics patterns that are included: 

  • short vowels 
  • digraphs
  • beginning blends
  • ending blends
  • r-controlled vowels
  • vowel teams
  • diphthongs 

Want even more of these passages or games and fluency activities? Check out my bundles! You’ll be set for each month of the school year with these bundles! 

Seasonal I am a Reader Passages Bundle

Holiday I am a Reader Passages Bundle

Seasonal Phonics Games and Fluency Activities Bundle

Holiday Phonics Games and Fluency Activities Bundle

You can also try out these free winter themed phonics games and fluency activities that you can already begin to use as the weeks grow colder!

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Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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