Life looks a lot brighter when we take the time to be grateful for what we have. This list of books for kids about being thankful showcases diverse characters living with gratitude and appreciation. Let’s dive right into this list of children’s books about character strengths of gratitude and appreciation.
“It’s wonderful to be grateful. To have that gratitude well out from deep within you and pour out in waves. Once you truly experience this, you will never want to give it up.” – Srikumar Rao
Here is a sneak peek at what you’ll find in this post.
- The best books about gratitude for kids from toddlers to preschoolers to elementary students. A FREE printable book list is also available to download at the end of this post.
- A list of discussion questions/conversation starters to help your children develop a grateful attitude and discuss the books.
- Resources for families to hold a Family Dinner Book Club on the gratitude/appreciation theme including menu ideas, and activities.
Books About Being Thankful
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Toddler Books About Thankfulness
A thankful person is often a happy person. My Heart Fills With Happiness is a board book that packs a powerful message about being thankful for all the things that make us happy. A good pick for the toddler and preschool crowd.
Thank you, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony teaches our kids the power of using good manners and saying thank you for gifts. This is a good pick for the toddler and preschool crowd.
Picture Books About Gratitude for Preschoolers and Elementary Students
Thankful by Elaine Vickers is a beautiful story of being thankful. Each year, a young girl makes a thankful paper chain. From thankful for parents who read stories to a friend who waits for you at recess, there are so many little things to be grateful for. Plus, the illustrations in this book are so fun. They are hand-built 3-dimensional sets that were photographed.
Harvest Days: Giving Thanks Around the World by Kate DePalma highlights harvest festivals around the world where thanks is given. A great multicultural pick.
Sometimes it is the most simple things we are most grateful for in When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant
Reading The Thank You Book by Mary Lyn Ray is like wrapping yourself in a big thankful hug. It is so sweet and tender and truly illustrates the feeling of thankfulness.
Elmore by Holly Hobbie reminds us to be thankful for our gifts and to share them with others. Elmore is a porcupine and his quills seem to scare others. But, once Elmore starts to appreciate the gift that makes him a porcupine and then shares that gift with others.
Thankful by Eileen Spinelli takes us on a celebration of blessings in different lives from comfortable shoes for a waitress to a honey bee for the beekeeper.
In Giving Thanks by Jonathan London, a young boy and his father take a walk practicing gratitude for all the gifts of nature.
Todd Parr’s books pop up on my character strength book lists a lot. The Thankful Book is bold, bright, simple and powerful book of thanks.
We Are Grateful by Traci Sorell is a beautiful story of gratefulness for all during each season of the year in the Cherokee culture. The story is set in modern time but with respect and reflection to the past.
Teachers are amazing and underappreciated. The masterful storyteller, Patricia Polacco, thanks a powerful teacher in her life in her book Thank You, Mr. Falker.
Imagine waking each morning and starting your morning with gratitude. That’s just what happens in Tomie dePaola’s book, Look and Be Grateful.
Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora is a bilingual (English and Spanish) about a young boy sharing all of the things he is grateful for in the world.
A young girl reminds her family of the importance to coming together, device-free, around the table and giving thanks and showing love and appreciation. It’s a great reminder for us all. Check out Our Table by Peter H. Reynolds.
Nikki Grimes gives us 16 poems about thankfulness in Thanks a Million.
Apple Cake a Gratitudeby Dawn Casey showcase the gratitude for all the things and people who help to create a delicious apple cake. A recipe is also included for apple cake.
The Thank You Letter by Jane Cabrera is a perfect pick for young writers. Grace busily writes thank you notes for her birthday presents which then leads to lots more thank you notes because there is just so much to be grateful for in life. In turn, she is rewarded with lots of love notes. You’ll want a big stack of paper and notecards for thank you notes galore to be written.
To Dogs, With Love by Maria Gianferrari is a love letter to all the amazing therapy dogs out there from those that help in times of grief or those that help veterans.
Best Books to Read During Thanksgiving
Giving Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday by Denise Kiernan focuses on thankfulness and having a common date that the nation could center on gratitude with friends and family.
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes invites us all to appreciate the things that fall and the Thanksgiving season has to offer. The simple text such as, ” Thank you for the fall and gold leaves floating by.” and ” Thank you for Mommy and warm, cozy cuddles.” pairs with beautiful and whimsical watercolor illustrations. At the end of the story is a page for you and your child to write your own thankful thoughts. Another good pick for preschoolers.
Interactive Activities to Show Gratitude Through Books
Conversation Starters About Gratitude
Whether you pick one book to read on the list or many, you can use these conversation starters to talk about the character strength of gratitude and appreciation. These questions are available in the free printable
-I am thankful for__________.
-Name someone you said thank you to today. Why did you thank the person?
-Who is someone that you appreciate at home or school?
–What is a talent or ability you have that you are grateful for?
-What is your favorite season? What things about that season do you appreciate?
-When you think about this last week, what are you most grateful about?
You’ll also enjoy our 30 more conversation starters all about gratitude.—>SEE THE GRATITUDE CONVERSATION STARTERS
Gratitude and Appreciation Family Dinner Book Club
This book list and theme make a great start for families to hold their own Family Dinner Book Club.
What is a Family Dinner Book Club?
Each month a book list, conversation starters, and a themed menu are shared for you to create your own Family Dinner Book Club.
For our theme of GRATITUDE/APPRECIATION, you have found the book list and discussion starters on this page.
Check out the themed menu from Chef Sarah Elizabeth.—> MENU
And, visit Sunny Day Family for an activity to do with the theme.—> SEE THE GRATITUDE ACTIVITY
Also, follow our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook Page. We love for you to share pictures from your thankfulness Family Dinner Book Club.
Printable Book List of Books About Gratitude and Appreciation
Print out the book list and discussion starters. Take it to the library or copy it for families.
This post first appeared 11/1/18 and has since been updated.