Mom Reviews: Thanksgiving Reads

As parents, it’s important to teach our little ones that Thanksgiving is more than just a big meal. These kids’ books are a fun and engaging way for them to learn about the holiday, and can give you some snuggly reading time with your little ones in the process!

The First Thanksgiving: A Lift-the-Flap Book

By Nancy Davis

Ages: 2-4 years



Even the littlest can learn a little! This simple board book explains Thanksgiving in simple, understandable rhyme and bright, inviting pictures. The story focuses on the arrival of the Pilgrims, and the cooperation between them and the Native Americans who welcomed them, and the big feast to celebrate their new friendship.

Ever-popular lift-the-flaps pull little kids into the book, sustain their interest, and increase their curiosity. And the images hiding under these flaps are pretty darn cute – my favorite is when the empty fishing lines turn into a nice-sized catch. Why can’t my fishing line do that?

Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving

By Kimberly and James Dean

Ages: 4-8 years



Pete, the Cat, is the coolest Pilgrim around! He and his feline classmates tell the story of how the Pilgrims traveled to the New World, built houses, and barely survived the first winter. They decided to keep trying, with the help of their new friends, the Native Americans. After the play, Pete and his family sit down for their Thanksgiving meal, discussing what they’re thankful for. The book ends with a question prompting your child to dip into that important place of gratitude: “What are you thankful for?” This book provides a sweet and solid explanation for preschool-age kids.

Balloons Over Broadway

By Melissa Sweet

Ages: 4-8 years



This is the fascinating backstory of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, told and illustrated by Caldecott-winning, Melissa Sweet. Tony Sarg’s classic marionette puppets brought him to Macy’s, where he created their still-fantastic holiday window displays. Soon, Sarg was in charge of a moving display—a parade—to recreate the music and dancing festivals missed by Macy’s mostly immigrant workforce.

Because the real lions and tigers first used in the parade (not surprisingly) frightened kids, Sarg invented enormous helium-filled marionettes with controls underneath that floated high above the crowd. These puppets are now seen by millions around the world!

Written by Kate Schwarz. Kate Schwarz is a full-time mom and wife living in Great Falls, VA. In addition to being a reader to her three small children, Kate is a writer, distance runner, Crossfitter, and blogger of raising kids with books at 




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