Inspirational Thanksgiving Stories

Inspirational Thanksgiving Stories for Kids and Families!

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Whether you are looking for Inspirational Thanksgiving Stories or Touching Thanksgiving Stories, this page has an excellent selection of picture books for kids of all ages!

Thanksgiving is one of our family’s favorite holidays. We love reading about our Pilgrim forefathers and the first Thanksgiving our country celebrated. We also love reading touching Thanksgiving stories about this holiday time and season of the year! These are some of our favorite and most inspiring Thanksgiving stories that your family will love! 

Cranberry Thanksgiving

Cranberry Thanksgiving

is a wonderful picture book about Maggie, her grandmother and their famous cranberry bread recipe. They have a secret recipe that they bake every year. This story takes place at the edge of a cranberry bog where they live in New England.

One day Maggie invites Mr. Whiskers to their Thanksgiving dinner. Mr. Whisker’s is a retired sea captain (really named Uriah Peabody) and he knows the cranberry bread is a secret recipe. Now, the grandmother’s secret recipe is in danger of being stolen.

This is a tale of friendship, love, and suspense all wrapped around a secret family recipe. The recipe is printed on the back cover of the book and it is delicious.

This modified Festive Cranberry Bread recipe has been Economides tested and approved – it is delicious!!!  Written by  Wende & Harry Devlin 

The Pilgrims First Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims First Thanksgiving

is a rendition of the popular Pilgrims’ journey that recounts a very accurate portrayal of life aboard a ship in early America. This story will inspire you.

It introduces the role Squanto played in helping the Pilgrims survive and grow stronger after their first brutal winter. It also talks about things the children did to help the family’s triumph over their circumstances.

The illustrations are nicely done and the story is a wonderful way to introduce youngsters to our heritage and the celebration of Thanksgiving. Written by Ann McGovern and illustrated by Elroy Freem.

A Pioneer Thanksgiving

We first discovered this wonderful book, 

A Pioneer Thanksgiving

at our public library and fell in love with it. We liked it so much, that we decided to purchase our own copy! This book follows the Robertson Family. The year is 1841, and it follows them as they prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving.  They use their Fall harvest for much of their food and activities.

This book is full of activities for kids and adults including:

  • Cooking (things like cranberry sauce and bread making)
  • Crafting (weaving a basket and making a corn husk doll or weather vane)
  • Games (Conkers and Peach –stone) and activities (nutting and picking cranberries).

This is a truly great resource and one of the best inspirational Thanksgiving Stories for your fall Holiday out there. Written by Barbara Greenwood and illustrated by Heather Collins. 

The Bears Find Thanksgiving


Bears Find Thanksgiving

is a wonderful children’s story about a bear family and their “child” Ted. Ted wants to build a parade float for their town’s Honey Bowl Parade.

There were lots of floats entered into the parade. Some of the floats were entertaining, others were very expensive and a few were professionally decorated. But this did not stop Ted and his family from entering one of their own. They built a homemade float that shared the real meaning of Thanksgiving and won an amazing prize. Written by John Barrett 

Three Young Pilgrims

What would Thanksgiving be without the pilgrims?

Three Young Pilgrims

is an awesome historical account of the brave pilgrims’ journey on the Mayflower to Plymouth. It’s written from a child’s perspective.

Mary, Remember (a name) and Bartholomew Allerton share their fears and some of the struggles they endure. This traces not only their sea voyage but also the building of their homes. It also traces their survival through the first years in America.

It includes interesting information about the interaction of the settlers with several helpful Indians.

There are many informative illustrations including:

  • The Mayflower — showing all the decks and what they contained
  • A map of the Mayflower’s American voyage before landing at Plymouth
  • A colony map with houses and names of those who lived there
  • A complete list of all the Mayflower passengers.

Mary Allerton Cushman died in 1699, the last surviving member of the Mayflower. Our copy is a beautiful hardcover picture book, and is a true touching Thanksgiving Story. Written and illustrated by Cheryl Harness. 

Thanksgiving Mice

Thanksgiving Mice is an adorable Thanksgiving picture book for young children. It is the story of mice coming over on the ship with the Pilgrims and how they started life here in America. With the help of new mice friends, the learned how to grow and find food to live a successful life here in America!

This touching Thanksgiving Story is written by Bethany Roberts and illustrated by Doug Cushman.

Thanksgiving at The Tapelton’s

Thanksgiving at The Tapleton’s is a laugh-out-loud, hilarious book. When Annette first read this book to our kids, she was dying laughing, and you will too.

When Becky used to work at Barnes and Noble, she was able to sell this book constantly in the Fall to families looking for Inspirational Thanksgiving Stories to read to their children!

And when the Tappleton’s Host a potluck Thanksgiving Dinner, this story traces the antics of all the guests. What happens to the specialty dish each one is suppose to bring is absolutely hilarious!

The First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving is a step into reading book published by Random House in paperback. The story starts with the Pilgrims sailing to America.

From there it shares the first very tough winter they experienced and how Squanto showed up to help them not just survive but thrive. This inspirational Thanksgiving story ends with the first celebration of our national holiday! It is written by Linda Hayward and illustrated by James Watling.

If you have a favorite Thanksgiving story that isn’t listed, please mention it in the comment section and we’ll consider it for this page.

For more Thanksgiving Resources, visit our Pinterest Page and click on our Thanksgiving Board!

You can read about some of our family’s Thanksgiving traditions in this blog – Hosting a Potluck Thanksgiving . . . Pilgrim Style!