This time of year is filled with holiday buzz and special family time. It isn’t always easy to find the “perfect” picture books about gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation.
As a library specialist, I have found some over the years that are absolute gems that I wanted to share with you.
10 Books About Gratitude and Thankfulness
Here are some fabulous picture books that will leave you with a sense of appreciation and love for the big and small things that make our lives happy and special.
Thankful is the perfect book about being grateful and aware of the everyday things that make our lives happy and special. We loved sharing this book in our home!
Eileen Spinelli leads us all through various walks of life and the special things people can be appreciative of. The waitress is grateful for comfortable shoes, the doctor is thankful for patients getting well, the children are grateful for story time, and more.
In the picture book, All the World Liz Garton Scanlon leads us through a gorgeous poem depicting a day of activities shared by friends and family.
The day is not quite perfect, but this thoughtful book really portrays a clear message of appreciating the beautiful things that the world, life, and family have to offer.
The classic book the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein never fails to stir emotion. We follow the relationship of a tree and her boy. As the boy progresses through the various stages of life, the tree never fails to provide for his needs. Always happy to give of herself for his happiness, she continues to give until there is nothing left to share.
Although the boy takes from the tree, seemingly without showing gratitude, this book can generate fantastic opportunity for discussion about being thankful and thinking about the feeling of others. Ideas for open ended questions include – What does the tree give to the boy? Why does the boy need those things? Why does the tree give to the boy? Is the boy thankful? What are we thankful for? Etc.
This is an exquisite book to approach the topic of gratitude and helping. Wordless picture books are also a great way to help build narrative skills and promote creativity.
This adorable book offers simple yet vibrant illustrations depicting Bear and his “plan”. At each step of his plan, Bear shows appreciation as his Mama Bear helps him along. In the end, his plan reveals itself to be a declaration of needing and loving his Mama!
My children love Elephant and Piggie! However, I will have to admit at this point that I might actually be a bigger fan myself! Not only do we enjoy the humorous adventures of these best friends, but I personally enjoy sharing the moments of sweet and funny interactive opportunities offered by this series of books with both my children and the kiddos I read to in large groups.
The Thank You Book does not fail to deliver! In this book, Piggie focuses on recognizing showing appreciation to all the friends that have appeared in their stories.
Gracias Thanks is a vibrant, colorful, and bilingual book that focuses on being thankful for everyday occurrences that make life special. This is another sweet book to add to your list of books about gratitude. It can offer great opportunity to generate discussion about things, both great and small, that we are thankful for.
It also offers a rich literacy experience both in English and Spanish with wonderful vocabulary. Possible vocabulary words include: serenades, howling, pincushion, foamy, etc.
Bear is bored at home and missing his friends. He wants to have a dinner and invite his friends, but he has realizes he has nothing to share. One by one his friends begin to appear at his door with their own contributions to the dinner. Bear worries that he has not contributed to the feast, but his friends encourage him to share his stories instead.
Bear Says Thanks is the perfect picture of friendship and being thankful for what is truly important. There are phrases that repeat over and over again which are the perfect way to encourage listeners to join in on the reading and interact with the book in a meaningful way.
Todd Parr has an incredible knack for making people feel good about life! The Thankful Book is no exception! This special picture book is not only bright and fun to look at, but it is filled with excellent concepts of thankfulness for both the physical and intangible. This one absolutely leaves you smiling!
This particular thankful book is one that actually references Thanksgiving. Llama Llama Gives Thanks shares various aspects of the holiday that the family is thankful for. I love that it is in board book form that can be enjoyed by a range of ages and introduce thankfulness to the youngest of book lovers.
What are some of your favorite children’s books about gratitude and thankfulness? I’d love to add to the list.