Great Books (and More) on Gratitude to Help Prepare Your Family for Thanksgiving

Prepare for Thanksgiving with these great books focused the value of gratitude!

How many times has Thanksgiving snuck up on you during the whirlwind of life? How often do we forget to be really grateful for something as simple as a good feast? The following books (and other resources) can help center the hearts of those in your family on the gifts of thankfulness, grace, and fondly shared experiences.


Grace & Gratitude for Everyday Life by Michele Howe

In her latest book, Michele Howe teaches us how to hone a grateful, grace-filled heart no matter what our circumstances. When we focus on God’s grace and respond with gratitude, we happily discover that supernatural principle of inner joy and contentment—despite whatever life might throw at us. Chapter by chapter, readers will learn how to be thankful, joyful, content, and even happy during life’s hardships. This happens when, as children of God, we train ourselves to view every situation within the lens of eternity. As we learn to default to a grace-filled attitude of gratitude, we honor God by obeying the apostle Paul’s call to “do all things without grumbling or complaining.” When we choose to respond with a faith-driven acceptance rather than resort to grumbling or complaining, God begins (and continues) his supernatural work of sanctification in our hearts.

Thank You. I’m Sorry. Tell Me More. by Rod Wilson

Practice the three simple phrases that heal relationships, strengthen connection, and change the world.

We all believe that saying, “Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” and “Tell me more” will help us become better people, friends, partners, employees, neighbors, and global citizens. And yet, having been brought up on rugged individualism, we often slip into self-centeredness and a corresponding sense of entitlement. We have lost the ability to speak with gentleness toward one another. We have replaced kind words that connect us to one another with ones that divide, isolate, and hurt. Everywhere we turn there is deep conflict.

In this simple yet profound book, clinical psychologist Rod Wilson introduces us to the sacredness of these familiar but forgotten sayings. What impact do these sayings have on our relationships?

When we say, “Thank you,” we acknowledge the way others impact us.
When we say, “I’m sorry,” we acknowledge the way we impact others.
When we say, “Tell me more,” we acknowledge the way we impact each other.

Try it. Read this book and be encouraged and equipped to deliver kindness in your speech. As you engage with these three phrases more thoughtfully and speak them more frequently, you will enjoy a life full of deeper friendships and joy.

Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World by Kristen Welch

“But everyone else has it.” “If you loved me, you’d get it for me!” When you hear these comments from your kids, it can be tough not to cave. You love your children—don’t you want them to be happy and to fit in?

Kristen Welch knows firsthand it’s not that easy. In fact, she’s found out that when you say yes too often, it’s not only hard on your peace of mind and your wallet—it actually puts your kids at long-term risk. In Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, Kristen shares the ups and downs in her own family’s journey of discovering why it’s healthiest not to give their kids everything. Teaching them the difference between “want” and “need” is the first step in the right direction. With many practical tips and anecdotes, she shares how to say the ultimate yes as a family by bringing up faith-filled kids who will love God, serve others, and grow into hardworking, fulfilled, and successful adults.

It’s never too late to raise grateful kids. Get ready to cultivate a spirit of genuine appreciation and create a Jesus-centered home in which your kids don’t just say—but mean!—“thank you” for everything they have.

Children’s Books (Listed by Age)

Ages 0-3

Thanks for Little Things by Dandi Daley Mackall

Being thankful changes our hearts, and there are so many things to be thankful for! This rhyming board book leads little hearts into a prayer of thankfulness for wonderfully ordinary things. The simple language is accessible for young children and will spark their imagination as they think of all the little things they can thank God for! Jesus responds to the child’s prayer with Scripture-based encouragement.

Ages 1 -7 and 4-7

The Thanksgiving Blessing by Meadow Merrill

Discover the incredible joy of giving thanks to God with The Thanksgiving Blessing by Meadow Rue Merrill!

Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie—Everything looks so delicious, but there’s just one problem. Unlike the rest of her family, Molly didn’t bring anything to share! With her cousins Jacob and Sammy, and the rest of her family, help Molly brings the best gift to the table yet: giving thanks to God! Best of all, bring Christ into your own family Thanksgiving tradition with a hands-on poem scroll craft and activity!

The Thanksgiving Blessing board and picture books by Meadow Rue Merrill are engaging illustrated books for children one to three and four to seven years old, respectively. These colorful pages are about families celebrating Thanksgiving. Features eye-catching and colorful art by Disney and Marvel artist Drew Krevi!

4 Key Features:

  1. Christ-Centered: Focusing on Jesus, loving God, and serving others, The Thanksgiving Blessing encourages a biblical way of observing Thanksgiving and paves the way for a Christ-centered foundation for your kids for life!
  2. Eye Catching and Colorful Illustrations: Fun and engaging illustrations that will keep even the shortest attention spans glued to this heartwarming story of focusing on Jesus.
  3. Age-Appropriate: For kids 4-7 years old, this board book was written to suit the appropriate reading levels. The Thanksgiving Blessing can make the perfect read-to-me bedtime book or a story more advanced kids can read alone!
  4. Hands-On Family Activity: Holidays are an opportunity to create family traditions and memories. At the back of the book are easy-to-follow suggestions and instructions for the “Old Hundreth” scroll craft that you and your kids can do every year!

Ages 3-5

Otter B Thankful by Pamela Kennedy and Anne Kennedy Brady

Otter B: Thankful is the tenth in a series of children’s books that teach young children basic biblical character traits.

In Thankful, Otter B’s friend Franklin takes a trip to the Race Car Museum, and Tabitha gets a new scooter—but instead of being happy for them, Otter B is jealous. While Otter B is feeling sad, Felicia and Roscoe arrive with their Gratitude Jars. Together, they show Otter B all the things they have to be grateful for. Otter B stops feeling sad about the things he wants and learns to be thankful for everything he has.

Each book ends with a rhyme that reinforces the lesson and includes an appropriate Bible verse.

“When you’re sad ’cause you can’t get
the things you want or see,
try giving thanks for what you have.
It’s how you Otter Be!”

(1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Ages 3-6

Give Thanks by Kathryn O’Brien

With a repetitive, rhythmic introduction of Psalm 136:1 (“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!”), Give Thanks turns Bible memorization from a duty to a delight for children, using the author’s unique teaching strategy. This purposeful presentation of Scripture will help children memorize, understand, and absorb passages as the author presents this powerful verse one word at a time, teaching the meaning of each individual word before presenting the entire passage. Give Thanks builds a meaningful connection between God’s Word and a child’s life experiences, laying a foundation for a love and comprehension of Scripture. Parents and children will enjoy interacting together over the passage.

Ages 3-7

Thank You, God by Lise Caldwell and Diane Stortz

A Happy Day Book Title

Every day we can tell God thank you for all his blessings! This early reader 16-page book teaches kids about the Bible and character traits.

Ages 3-7

Thank You, God, for This Day by Crystal Bowman

A Happy Day Book Title

Spend the day with Kitty as she learns to be thankful for each part of her day. This early reader 16-page book teaches kids about the Bible and character traits.

Ages 7+

Problems in Plymouth by Marianne Hering and Marshal Younger

Over 1 million sold in series!

The Imagination Station Adventures continue! Patrick and Beth’s next adventure leads them to Plymouth Plantation in 1621. There they meet William Bradford, Miles Standish, and Chief Massasoit, who are trying to establish peace between the Pilgrims and the Indians. Things are anything but peaceful, however, when a musket is stolen and the Pilgrims conclude the Indians are planning war. Only Patrick and Beth know who the real thief is—the traitor Hugh—and it’s up to the cousins to find him and stop him from causing trouble. When the cousins hear a gunshot during the first Thanksgiving feast, their worst fears are realized. They rush to the Mayflower and try to set right history, even as Hugh desperately tries to change it.

Radio Dramatization

Ages 8+

The Legend of Squanto by Focus on the Family

Discover the incredible story of one of American history’s least known, yet most compelling, figures as it unfolds in The Legend of Squanto. This Focus on the Family radio theatre drama is more than just a tale about an honest man who triumphed over tragedy. It is also a tribute to honor, integrity, and the God-given ability to look beyond the color of one’s skin . . . and into the heart.

Listen to an audio preview:


Give Thanks to the Lord

A Faith that Sticks Title

These stickers make giving thanks fun and colorful for boys and girls. Pumpkins, apples, and fall leaves are paired with greetings: God is good, Give thanks, and Give thanks to the Lord. Complementary fall-themed stickers without words are also included. Ideal for fall or back-to-school crafts, Thanksgiving projects, or placecards. Six sheets, 6 stickers per sheet; 36 stickers per package.

Bethany was raised on a mini farm in Indiana where she fell in love with nature, faith, and imagination. Since then, she was employed as a marketer for the Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis & Friends before graduating with a Marketing and Management double major from Taylor University and joining the ranks of Tyndale House Publishers. Among her many interests are painting, riding horses, and basically living the dream.

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