This is a illustration made in the cut paper styler. Four children are seated on an oversized book that is open on the ground. They are reading underneath a tree wit fall colored leaves.

Celebrating Books with An Attitude of Gratitude

November 15, 2023

Reading with your child holds a profound power that transcends the pages of a book. Beyond developing crucial literacy skills, reading together with your child can be a potent catalyst for promoting gratitude. Books contain valuable life lessons about perseverance, kindness, and courage. As you discuss these lessons with your child, they may internalize these values, making them more likely to express thanks for the kindness and generosity they encounter.

As children journey with characters facing challenges or experiencing different cultures, they may learn to appreciate the lives and perspectives of others, developing a sense of gratitude for their circumstances. Reading enhances a child’s cognitive development, nurturing their ability to think critically and make connections. These skills may enable them to recognize the world’s interconnectedness and develop a deeper understanding of how various factors contribute to their well-being. The following stories can provide an excellent starting point for discussing gratitude and its importance.

A Positive Power Story: I Am Thankful, by Suzy Capozzi
(Recommended Age: 4-6)
It’s Thanksgiving Day, and there’s much to do before turkey time! I Am Thankful follows a young boy through his busy holiday adventures, from running in the turkey trot to helping his family bake pies. Even though the weather might ruin the annual family football game, the jam-packed day proves there’s never a shortage of things to be thankful for. In this first installment of the Positive Power series, kids will learn the affirmation “I am thankful” through a delightful story of food, family, and fun.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving, by Eve Bunting
(Recommended Age: 4-7)
Mr. and Mrs. Moose invite all their animal friends for Thanksgiving dinner, and the only one missing is Turkey. When they set out to find him, Turkey is quaking with fear because he doesn’t realize that his hosts want him at their table, not on it.

Judy Moody and Stink: The Wishbone Wish, by Megan McDonald
(Recommended Age: 6-9)
The town’s annual Turkey Trot race and festival is coming up, and Judy and Stink are training to win the big prize: a fat, juicy turkey. But what if they don’t win? What then? Flying turkey gizzards! Will the Moody family end up starving on T-day, like ye pilgrims of olde, or will Grandma Lou cook up a tasty Franksgiving solution?

Nate the Great Talks Turkey, by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Mitchell Sharmat
(Recommended Age: 6-9)
A giant turkey is on the loose! And everyone is on the case: Nate, his cousin Olivia, his dog, Sludge, and even his friend Claude. But from talking turkey to stalking turkey, will every detective be a winner?

Squanto’s Journey, by Joseph Bruchac
(Recommended Age: 4-7)
In 1620, an English ship called the Mayflower landed on the shores inhabited by the Pokanoket people, and it was Squanto who welcomed the newcomers and taught them how to survive in the rugged land they called Plymouth. He showed them how to plant corn, beans, and squash and how to hunt and fish. And when a good harvest was gathered in the fall, the two peoples feasted together in the spirit of peace and brotherhood.

You can order your free copy of any of these books through the United Through Reading App.