Stories About Gratitude: Books for Kids

Thank You, Omu!

These stories for children celebrate gratitude in direct and subtle ways. Whether it's expressing thanks or finding new things to appreciate, these stories will inspire important conversations and reflections for children and adults alike.

For related classroom activities, see Making Space for Gratitude: 12 Ideas for Schools During Challenging Times.

Feeling Thankful

Age Level: 6-9

Full-color photographs on well-composed pages introduce a multicultural cast of kids. Each child expresses what he or she is thankful for — from family and friends to a pet mouse — in this handsome and useful book.

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

Painting of wilderness scene
Illustrated by: Erwin Printup, Jr.
Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

In this poignant and graceful picture book, Chief Jake Swamp gives thanks to Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants for sharing their rare and precious gifts. According to the author's note, these words are still spoken at ceremonial and governmental gatherings held by the Six Nations. Available in Spanish. Related classroom activities are included in this teachers guide.


Young boy with dog
By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: John Parra
Language: Spanish (Bilingual Eng/Sp)

From the sun that wakens him to the cricket that serenades him to sleep, a young boy gives thanks for the many kinds of friends who help him throughout the day. Pat Mora's reflection on gratitude is filled with kindness and humor, brought to life by John Parra's heartwarming illustrations. Pat concludes the book with an author's note about the things she for which she feels grateful. Bilingual text.

Last Stop on Market Street

Young boy with grandmother at bus stop
Illustrated by: Christian Robinson
Age Level: 6-9

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn't he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. Winner 2016 Newbery Award.

Thank You Day: Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1

Thank You Day: Ready-to-Read Pre-Level 1
Illustrated by: Gord Garwood
Age Level: 3-6

It is Neighborhood Thank You Day in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe! Join Daniel Tiger and his friends as they put special notes on the Thank You Tree. Who will Daniel decide to thank with his note? Find out in this special story for pre-schoolers and early readers.

Thank You, Omu!

Young child smelling pot of stew
By: Oge Mora
Age Level: 6-9
Language: English

Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself? Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu's stew, with an extra serving of love.

Thanku: Poems of Gratitude

child blowing on dandilion and out flows a rainbow of colors
Illustrated by: Marlena Myles
Age Level: 6-9

This poetry anthology, edited by Miranda Paul, explores a wide range of ways to be grateful (from gratitude for a puppy to gratitude for family to gratitude for the sky) with poems by a diverse group of contributors, including Joseph Bruchac, Margarita Engle, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Waters, and Jane Yolen.

We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Cherokee community celebration
Illustrated by: Frané Lessac
Language: Cherokee

The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this award-winning look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah.