Books that Teach Kids to Be Grateful

The gratitude we encourage our children to feel over the Thanksgiving holiday can quickly be forgotten as we move into December. Research shows gratitude generates positivity that both reaches inward and extends outward, and the benefits of living with a grateful heart snowball over time, paying itself forward.

If you’re hoping to teach your little ones to be grateful, these books can help.

 An Awesome Book of Thanks – Dallas Clayton

Best for Preschool to 3rd Grade

An Awesome Book of Thanks teaches kids to be grateful for what they have through pictures and simple yet beautiful language.  It shows them different ways to be thankful, and all the things in life we have to be to be thankful for. 


Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? – Dr Seuss

Grades: Preschool to 4th Grade

It’s hard to beat classic Dr. Suess.  Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are is the perfect answer to children who may be feeling low and need a gentle reminder of how fortunate they are. His signature rhymes and silly illustrations will help turn that frown upside down faster than they can say gobble gobble.


It Could Always Be Worse –  Margot Zemach

Best for Preschool to 3rd grade

It Could Always Be Worse is a charming Yiddish folktale where things quickly go from bad to worse in the most hilarious ways. 

The story begins with a poor man living with his mother, his wife, and his six children in a one-room hut. When he can no longer stand the bickering and fighting, he goes to his rabbi for advice. The lesson the rabbi was trying to teach the man isn’t evident until the end, and it’s an important lesson for kids and adults alike. 


Thanks a Million – Nikki Grimes

Best for 1st Grade to 5th Grade

Grimes’ collection of entertaining poems reminds the reader of the power of gratitude and how good saying a simple “Thank you!” can make you feel. Written in a variety of styles including letter poems, haiku, rebus, riddles, and dialogue poems and accompanied by beautiful illustrations, Thanks a Million will teach your children gratitude in beautiful and engaging ways. 


The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein

Best for Preschool to 3rd Grade

No list of books about gratitude could be complete without Silverstein’s masterpiece, The Giving Tree.  It’s a modern parable of giving and sacrifice and the power of heartfelt gratitude given in return.


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