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In our family, we don’t talk enough about being grateful for what we have and being generous towards others. It seems to come up more during birthdays and holidays when the kids are inundated with toy advertisements. Discussions about gratitude and giving shouldn’t be regulated to just the holiday season.
The terms gratitude and giving get tossed around fairly often this time of the year, but the concepts may be too abstract for young kids. Reading books together is a great way to jumpstart a chat.
Believe it or not, I had a tough time coming up with this list of diverse picture books about gratitude. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments so others can see them!
Diverse Picture Books About Gratitude & Giving
The Circle of Thanks by Joseph Bruhac offers fourteen poems based on traditional Native American songs and prayers. Bruhac is an Abenaki storyteller, poet, and author who has dedicated his life’s work on sharing stories about Native Americans.
Feeling Thankful by Shelly Rotner is perfect for preschoolers. Short, direct sentences paired with animated photos help young readers understand gratitude.
Gracias ~ Thanks (English and Spanish Edition) by Pat Mora: This bilingual picture book features a biracial (Caucasian and Mexican) boy and the everyday things for which he is thankful.
Stone Soup by Jon Muth: This classic tale retold by Muth (and his gorgeous illustrations) is set in China, where strangers trick a suspicious village into sharing their food. They learn to become a community again through trust and generosity.
The Can Man by Laura E. Williams is layered with themes of homelessness, prejudices, stereotypes, and generosity. A multiracial boy wants a skateboard for his birthday, but his family cannot afford it. To earn the money, he decides to collect empty soft drink cans, like the Can Man, but soon realizes how his actions affect the Can Man.
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts: Jeremey wants a pair of shoes just like all his friends are wearing, but all he gets are a pair from the thrift shop. A relatable look at “want” and “need.”
A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams: After a house fire that destroys everything, Rosa learns the importance of saving and giving to others.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena: CJ does’t understand why his family doesn’t have a car or iPod. He peppers his grandma with questions during their Sunday bus ride across town as she encourages him to see the beauty in what they already own and the world around them.
Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure by Naomi Rose: Tashi is worried about her sick grandfather. Inspired by her grandfather’s Tibetan stories, she recruits neighbors and friends to gather flowers to help him recover.
Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes contains sixteen poems that remind us the powerful of a “thank you” and how feeling thankful lifts us.