Find some new favorite November Read Alouds from this curated list of seasonal favorites, with an emphasis on fall and the lead-up to Thanksgiving.
Soon after the excitement of Halloween fades and the sweet treats and candy wrappers are gone, it’s time to prepare for the excitement and anticipation of November and all that it brings.
November Read Alouds
Here are some of my favorite November read alouds. Filled with fun, laughter, friendship, sharing, and generosity, this list has something for everyone to enjoy.
Do you start talking about feasts in the lead-up to Thanksgiving? That’s also a perfect time to discuss sharing. I love being able to use examples that aren’t about sharing coveted toys!
Thank You, Omu by Oge Mora
This heartwarming story of sharing and kindness makes it a perfect read aloud for the season. Kids will be introduced not only to a variety of community helpers but some delightful words that will lend themselves to rich discussion. The wonderful cut-paper collage illustrations add an element of intrigue, as you wander through this story of Omu and her kind and giving heart.
Stone Soup Retold by Jon J. Muth
When three monks enter a village, they are eager to help the people find happiness through giving, sharing, and coming together. This classic folktale is set in China and is sure to elicit a reaction as kids wonder at the impossibility of making soup from a stone. You can add some extra “flavor” to this read aloud with this Stone Soup Science Activity.
Giving Thanks by Jonathan London (Paintings by Gregory Manchess)
A charming story of gratitude for nature. While on an autumn hike, a boy listens as his father gives thanks to the earth and sky, the jackrabbit, crickets, deer, and more. Beautiful paintings of a fall day capture nature and even hold some surprises to be discovered. A wonderful way to teach gratitude for nature and its beauty.
Thanksgiving is For Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland & Sonja Lamut
I love to use this picture book to introduce the concept of “being thankful”. Told from the perspective of a child, kids will love reading about being thankful for family, books, lollipops, and even rainy days. The simplicity of the text and cheerful illustrations are perfect for even the youngest readers. A great book to spur conversation and challenge kids to think of other things that they are thankful for.
I have a whole book list full of non-seasonal children’s books about friendship, but these titles are perfect for November.
Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson (Illustrated by Jane Chapman)
In this delightful story of friendship, Bear decides to make a big dinner feast to share with his friends to say “thanks”. But Bear has a problem. I truly love the way the illustrations capture the feelings of the animals. With rhythm and rhyme and pictures that delight, this story of friendship and giving is sure to be a favorite.
By the way, I have a whole post with activities to go with Bear Says Thanks.
The Very Stuffed Turkey by Katharine Kenah (illustrated by Binny Talib)
Turkey is excited! He gets to spend Thanksgiving with all of his barnyard friends. There is only one problem. Turkey doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so he goes to all of the Thanksgiving dinners. An ice cream cone contest, soup with flowers, weeds and glue, and stew with beets, corn, and a worm or two. How will Turkey feel?
Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead (illustrated by Erin E. Stead)
Kids love to tell stories and they are sure to fall in love with Bear as he tries to tell each of his friends a story before winter comes. With beautiful illustrations, this story showcases the bond of friendship, kindness, and caring.
Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall (illustrated by Barbara Cooney)
This Caldecott-winning classic makes a great fall read aloud. A nineteenth century farm family works all year to make goods to sell at market in the fall. The story actually starts in October, not November, but with its themes of family and fall harvest I think it’s also fitting to read at Thanksgiving time.
You might like to see this storytelling basket to go with Ox-Cart Man.
Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson (illustrated by Mary Azarian)
I have this lovely book listed under “harvest”, but it’s also about gratitude. It helps children understand where their food comes from and instills the idea that everyone along the way is important.
The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern (illustrated by Elroy Freem)
Kids will love hearing about how the first Thanksgiving lasted for three days. Told in great detail, this story shares the struggles and triumphs of the Pilgrims during their first year at Plymouth Colony and the friendships that they built. I love the vivid detail of the illustrations. A wonderful age-appropriate book to introduce this historic event.
Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano (illustrated by Lee Harper)
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, poor turkey has a big problem. How can he save himself from being served as the main course on Thanksgiving day? Seeing Turkey’s creative and inventive costumes, kids are sure to laugh and love the many disguises.
In November by Cynthia Rylant ( illustrated by Jill Kastner)
November brings all kinds of changes. The air grows crisp and cold, animals seek out food and shelter as they prepare for winter and families prepare to gather together. This story describes the sights and sounds of late autumn with beautiful illustrations. Rich vocabulary adds to the delight of this November read aloud.
I hope you enjoy this list of November books and find some new favorites to enjoy and share. Discovering a new book is like meeting a new friend. Sharing a story is like sharing a gift.