Investing in Children Blog

19 Children's Books About Gratitude

Here at Investing in Children, gratitude is at the forefront of our minds. For our first staff meeting of the year, we discussed the importance of gratitude and understanding that behind every face there is a story. Some of those stories are heartbreaking; that is where our work comes in to make a positive difference.

From our dedicated staff, volunteers and Board of Directors, to our funders and supporters across the community, we are so grateful for your commitment and support, and for helping us make a difference!

In celebration of this warm and fuzzy feeling of gratitude, we collected 19 children's books for you to share with your little ones. 

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By Liz Garton Scanlon Preschool to 3rd grade

By Liz Garton Scanlon
Preschool to 3rd grade

All the World

By Liz Garton Scanlon
Grades: Preschool to 3rd grade
Content: Gratitude for small daily life

Following a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning till night, this book affirms the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to warm family connections, to the widest sunset sky.


By Dallas Clayton Preschool to 3rd Grade

By Dallas Clayton
Preschool to 3rd Grade

An Awesome Book of Thanks

By Dallas Clayton
Grades: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Content: Gratitude for what what you have

This book conveys, in pictures and simple yet beautiful language, all the ways one can be thankful, and all the different things in life to be thankful for. 


By James Henry Daugherty Preschool to 2nd Grade

By James Henry Daugherty
Preschool to 2nd Grade

Andy and the Lion

By James Henry Daugherty
Grades: Preschool to 2nd Grade
Content: Gratitude for friends

In this retelling of Androcles and the Lion, Andy meets a lion on the way to school and wins his friendship for life by removing a thorn from his paw.


By Karma Wilson Preschool to 3rd Grade

By Karma Wilson
Preschool to 3rd Grade

Bear Says Thanks

By Karma Wilson
Grades: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Content: Gratitude for friends

Karma Wilson’s playful text and Jane Chapman’s charming illustrations bring to life this celebration of family and friendship. Young readers will delight in discovering the special gift Bear has to share.


By Dr Seuss Preschool to 4th Grade

By Dr Seuss
Preschool to 4th Grade

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

By Dr Seuss
Grades: Preschool to 4th Grade
Content: Gratitude for what you have

This classic book provides the perfect antidote for readers of all ages who are feeling a bit down in the dumps. Thanks to Dr. Seuss’s trademark rhymes and signature illustrations, readers will, without a doubt, realize just how lucky they truly are.


By Jake Swamp Preschool to 2nd Grade

By Jake Swamp
Preschool to 2nd Grade

Giving Thanks

By Jake Swamp
Grades: Preschool to 2nd Grade
Content: Native message of gratitude

Giving Thanks is a special children's version of the Thanksgiving Address, a message of gratitude that originated with the Native people of upstate New York and Canada and that is still spoken at ceremonial gatherings held by the Iroquois, or Six Nations. 


By John Buccino Preschool to 2nd Grade

By John Buccino
Preschool to 2nd Grade

Grateful: A Song of Giving Thanks

By John Buccino
Grades: Preschool to 2nd Grade
Content: Song about gratitude

Once in a while, a perfect union of words and music creates a transcendent song that soars from the heart and speaks to every soul... Grateful is such an anthem — a loving reminder of the gifts available to us when we approach life with gratitude. It is a song that inspires courage, compassion, and hope.

In this exquisite picture book and accompanying CD recorded by Art Garfunkel, Anna-Lisa Hakkarainen's radiant paintings bring John Bucchino's words to life. A joyous celebration of the beauty of the seasons, the wonders of nature, and the blessings of faith, here is a gift to be treasured by children and adults of all ages.


By Olivia Rosewood Preschool to 3rd Grade

By Olivia Rosewood
Preschool to 3rd Grade

Gratitude Soup

By Olivia Rosewood
Grades: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Content: Gratitude for what you have

Violet the Purple Fairy learns how to make Gratitude Soup by thinking of all the things, people, places, and experiences that she is grateful for, putting them in an imaginary soup pot. She is able to shrink her pot of soup with her imagination, and she keeps the gratitude warm and flowing in her heart all day and all night. Perfect for teaching your children about gratitude with fun and play, this rhyming, colourful picture book combines collage and watercolours as Violet the Purple Fairy tells her own story of cooking with gratitude. Your children might even be inspired to make their own Gratitude Soup! 


By Margot Zemach Preschool to 3rd grade

By Margot Zemach
Preschool to 3rd grade

It Could Always Be Worse

By Margot Zemach
Grades: Preschool to 3rd grade
Content: Yiddish folktale on gratitude

Once upon a time a poor unfortunate man lived with his mother, his wife, and his six children in a one-room hut. Because they were so crowded, the children often fought and the man and his wife argued. When the poor man was unable to stand it any longer, he ran to the Rabbi for help.

As he follows the Rabbi's unlikely advice, the poor man's life goes from bad to worse, with increasingly uproarious results. In his little hut, silly calamity follows foolish catastrophe, all memorably depicted in full-colour illustrations that are both funnier and lovelier than any this distinguished artist has done in the past.


By Mercer Mayer Preschool to 2nd Grade

By Mercer Mayer
Preschool to 2nd Grade

Just So Thankful

By Mercer Mayer
Grades: Preschool to 2nd Grade
Content: Gratitude for what you have

There's a new kid in town who has everything Little Critter wants — a Super Streak scooter, his own cell phone, and even a limousine! But Little Critter soon realizes that he has something money cannot buy — a family who loves and adores him.


By Douglas Wood Preschool to 3rd Grade

By Douglas Wood
Preschool to 3rd Grade

Secret of Saying Thanks

By Douglas Wood
Grades: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Content: Gratitude for the wonders of life

In the inspirational text that made him a bestselling, internationally acclaimed author, Douglas Wood offers a spiritual homage to nature and the world. Greg Shed's stunning portraits of the natural world tenderly portray all of the many ways in which we can say thanks for the wonders we sometimes take granted in life.


By Rob Scotton Preschool to 3rd Grad

By Rob Scotton
Preschool to 3rd Grad

Splat Says Thank You!

By Rob Scotton
Grades: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Content: Thankful for friendship

Splat the Cat's trusty mouse friend, Seymour, needs cheering up, and Splat wants to help. He's been working on something special for Seymour — not just a thank-you card but a thank-you book! His book lists all the sweet and often hilarious reasons Splat is thankful for their friendship.

The funny adventures that Splat and Seymour have had together, complete with animated illustrations and a laugh-out-loud text from bestselling author and illustrator Rob Scotton, will leave Splat fans thankful to know this cat-and-mouse duo.


By William Steig Preschool to 2nd Grade

By William Steig
Preschool to 2nd Grade

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

By William Steig
Grades: Preschool to 2nd Grade
Content: Gratitude for your family

Sylvester can’t believe his luck when he finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But when a lion jumps out at him on his way home, Sylvester is shocked into making a wish that has unexpected consequences. After overcoming a series of obstacles, Sylvester is eventually reunited with his loving family. Illustrated with William Steig’s glowing pictures, this winner of the Caldecott Medal is beloved by children everywhere.


By Nikki Grimes 1st Grade to 5th Grade

By Nikki Grimes
1st Grade to 5th Grade

Thanks a Million

By Nikki Grimes
Grade: 1st Grade to 5th Grade
Content: Poems on being thankful

In sixteen extraordinary poems that range in form from a haiku to a rebus to a riddle, Nikki Grimes reminds us how wonderful it is to feel thankful, and how powerful a simple "thank you" can be.


By Stan Berenstain Preschool to 2nd Grade

By Stan Berenstain
Preschool to 2nd Grade

The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings

By Stan Berenstain
Grades: Preschool to 2nd Grade
Content: Gratitude for what you have

Mama Bear is tired of hearing how many Bearbie dolls Lizzy Bruin has and how many Game Bear video games Cousin Freddy just got. During a thunderstorm, Mama gets her cubs to realize that love and a good home are much more valuable than material possessions.  


By Shel Silverstein Preschool to 3rd Grade

By Shel Silverstein
Preschool to 3rd Grade

The Giving Tree

By Shel Silverstein
Grades: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Content: The gift of giving

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.


By Todd Parr Preschool to 1st Grade

By Todd Parr
Preschool to 1st Grade

The Thankful Book

By Todd Parr
Grades: Preschool to 1st Grade
Content: Giving thanks

Todd Parr's bestselling books have taught kids about unconditional love, respecting the earth, facing fears, and more, all with his signature blend of playfulness and sensitivity. Now, The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, Todd inspires readers to remember all of life's special moments. The perfect book to treasure and share, around the holidays and throughout the year.


By Alice Walker Kindergarten and up

By Alice Walker
Kindergarten and up

There’s a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me

By Alice Walker
Grades: Kindergarten and up
Content: Self, nature and creativity

In a beautifully poetic and gently provocative text, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker invites readers young and old to see the world — and our place in it — through new eyes.

Glowing colours and radiant images accompany this joyous celebration of the connections and interconnections between self, Nature, and creativity.


By Maribeth Boelts Preschool to 3rd Grade

By Maribeth Boelts
Preschool to 3rd Grade

Those Shoes

By Maribeth Boelts
Grades: Preschool to 3rd Grade
Content: Gratitude for what you have

All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for "want," just "need," when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.


Did we forget something? 

Send us a message if we missed an important children's book about gratitude!

Book descriptions from Amazon.