Being grateful or thankful means appreciating what you have instead of missing what you don’t have.

This is a list of children’s picture books that are about gratitude or thankfulness. I’ve included these books because, in addition to a positive message, they are fun to read. Some are funny, or have great illustrations, and all of them held my attention and the attention of my kids. I hope you enjoy them, too.

Here is an idea to help jump-start a discussion about this virtue with kids:

Try the VirtueGame! It teaches 10 virtues in a fun, engaging way.



It Could Always Be Worse by Margot Zemach Published 1976

This Caldecott Honor book is based on a Yiddish folk tale. In the story, a family of nine shares a little one-room hut and thinks they are crowded and unhappy until the rabbi tells them to let the farms animals move in, too. Soon, living with just nine people starts to look roomy and peaceful!

Lotsa de Casha by Madonna Published 2005

The illustrations in this book are rich and beautiful, and the story has a wise message mixed with a little humor. Lotsa de Casha is wealthy but unhappy and is in search of a cure. Through the course of the book he learns that “if you share what you have and put others before you, you will find happiness.

Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting

This book is a little heavy. A homeless boy lives with his father in an airport, moving from terminal to terminal so as not to be noticed. He is given hope when a bird that is trapped in the airport finally finds its freedom.

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle by Margaret Read MacDonald Published in 1940 and 1995

This is a British fairy tale about an ungrateful woman who complains constantly. She is granted wishes from a fairy, but still complains. I didn’t love the style of this book, but my kids responded to it. I think they liked that the subject was so clear.

Somebody’s New Pajamas by Isaac Jackson

Jerome appreciates what he has, instead of envying his friend, Robert