9 Children’s Books that Help Kids Learn to Be Thankful

Did you know that there’s a Jewish tradition of trying to recognize at least 100 blessings each day? That’s a lot to be grateful for! There’s a Jewish concept called “recognizing the good,” or hakarat hatov, that helps each of us appreciate the big and small wonders in our lives. Hakarat hatov is something kids often practice pretty naturally, especially when they’re younger – just watch a toddler with a piece of string. As kids grow older, it’s hard to maintain that sense of wonder, but here are a few story books that can help.

All of Me! A Book of Thanks

All of Me! A Book Of Thanks by Molly Bang

Recommended for ages 2 to 3

From fine feet and grand hands to hearing ears and a thumping heart, this book teaches children and reminds adults to enjoy a sense of gratitude as part of the family in this big, amazing world.

All the World

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon

Recommended for ages 3 to 4

As this lovely book reminds us, the world is filled with beautiful things -- big and small. The trick is to remember to take note of them.

Bagels from Benny

Bagels from Benny by Aubrey Davis

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

While working in his grandfather’s bakery, Benny learns the joys of giving and receiving, caring and gratitude.

The Cholent Brigade

The Cholent Brigade by Michael Herman

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

Monty Nudelman is a neighborhood mensch -- every time it snows, he's out there shoveling the walks for all his neighbors. But one day, his back gives out! What do you think his neighbors do?

Good Night, Laila tov

Good night, Laila Tov by Laurel Snyder

Recommended for ages 2 to 3

A family car trip turns into an exploration of the natural wonders of the seashore, woods, and fields, In gratitude and to make the world a better place, the parents plant trees. As the day progresses, the family adventure is marked by the recurring refrain: "good night, laila tov.”

Here is the World

Here is the World by Lesléa Newman

Recommended for ages 3 to 4

The cycle of the Jewish year is a world of joy, significance, and wonder, especially for a new baby encountering each holiday for the first time. As the leaves turn gold, flutter to the ground, and are ultimately replaced by fresh green buds, we follow the Jewish year from one milestone to the next. Read an interview with the author.

I Say Shehechiyanu

I Say Shehechiyanu by Joanne Rocklin

Recommended for ages 5 to 6

When you’re a small child, life is a series of firsts -- first steps, first words, first teeth, first snow! Jewish tradition has a special prayer, the Shehechiyanu, that recognizes the importance of each and every first.

Just Look at You

Just Look at You! by Bara Bat-Shem

Recommended for ages 6 months to 2 years

There's no stronger bond than that between parent and child. Every parent can relate to the wonder and joy of a new baby -- in any language.

The Night World

The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein

Recommended for ages 3 to 4

Awakened in the middle of the night by his cat, Sylvie, a young boy creeps out of bed and follows Sylvie into the strange nighttime world of his back yard . As the animals eagerly whisper, “It’s coming,” the boy watches in awe as the shadows of nighttime give way to the glorious colors of dawn. Learn more about why we chose this book.

Want to learn more?
Check out Eight Ways to Teach Kids About Gratitude