November 22, 2012

Thankgiving (via picture book)

Happy Thanksgiving! Last year for Thanksgiving I gave you the adult, slightly more cynical version of things: with reviews of Caleb's Crossing, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, and Constance: A Story of Early Plymouth.
This year I've got the picture book version - which actually could work out nicely in conjunction with some of those others. Your toddler and tween could each join you in reading a great book about early Thanksgivings!

Thanksgiving Mice! by Bethany Roberts, illustrated by Doug Cushman.

Our mutual favorite this year has been Thanksgiving Mice! It's told in rhyme, and it stars a group of mice who put on a Thanksgiving play for their woodland friends. It gives the basic Pilgrim story, with little mice dressed up as Pilgrims and Native Americans, and then ends with applause and a modern feast, with all the little creatures eating together. It's super adorable, and I love seeing the familiar story framed by the woodland animals.   Rating: 5 out of 5  Recommended age: 2 - 5

Feast for 10 written and illustrated by Cathryn Falwell.

Eleanor loves Feast for 10. While it's not specifically a Thanksgiving book, it's a very cute story about a family shopping and cooking together for a big family feast. It starts out with "1 cart into the grocery store, 2 pumpkins for pie, 3 chickens to fry..." then it starts over back at home with another 1 - 10, ("2 will look, 3 will cook, 4 will taste and ask for more...") I like that it counts over twice, making it just long enough to hold her attention, but still a nice, fast read. And the illustrations are bright and happy - the kids look all excited to be helping their mom shop and helping their parents cook. Rating: 4.5 out of 5  Recommended age: 1 - 3

Thank You, Thanksgiving written and illustrated by David Milgrim.

We've also enjoyed Thank You, Thanksgiving. A little girl's mom sends her out on a Thanksgiving morning mission. She walks to the store, thanking everyone and everything she passes, till she gets home with the whipped cream, takes a bow "Thank you, thank you!" and eats dessert with her family (Thank you pie with whipped cream! Thank you, Thanksgiving!" Since the words "thank you" are on every page, it really emphasizes the thankful part of Thanksgiving, and the rounded, colorful illustrations are eye-catching. My only question is: what parent sends an apparently 5 year old child off to the store alone with only rabbits and squirrels for company??   Rating: 4 out of 5  Recommended age: 1 - 4

The Very First Thanksgiving by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrated by Susan Gaber.

 The Very First Thanksgiving has absolutely gorgeous illustrations, and tells the story backwards. It starts, "This is the first Thanksgiving Day," and then goes back to: 
This is the land where it all began,
the land where a brave group made ready their plan
to travel the ocean that never would end,
that sometimes was foe and sometimes was friend...
The story is the basic Pilgrim story - but the poem's rhythm is nice, and the pretty pictures totally engrossed Eleanor, even if the text was perhaps over her head.  Rating: 4 out of 5  Recommended age: 2 - 5


An Outlaw Thanksgiving written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully.

An Outlaw Thanksgiving tells the story of a young girl and her mother who end up at Butch Cassidy's Thanksgiving meal by accident (which, by the way, Butch Cassidy really did throw a Thanksgiving meal for all his outlaw friends in 1870). Some of the people who reviewed this book on Amazon were all horrified that the girl didn't turn Butch Cassidy in when she had a chance... but I thought the story was fun, and the pictures are amazing. They're really beautiful art, that brings the Old West vividly to life. It's a little over Eleanor's head still, but I'm looking forward to reading it again in future years. Rating: 4 out of 5  Recommended age: 4 and up

What's your favorite Thanksgiving book?
Are you a pumpkin pie person?

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