We have a lot of Thanksgiving books, and we’ve checked out a lot of Thanksgiving books from the library. In fact, I rarely ever even look for new-to-us books because we have (and have read) so many. (This is entirely not the case with Christmas books! Ask Steady Eddie. 😉 ) I purchased The Very First Thanksgiving Day because it is a part of a preschool/kindergarten curriculum I bought last summer to use with the DLM this year. (Full disclosure: I’ve yet to use a full week’s worth of activities from the curriculum. Lesson learned (again).) Thinking I might as well get some good out of it, I grabbed the book off the shelf yesterday morning to read to the boys during our Circle Time. Well! What a pleasant surprise! If you’re looking for a simple but appealing book to explain the first Thanksgiving to your preschooler or early elementary aged student, this is it! Written in rhymes, three or four lines to a page, this book covers the well-known basics: the food, the Indians, the Pilgrims, the Mayflower, the community, and the coming together. The text is reminiscent of “The House That Jack Built”; full of repetition, it’s sure to captivate even the youngest listener. Here’s a sample:
This is the ocean that never would end,
that sometimes was foe and sometimes was friend,
that carried the Mayflower ship in full sail.
Susan Graber’s illustrations are full-page, detailed, and expressive. The DLM asked several questions about the story just based on the illustrations. The youngest readers at the House of Hope give The Very First Thanksgiving Day a Highly Recommended, and we will be adding it to our Thanksgiving booklist posthaste. (Aladdin, 2002)