Saturday, November 14, 2009

Books About Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving! It's been my favorite holiday ever since I grew up and had to bear the burdens of Christmas. But there are other reasons I love it so . . . I love it that it is 100% American, I love the history behind it, the theme (gratitude to God), family and friends connecting, the Macy's Parade and, of course, the FOOD! The only thing I don't love is the football . ::grin::

Anyway, we do a lot of Thanksgiving-related activities this time of year, including digging out all our favorite books. Reading about the history of this holiday really helps bring home the true meaning of the holiday and adds a special element of study for our homeschooled children. But you certainly don't have to homeschool to snuggle up and delve into the world of Priscilla Mullins and Squanto! There are many great Thanksgiving books in the stores and these are a "few" we've acquired over the years and happily recommend (with comments):

For younger children . . .

* Our Thanksgiving (Hello Reader) -- Kimberly Weinberger: Family and friends.
* The Story of the Pilgrims -- Katharine Ross: I love the artwork.
* Squanto and the First Thanksgiving -- Joyce K. Kessel: This one is great because it tells of the important contribution by the final Patuxet Indian, Squanto.

* Oh, What a Thanksgiving! -- Steven Kroll: A little boy imagines what it would be like to go back to the time of the Pilgrims.
* The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving -- Ann McGovern: We always enjoy her books. (Lovely artwork, too!)

* The First Thanksgiving -- Jean Craighead George: Gorgeous watercolors.
* The Pilgrim's Party -- Sadyebeth & Anson Lowitz: Old and hard to find (last published in 1971.) I have mixed feelings on this one. Written with humor I'm not crazy about, but my kids enjoy it. Still enough good information to keep and it tells of the early Separatist history in England and Holland.

* Three Young Pilgrims -- Cheryl Harness: I love this one. Beautiful artwork and a lot of details all over the pages like Holling C. Holling or even DK books.
* Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl -- Kate Waters: Another winner. The illustrations are actual photos taken at Plimoth Plantation in MA. A unique look at every day life for the Pilgrim women and girls.

For kids a little older . . .

* The Pilgrims at Plymouth (Landmark Books) -- Lucille Recht Penner: I love the Landmark books and this is an illustrated version (I also recommend the companion books, Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began and Westward Ho! The Story of the Pioneers.) Chocked full of information and details.
* . . . If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 -- Ann McGovern: Another McGovern winner (part of the ". . . If You" series.) Details about Pilgrim life in question and answer form.

* The Pilgrims of Plimoth -- Marcia Sewall: Interesting telling in the first person.
* Who's that Stepping on Plymouth Rock? -- Jean Fritz: We love her books too! This is part of her popular series. A lot of information and humor, too!

* Don't Know Much About the Pilgrims -- Kenneth C. Davis: Part of the "Don't Know Much About" series. Another book with pages chocked full of interesting information and details, even along the side-bars.
* Meet the Pilgrim Fathers -- Elizabeth Payne: Part of the "Meet the" series and may be hard to find (published in 1966.) Simply told w/large letters, basic illustrations, and maps.

* We Were There with the Mayflower Pilgrims -- Robert N. Webb: It's an oldie (1956) but a goodie! And part of the "We Were There" series. Written in story form, but factual. Sort of a prelude to the "American Girl" and "Dear America" books.
* Boy on the Mayflower -- Iris Vinton: Another "story", but with a lot of facts and details, including a diagram of the inside of the Mayflower and the Mayflower Compact.

* The Landing of the Pilgrims (Landmark Books) -- James Daugherty: The non-illustrated, longer version by the wonderful Daugherty.
* Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims -- Clyde Robert Bulla: Features our hero, Squanto! A most important part of the Pilgrim and Thanksgiving story.

* Stories of the Pilgrims -- Margaret B. Pumphrey; edited by Michael J. McHugh -- Reproduced by Christian Liberty Press, all those great stories of our valiant Pilgrims that are NOT watered down in the common P.C. way. In fact, it focuses strongly on their faith. Also great history of their lives in Holland.
* The Story of the Mayflower Compact (Cornerstones of Freedom) -- Norman Richards: A detailed look at that important document and of the need and development thereof.

NOTE: We do not read all of these books every year, but we do read several of them. You can find most of them in our bookstore (click on link in side-bar.)


Dauphyfan said...

Nice selection of books. Being a mom and a teacher, getting picture books for every holiday and season becomes a bit of a hobby (if not obsession). Always on the lookout for new titles. :)