Friday, November 21, 2014

#Review: What Was the First Thanksgiving? by Joan Holub/Illustrated by Lauren Mortimer #Thanksgiving #kidsbooks

The history of the feast! After their first harvest in 1621, the Pilgrims at Plymouth shared a three-day feast with their Native American neighbors. Of course, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag didn't know it at the time, but they were making history, celebrating what would become a national holiday.

My review:
History has often been confused or muddied depending on who was in power or who was writing the history. The first Thanksgiving story is a little like that too. Before you even get into the first chapters of this book, the reader is told that "no one is sure if the Pilgrims actually invited the Native Americans to their Thanksgiving feast. Perhaps the natives heard the Pilgrims shooting their muskets and went to investigate..."

I think this is a pretty accurate statement and one that should be noted before reading this book on Thanksgiving or for that matter any book on the subject. Historians often have to piece things together to get a clear picture of things. Sometimes they get it wrong too.

In any case, and having said that, this book does give factual information that can be traced back to a resource. She does a good job of including a complete bibliography and timeline in the back of the book. 

Did you know that it was the native people brought the turkey and deer meet?
Did you know that pumpkin pie was not served?
Did you know that probably most of those in attendance stood or sat on the ground to eat?
Did you know that the Pilgrims did not wear black all the time?

All of these fascinating facts and quite more are in this book. I enjoyed the side pages that compared the Pilgrims with their Native American guest. All of these things I think help to depict the accuracy of Thanksgiving and its historical significance for the United States.

The only thing that I did not like about the book was the initial cover and back cover. I felt they were too cartoon-ish for this book but the illustrations inside were great! They included historical figure heads, maps, and even a drawing of the Mayflower.

Overall, this book gets 5 stars and a Happy Thanksgiving from me.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ with yours. ~Naila Moon

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~Naila Moon