One of the stories that the kids have wanted read to them over and over again is This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed and illustrated by Mark Buehner. They're taken with Buehner's bright, artful illustrations, jammed packed with "I spy" elements of squirrels, rabbits, and other creatures. As Melmed writes the text in twelve poems, she highlights the day-to-day harvesting activities from the children's points of view. Then Buehner ends with a beautiful scene of the two villages eating the first Thanksgiving feast together.
This story provides many fun teaching elements too!
- Since this is a counting story, practice counting the participants in each page as they ready for the very first Thanksgiving.
- Listen for the rhyme in the second and fourth lines.
- Have your children find the hidden turkey in each page.
Note: For children unfamiliar with the Thanksgiving story, I'd recommend begining with a book that gives a more comprehensive account of how the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims came together to share a bountiful harvest before I'd begin with this book (and I'll be featuring some of those recommendations later this week). Also, this particular story is better suited for the kindergarten and toddler ages.