Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Very First Thanksgiving Day

The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene with paintings done by Susan Gaber (copyright 2002) was quite a hit with the kids!  The story follows a rhythm comparable to "This is the House that Jack Built" with its own clever rhymes.  Greene begins her story in the classical literary technique in medias res ("in the middle of things") with "This is the very first Thanksgiving day" and builds her story backward to England and then again forward to the first feast, making this version a unique approach in retelling the Thanksgiving story.

Once again, I have been stunned by the artwork!  I could just sit and look at this book again and again!  Gaber does a beautiful job of depicting the brilliant colors of the Pilgrims' natural-dyed clothing.  And your kids will delight in the frequent images of children throughout Gaber's illustrations.  Have your children search for the Pilgrim and Wampanoag dolls throughout the story and discover the themes of thanksgiving and sharing through visual representation.  Don't miss the author and illustrator's notes at the beginning for fascinating background information.

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