In response to my last post, commentator Josh D. asked for some age-appropriate books. This has been of recent concern to me, too, since I’m scheduled to be talking about Thanksgiving in two weeks to a group of 5-7 year olds.
Any titles I mention should probably bear the caveat that while reading I always edit the text and add my own details to spice it up. So, I’m not sure my reading list would exactly represent the content that gets delivered.
That said, here are 4 books that might prove interesting:
1. For the youngest children, we’ve enjoyed the board-book The Story of Thanksgiving by Nancy Skarmeas and Stacy Venturi-Pickett. The ideas are overly simplified, but the short story leaves lots of room for improvisation.
2. I recently ran across a nice photo essay produced by Plimouth Plantation, the living-history museum that seeks to recreate the Pilgrim’s early settlement. The book is Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast and recounts events from the twinned perspectives of a Pilgrim boy and a Wampanoag boy.
3. A book I’m considering using in my talk is Squanto and the First Thanksgiving, written by Eric Metaxas. There are no cute Veggietales characters here, just the impressive story of Squanto’s Atlantic adventures which prepared him to help the early Pilgrims. The illustrations don’t work for me, but the text is solid.
4. For children old enough for chapter books, the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne takes Jack and Annie, the two child protagonists from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania to the First Thanksgiving. In book #27 (Thanksgiving on Thursday), Jack and Annie learn how different the Pilgrims’ experiences were than what they had expected. They also learn the power of thankfulness and community.
As always, if commentators have additional ideas, I’d be delighted to hear them in the Comments section.