This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story

Overview

Countdown to Thanksgiving!

This rollicking counting story celebrates the very first Thanksgiving Day with vibrant illustrations and lively verse. Follow the Pilgrim and Wampanoag friends as they prepare for a great feast, and along the way look for the bold turkey on every page -- and for the very sharp of eye, there are all sorts of surprises hidden in the art!

Twelve short poems that combine ...

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Overview

Countdown to Thanksgiving!

This rollicking counting story celebrates the very first Thanksgiving Day with vibrant illustrations and lively verse. Follow the Pilgrim and Wampanoag friends as they prepare for a great feast, and along the way look for the bold turkey on every page -- and for the very sharp of eye, there are all sorts of surprises hidden in the art!

Twelve short poems that combine counting with the story of the first Thanksgiving.

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Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
“Gaggles of round-faced children, some in Pilgrim outfits and others in deerskins, fill this rhymed counting tale.”
ALA Booklist
“Gaggles of round-faced children, some in Pilgrim outfits and others in deerskins, fill this rhymed counting tale.”
Publishers Weekly
In Melmed's (The Rainbabies) counting book, one Pilgrim boy "sit[s] in a tree,/ dreaming of the tall, strong ship/ on which he crossed the sea"; on the opposite page, two girls "dressed in deerskin,/ gathering nuts below,/ [giggle] as they tiptoe by,/ too shy to say hello." Although a passing reference to Squanto suggests collaboration, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag remain segregated until the final scene. Buehner (It's a Spoon, Not a Shovel) captures the beauty of autumnal skies and oceanside landscapes, but the uninitiated may be confused about how these two groups came to share the Thanksgiving table. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Simple rhymes for each number from one to twelve fill in some background about the Pilgrim and Wampanoag children preparing for the Thanksgiving feast. All join together at twelve tables in a prayer of thanks. Everyone is happy and everything seems fine in this probably more legendary than truthful taste of the holiday's history. Buehner's paintings supply youngsters going about their chores in a benign autumn setting of fall leaves and intense blue sky. The color-rich double pages depict the preparations, historic costumes and artifacts with an emphasis on the decorative rather than the details. 2001, HarperCollins Publishers, $15.95. Ages 3 to 6. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Through a simple, rhyming text of 12 short poems, young readers will experience 10 Wampanoag and 10 Pilgrim friends getting ready for the first harvest feast in the New World. Similar in scope and theme, and a great complement to B. G. Hennessy's One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims (Viking, 2001; o.p.), this title adds the enjoyment of hidden pictures on each page. There is a turkey to find in each colorful spread and lots of small creatures to count. The feast scene has at least 10 critters, maybe more, frolicking, even making off with food. Lots of smiles and counting practice result in a super read-aloud.-Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060541842
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/14/2003
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 315,374
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Krauss Melmed is author of Capital! Washington D.C. from A to Z and New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z, also illustrated by Frané Lessac; I Love You As Much . . . , illustrated by Henri Sorensen; and the critically acclaimed The Rainbabies, illustrated by Jim LaMarche. She lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.

Marl Buehner has six little pilgrims of his own in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he lives with his wife, Caralyn, and their children: Heidi, Grant, Sarah, Samuel, Laura, and Jake. Mark has illustrated many wonderful children's books, including I Am the Cat by Alice Schertle and Harvy Potter's Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2011

    FUN BOOK FOR PRE-SCHOOLERS

    I bought this book to read with my four year old great-grandson. It is excellent for this age group, because aside from the counting story there are things hidden in the pictures that he had fun finding. He enjoyed it.

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  • Posted December 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Historically based content to teach social studies through Thanksgiving

    I chose this book for my first grade class library as a read-aloud because the Thanksgiving elements are based on what life may have really been like for the early Pilgrims without resorting to cartoon-like images. I was especially looking for references to the Native Americans tribes who actually interacted with the new immigrants and also to the ways in which they were able to mutually survive and prosper. The need to survive is missing from many Thanksgiving stories, and too many times the Native American references are stereotyped. This book could serve as the basis for a thematic unit on either Native Americans or life in the early colonies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2006

    Hidden Surprises in the Artwork!

    In reading this, I am captivated by the illustrations more than the writing. Mark Buehner, the illustrator, drenches the two-page spreads in warm autumnal hues: rusts, browns, and honey colors. We see falling leaves, and dozens of frisky woodland creatures jumping about the pages. The kids are happy, well fed, and playful as children should be. The colors are bright, bold and appeal to the eye. Melmed's writing's a little forced in places, and I get caught up on a few of the verses when reading aloud. I'm not sure if it's the writing, or my delivery, but it's annoying. The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story is a short book. It takes a little over a minute to read, but the artwork enthralls little ones, especially when they realize there's all sorts of hidden surprises. There's a well-hidden turkey on nearly every page, and it's fun to seek for him. Children will enjoy counting all the animals, or if they look further, they might detect some prehistoric creatures blended into the scenes as well. This book is recommended to children 3 to 8 years, but I say 2 to 6 is more accurate. I did have to explain a few things to him like why the Wampanoag are hunting rabbits, and why they are weaving cattail reeds. He thought they were making baskets out of cat tails, and this upset him. The illustrations are beautiful, and the hide-and-seek qualities are a blast. Overall, The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story is an enjoyable holiday read.

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