Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols

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The story of the most truly American holiday and the development of its symbols and legends.

Each of our holidays has its own familiar traditions: Trick-or-treating on Halloween, eating turkey on Thanksgiving, waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas, exchanging cards on Valentine’s Day. But where do these customs come from, when did they begin, and why do we continue to observe them?

In the engaging blend of careful research and lively prose that ...

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Overview

The story of the most truly American holiday and the development of its symbols and legends.

Each of our holidays has its own familiar traditions: Trick-or-treating on Halloween, eating turkey on Thanksgiving, waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas, exchanging cards on Valentine’s Day. But where do these customs come from, when did they begin, and why do we continue to observe them?

In the engaging blend of careful research and lively prose that has earned her books a lasting place on the holiday bookshelf, Edna Barth explores the multicultural origins and evolution of the familiar and not-so-familiar symbols and legends associated with our favorite holidays. Full of fascinating historical details and little-known stories, these books are both informative and engaging. Festively illustrated by Ursula Arndt, they are now available again in hardcover as well as paperback editions, featuring new, eye-catching jacket designs, and fun holiday activities inside the paperback covers. Each book includes an annotated list of holiday stories and poems and an index.

Traces the history of this American harvest celebration and the development of its symbols and legends.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
This book tells the story of Thanksgiving in North America. Barth devotes a short chapter each to topics of interest to child readers. There is a chapter on the cranberry and how it got its name, and one on the Indian neighbors and the importance of their help to the struggling colonists. Another chapter highlights the pilgrim children and includes anecdotes about the mischievous Billington brothers. John Billington was lost in the woods for five days and ate wintergreen and partridge berries until some Indians found him. The Indians returned him to the distraught Pilgrims and gave him strings of wampum as a gift. While climbing a tree one day, Francis Billington saw a vast wash of shining water and thought he had sighted the Pacific Ocean. The pond he had actually discovered is still called "Billington's Sea." Ursula Arndt's black line drawings, with touches of yellow, meticulously detail aspects of the Pilgrims' life, from their clothing to the appearance of their two dogs.
Children's Literature
Filled with concise chapters and interesting prose, this book makes Thanksgiving and the history of the pilgrims accessible to elementary school children. Readers will come away from this book with an authentic picture of the holiday and its symbols. The author covers much ground here through chapters about pilgrim mothers, clothes, faces, and such symbols as Indian corn, pumpkins, Tom turkey and the horn of plenty. Pertinent blackandwhite sketches adorn each page to help bring the teXt to life. This book is an eXcellent resource for grade school teachers to use in their social studies and history classes. This edition includes various Thanksgiving activities and recipes. The title is one in Clarion's series about holiday traditions that have been revised and reissued. 2000 (orig. 1975), Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin, $16.00 and $7.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati <%ISBN%> 0618067833
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618067831
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ursula Arndt has illustrated a number of popular children's books, including the six holiday titles written by Edna Barth for Clarion. She is now retired and lives in Germany.

The late Edna Barth worked as a librarian, a teacher, and an editor of books for young people before becoming the author of many well-known books for children.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2004

    Great reference book on the symbols associated with Thanksgiving!

    As a child, I've read and enjoyed all of the books on the symbols associated with the holidays. The late Edna Barth and Ursula Ardnt, and James Cross Giblin have done a great job in writing and illustrating these very informative and interesting books about the symbols associated with Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and The Fourth Of July! I'm so glad that this collection of books have been available again in print with all-new jacket design covers, and activities for children to get into the spirit of that particular holiday. I've enjoyed these books as a child, and these titles should be in every children's library. Truly a Pleasure reading them!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2004

    A Thanksgiving treat for the hungry soul for knowledge!

    The late Edna Barth, like the rest of her books on the holidays, really does a marvelous job of covering the symbols and customs associated with the thanksgiving holiday. I've read all of her books a lot as a child, and have found them all to be very interesting! I'm so happy that they're all available once again in both hardcover and paperback editions! I love the new eye-catching jacket designs, as well as the children's activities! These books are an absolute MUST for any library!

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