Book Review: Thanksgiving Day

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Here is a retelling of the traditional Thanksgiving story for an elementary audience, with an explanation of modern observances of the holiday. It’s illustrated in Gibbons’ usual style — simple drawings that get the point of the text across.  It’s not as compelling or engaging as some books of the same kind, and since half the book is devoted to modern observances, it’s surprising that she leaves out the fact that Thanksgiving was only instituted as a national holiday 200 years after the Pilgrims’ original feast. Like many Thanksgiving books, this one claims the Pilgrims ate the now-traditional turkey and cranberries — which may not be true. (The primary sources attesting to the Pilgrim feast doesn’t specifically mention either.)

There are more engaging Thanksgiving books available, but most of them are lengthy enough to preclude cramming into an already-busy holiday season. The main thing going for the book is its brevity. If you have only 5-10 minutes to give your elementary kids a basic understanding of why we have a turkey holiday in November, this provides an accessible succinct explanation, and it reads pretty well aloud. If you have half an hour or more, you might prefer a more in-depth treatment.

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Publication Information: Gibbons, Gail. Thanksgiving Day. Scholastic. 1983.
Categories: 3 Stars, Age 04-08
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Posted on November 17, 2014

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