THE FIRST THANKSGIVING by Jean Craighead George

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING

Age Range: 5 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

In a lucid, graceful narrative that begins with the arrival of Plymouth Rock (a unique European specimen left by a glacier "In a time so long ago that only the rocks remember") and that describes the Patuxets' settlement, its devastation by white men's disease, and Squanto's tragic captivity before going on to the Puritan venture, George returns--in specific, unsentimental detail--to the real historical events, quietly emphasizing the Native Americans' relationship with the land and the many things they taught the newcomers about using its bounty. Locker provides paintings in his usual lush, formal style; his elegant seascapes, landscapes, and sky have more drama than the small figures and limited action they dwarf, though a few scenes--e.g., the pilgrims' landing in a "raging current"--are more like true illustrations. Actually, these gorgeous set pieces are a fine complement to George's text, making an effective backdrop for her powerful account. Correcting misconceptions and clarifying contemporary attitudes ("The Pilgrims called the celebration a Harvest Feast. The Indians thought of it as a Green Corn Dance"), this beautiful book brings fresh insight and a fairer balance to the traditional story. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5+)

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1993
ISBN: 0-399-21991-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1993




JEAN CRAIGHEAD GEORGE, 1919-2012:

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