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This first Thanksgiving day : a counting story
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  Publishers Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

  School Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. Gaggles of round-faced children, some in Pilgrim outfits and others in deerskins, fill this rhymed counting tale, along with an inquisitive turkey and a fair number of bunnies. It must be said that the rhymes are clunky, but the cheer is fairly irrepressible as 1 Pilgrim boy naps in a tree, while 2 Wampanoag kids giggle as they gather nuts. And so it goes, ending with the 12 harvest tables laden with food for both Pilgrims and Indians. In each spread, a careful look reveals the turkey peering from behind a tree, rock, or outcropping; even in the final feast, he's sticking his neck out from behind a cabin. The bunnies are everywhere: hiding behind tree trunks when the Wampanoag kids go out with bows and arrows, watching (alongside the turkey) as 10 Wampanoag youngsters make baskets, gamboling among the cornstalks while 9 young Pilgrims pick corn. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

  Horn Book Review

From one Pilgrim in a tree observed by two passing Wampanoag Indian girls to twelve tables groaning / beneath a harvest spread, generally taut rhyming verse describes preparations for a shared first Thanksgiving feast. The bookÆs message of embracing diversity is undercut by the generic quality of the faces herein (all beam and have identical features), but the conceit is affecting. From HORN BOOK Spring 2002, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Kirkus Review

Melmed (Moishe's Miracle: A Hanukah Story, 2000, etc.) treats children to a traditional Thanksgiving scene while allowing them to interact in this New World counting story. The tale unfolds in rhyme as young readers count Pilgrims and Native Americans while they work together to gather nuts, pick corn, and hunt rabbits in preparation for the big feast. The fun continues as readers try to locate the wild animals lurking in every scene, including an elusive turkey that manages to avoid being caught as food for any of the 12 dinner tables. Melmed adds educational details with the mention of the Wampanoag tribe and Squanto, the sole survivor of the Patuxet tribe who came to live with the Plymouth settlers. She also alludes to the story of the Mayflower ship. Buehner's (My Monster Mama Loves Me So, not reviewed, etc.) use of color beautifully depicts the season-quick dabs of red and orange oil paint create leaves, and long brush strokes with blended shades of blue and yellow let the ocean meet the sky. Each harvest friend has a simple smiling face, and details are reserved for scenery, such as the impressive shading used in the campfire scene that makes the light appear incredibly real. A refreshing look at an American tradition that reinforces the spirit of the holiday. (Picture book. 3-8)
<p>Celebrate the very first Thanksgiving in this exuberant counting story from best-selling author Laura Krauss Melmed. From I dressed in linen to 10 making baskets, this rollicking verse shows Wampanoag and Pilgrim friends preparing for and sharing a wonderful Thanksgiving feast.</p> <p>Vibrant illustrations from critically acclaimed artist Mark Buehner only add to the fun! Count up the rabbits, squirrels, and other small creatures tucked into each scene. Find the bold turkey on every page ... and for the very sharp of eye, there are all sorts of surprises hidden in the art!</p> <p>An entertaining story for children to read again and again, This First Thanksgiving Day will warm and enrich everyone's holiday season!</p>
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