Countering the prevailing, traditional story of the first Thanksgiving, with its black-hatted, silver-buckled Pilgrims; blanket-clad, be-feathered Indians; cranberry sauce; pumpkin pie; and turkey, this lushly illustrated photo-essay presents a more measured, balanced, and historically accurate version of the three-day harvest celebration in 1621.
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Sisse Brimberg has photographed more than 20 articles for National Geographic magazine. Her story on migrant workers won first prize for Picture Story of the Year from the National Press Photographers Association. She lives in Mill Valley, California with her husband Cotton Coulson.From Booklist:
Ages 5-9. The popular myth of the first Thanksgiving--that brave peaceful settlers in 1621 invited a few wild Indians over for dinner--gets overthrown in this handsome, large-size photo-essay that combines bright, colorful pageantry with hard historical fact. Last year the living history museum of Plimoth Plantation reenacted the 1621 harvest gathering, and this book is based on that event; in fact, much of it reads like a museum visit. The very order of the text--beginning with the Wampanoag Indian people who had lived on the land for thousands of years before the English "discovered" it--sets the stage for the full account of our shared history. It's interesting to see the errors that have become tradition (for example, there were no cranberries or potatoes in America at that time) and connect them with lies about "discovery" that have come down through history. There's no heavy lecturing, and in the pictures everyone is having a good time. It's the evolution of the holiday, the story of the broken peace, that reveals why Native Americans do not celebrate the holiday. This is a fine book for the classroom; use it to talk about how history is written, who tells it, and what happened. Hazel Rochman
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