Most children who’ve been to preschool can probably tell you the first Thanksgiving involved Indians and Pilgrims, and perhaps even have a paper Pilgrim collar and hat or Indian headband to prove it.
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh will help children understand who the Pilgrims were and why they celebrated Thanksgiving with the Indians.
Dalgliesh tells the story simply, focusing on the Hopkins family who crossed the ocean in the Mayflower. She starts the story in England, where the Hopkins boarded the ship anticipating their future in the New World. On the voyage, the Hopkins’ family welcome a new member to their family. She tells about their arrival in the new land, how hard it was for the Hopkins family to make it through the winter, and the shock when Squanto walked into the middle of the village and taught them about the land. This all leads up to the first Thanksgiving feast, given in the new settlement.
The Thanksgiving Story is a cross between a picture book and a chapter book. Helen Sewell illustrates Dalgliesh’s story with beautifully simple pictures, but there is not a picture on every page. Smaller children especially would be better able to absorb the story by hearing one chapter (of the five total) each day leading up to Thanksgiving
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