Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Very First Thanksgiving Day

The Very First Thanksgiving Day

Rhonda Gowler Greene
Illustrator:  Susan Gaber 
Picture Book
For ages 3 to 6
Simon and Schuster, 2002   ISBN: 978-1416919162

The journey began far away in a land across an “ocean that never would end.” The travelers crossed this ocean in a small ship, the Mayflower, and docked in a harbor “marked by a huge stone.” Though this journey was a hard one, the travelers, or Pilgrims as they came to be called, would soon find that making a home in the “new land” was going to be harder still, for there was much that they did not know about surviving in this unknown place where the sun was hot and where there were “harsh winter snows.”

It is only after many months of hard work that the Pilgrims are finally able to come together for a special feast of Thanksgiving, a feast which they share with the local Indians who helped them so much.

Rhonda Gowler Greene has written this special book using a lilting rhyming rhythm similar to that used in “The House that Jack built.” Young readers will come to appreciate how hard the Pilgrims had to work to survive and how much the local Indian tribes taught them about this new land. Warm acrylic artwork beautifully captures the smallness of the Mayflower as she sailed across the Atlantic, the simplicity of the first settlement with its small houses, and the gratitude felt by all as they stood and shared a meal together.