Now, on to more Thanksgiving fun...
The Book - This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story by Laura Krauss Melmed
"1 dressed in linen, sitting in a tree... 2 dressed in deerskin, gathering nuts below..." So starts this beautifully illustrated book about the first Thanksgiving. Each page reveals idyllic scenes of the pilgrims and native Americans living their individual lives: pilgrim women work in garden rows; native boys spear fish against the setting sun; pilgrim families harvest corn; native children search for clams near the anchored Mayflower. The final image shows both people peacefully sharing the bounty of the food they've gathered; pilgrims and native Americans seated together in friendship and gratitude.
I know the U.S. has a brutal and tragic history in our dealings with this country's native people, so please don't think me naive. But I love the artist's rendering of what for a moment was and what could have continued to be a relationship of mutual help and respect. It's idealized to be sure, but hopefully helps to instill not only a love of country but a respect for people of different cultures and ethnicity.
The story is simple enough for small children, but the illustrations are detailed enough to provide lasting entertainment for children of multiple ages. (We particularly liked the turkey which peaks its head out in several of the pictures, including the final scene... whew! He made it!)
The Snack - Pilgrim Pancakes
If mine are this cute, just think how adorable yours could be! I'm horrible at anything involving icing or piping, which must be obvious to you looking at this. Still, I think the idea has potential.
What you'll need:
- silver dollar pancakes (i.e. little pancakes)
- banana chunks
- butterscotch (or chocolate chips)
If you're a stickler for accuracy and are saying, "but I thought pilgrims hats are supposed to be black!" I did burn a couple of the pancakes. Still not satisfied? You might like this craft from Family Fun involving a chocolate covered marshmallow and fudge striped cookies.