From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4–In this well-researched, time-travel adventure, Grandma, twins Liz and Lenny, and Moose the dog journey back to 1621 and a three-day feast with the settlers at Plymouth Plantation. In conjunction with her fast-paced and informative text, Stanley uses dialogue bubbles to give readers all sorts of interesting, comical, and possibly shocking tidbits–for example, Colonial kids drank beer, which was actually healthier than the water. This story debunks popular myths about the Pilgrims and the Thanksgiving holiday while whetting young readers' appetites for more information about life at this time. Complementing the book's conversational flavor, Berry's cartoon illustrations are bright and appealing. Clever endpapers contrast the dishes served "Then" and "Now," from "boiled eels" to "jellied cranberry sauce." An author's note provides more information about the holiday.–Julie Roach, Malden Public Library, MA
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K-Gr. 3. In the latest Time-Traveling Twins book, Liz and Lenny accompany their grandmother to Plymouth Plantation in 1621. They live in a small, crowded house; do chores; work in the fields; attend worship services, of course; and sit down to a feast with the colonists and Wampanoag. When Liz refers to it as "the first Thanksgiving," she is quickly corrected by a Plymouth boy, who explains that it's just a harvest festival like the ones back in England. This exchange, along with Grandmother's explanation of what the settlement's first "true Day of Thanksgiving" entailed, show Stanley's fine approach. The traditional version, often seen at school pageants, seems stale and dull compared with this fresh, engaging presentation of what life in Plymouth was and was not. An author's note explains how the feast became popularly known as "the first Thanksgiving" and why that label is inaccurate. Bustling with activity, warmed with color, and full of period details, Berry's attractive illustrations light up the pages of this appealing and engaging volume. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved