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The First Thanksgiving (Step-Into-Reading, Step 3) Paperback – September 12, 1990

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Easy- reader history is in demand, and this one is welcome. Illustrated with plenty of appealing watercolors."--Bulletin, Center for Children's Books.  

From the Inside Flap

Illus. in full color. The story of the Pilgrims is vividly retold in simple language for beginning readers.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 390L (What's this?)
  • Series: Step into Reading
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 12, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679802185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679802181
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This history of the Pilgrims is very complete, given the reading level of the book. It is written for second to third grade students. The story covers the reasons for leaving England, the journey across the Atlantic, the first horrible winter, the meeting of Samoset and Squanto, the help given by the Indians and the Harvest Feast itself. The artwork is nicely done and adds to the content. Second grade students may find new vocabulary and challenging words to read, while third grade students should find the reading easy. A good asset for the teaching of American history to early elementary students.
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Format: School & Library Binding
This is a good, easy-to-read description of the Pilgrim's journey to America, their hard winter, and the first "Thanksgiving" celebration. However, I think it whitewashes history a little too much. It virtually ignores the tension that existed between the Pilgrims and Indians. There needs to be a happy median struck between telling the truly wonderful aspects of that first Thanksgiving -- how the two peoples were able to come together, if only for a short time, to share the celebration -- while acknowledging there were difficulties in the relationship between Pilgrims amd Indians. This isn't being "politically correct" -- it's just acknowledging the truth to our children that relationships between those two groups of peoples were not usually easy. Life is complex, even for young children -- they will understand and appreciate being told the full story.
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By A Customer on November 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
I browsed and browsed before finding a book I felt was proper to read to my two young children about Thanksgiving; this one was it.
I'm not keen on politically correct mush, and this book is not politically correct mush. While it is somewhat vague regarding the hardships of the Pilgrims and their relations with the American Indians, I don't fault it for that; books for young children (mine are 4 and 5) needn't go into such detail as the distrust between the settlers and the Indians, etc. -- that's for later learning.
Overall, this is a great book and I already have recommended it to many people!
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Format: Paperback
ISBN 0679802185 - As the final Thanksgiving book on the shelf this year, The First Thanksgiving was one I was really curious to compare to The Plymouth Thanksgiving,. The similarities are almost as interesting as the details the two books differ on.

A group of people, not allowed to follow their own religious beliefs because they are different from the king's, plan a voyage to America, where they hope they will be able to worship as they choose. They know they will face dangers, and they do, but they survive a harsh winter and, with the help of an Indian named Squanto, they learn more about how to thrive in this new land. When the fall harvest comes, and is plentiful, the pilgrims have a feast and invite the Indians to join them.

Like Weisgard, author Linda Hayward calls the settlers "pilgrims", even though they themselves didn't use that name. While Weisgard's book mentions that some "pilgrims" relocated to Holland before returning to England and going on to America from there, Hayward has them going directly to America. Hayward, unlike Weisgard, admits that the pilgrims knew something about the land and the dangers they might face there. Hayward's version details some of the hardships onboard the Mayflower, while overlooking all the troubles the ship had in finding a suitable place to land. Hayward writes that the first Indians the pilgrims meet ran away, while Weisgard has them exchanging fire; Weisgard notes, accurately but vaguely, that the pilgrims took (stole) things they found, while Hayward just says they "found" wonderful things.
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Format: Paperback
Combining illustrations both realistic and appealing with straightforward historical text, this book takes young readers back in time to THE FIRST THANKSGIVING where Mayflower departed from Plymouth in 1620 England to set sail and begin their new life in the new land - America. The writing is clear, crisp and easy for children to follow and there is a wealth of information to be absorbed - about the pilgrims' long journey across the Atlantic, their encounters with American Indians and their first Thanksgiivng together which becomes the tradition and later was made a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. For non-fiction beginning readers to get a quick understanding of the first Thanksgiving, this book offers the perfect amount of context for reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pretty accurate description of what happened with the Pilgrims even though Ms. Hayward leaves out the fact the Pilgrims first traveled and lived in The Netherlands, then moved to England before setting off for Jamestown. While in route, they were blow off course and landed in Plymouth. It would have been nice if the Pilgrims' Christian faith would have been mentioned. Why else would they keep up hope after 52 out of the original 102 or so in their group died that first winter in Plymouth? I would have given it a 5 star if she had mentioned these facts.
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