Wednesday, November 18, 2009

T is for Thankful: P Is For Pilgrim by Carol Crane

Across the Atlantic Ocean
A lone ship on a vast sea.
Ablaze with a new hope,
All praying to be free.

Carol Crane's P Is for Pilgrim: A Thanksgiving Alphabet (Sleeping Bear Alphabets) begins this strikingly illustrated alphabet-in-verse book, one of the beautifully designed titles in the Sleeping Bear Alphabets series (listed here), with the arresting verbal image of that tiny ship amidst the vast Atlantic. Artist Helen Urban's striking paintings, nostalgically idealized as they are, give young readers an idea of the life of young colonists in the first days of Plimouth Plantation.

Crane draws upon later aspects of American life in this alphabet book, loosely linking Feast, Harvest, Mayflower and Pumpkins, Squanto, Tom Turkeys, and Wampanoags with other symbolic national icons as the Bill of Rights and Individual Rights.

For a more historically authentic account, see Diane Shore's gloriously illustrated This Is the Feast, Laura Melmed's equally beautiful This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story or Joseph Bruchac's incomparable Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, reviewed here.

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