Thankful: Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving by James and Kimberley Dean
PETE TOOK HIS PLACE AT THE FRONT OF THE GIANT SHIP THAT HIS CLASS HAD MADE OUT OF CARDBOARD.
PETE WAS A PILGRIM ON THE MAYFLOWER.
The "it's-all-good" Pete the Cat is just a little anxious about his class production of the Thanksgiving story for their parents in Dean and Kimberley Deane's new lift-the-flap book, Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving (HarperCollins, 2013).
But with flaps to help tell the story of the Pilgrims's first year in the New World, youngsters will be able to reveal the story step by step, beginning with the first page in which Pete, Pilgrim hat and all, boards their ship, the Mayflower, sails furled, and by lifting the flap, they can see the ship under sail, bounding over the waves toward North America, in calm waters and then in rough seas.
At their destination each page reveals Pete and his fellow students as colonists building cabins, shivering through the hard winter, learning about corn, beans, squash, and especially pumpkins from Squanto, and finally inviting the Wampanoags to join them in thanksgiving for their first harvest.
Using a tablecloth flap, youngsters will see the long table being readied, and with a lift of the flap, see the bounty from their harvest spread on the board for the Pilgrims and their guests.
"WOW! I NEVER THOUGHT HOW HARD IT WAS BACK THEN!" said Pete, as he and Callie Kitten take their bows.
For fans of Pete the Cat it's fun to see Pete, walking in his Pilgrim shoes, and learning about the first Thanksgiving in one of those Pilgrim celebrations that are familiar to most early childhood education classes. The familiar icons of the holiday are there--Pilgrim hats, corn and pumpkins, turkey and berries, and those important Native American guests for the first Thanksgiving--to help give young children a sense of the flow of the holiday's history with each lift of a flap. Kimberley Dean's familiar flat, faux naif drawings fit right in with the target audience's own classroom artwork, and the story of the class play will help kids in their first presentations feel right at home with Pete performing along with them.