Thanksgiving—A Harvest Celebration
Written by Julie Stiegemeyer Illustrated by Renné Benoit
Published by Concordia Publishing House in 2003
Thanksgiving—A Harvest Celebration is a nonfiction picture book about the Pilgrims’ journey to the New World, their first year of extreme hardship, their friendship with Native Americans and their feast of thanksgiving.
It was published in 2003 which, if I recall correctly, is about the time the children’s publishing world made a shift from straight, didactic nonfiction to “creative nonfiction.”
Thanksgiving—A Harvest Celebration is filled with interesting information. Stiegemeyer created a fictitious main character, Ellen Chilton, and centered the narrative around her. However, the narrator has an adult voice, and the text is rather didactic. That’s fine for adults. I enjoyed the book. But I can see that it would be difficult for this text to hold the attention of 21st century children.
The illustrations are lovely. And the text is a friendly way to teach children the facts of Thanksgiving.
I do appreciate that Stiegemeyer (and Concordia) placed great emphasis on the Pilgrims’ gratitude to God for His many blessings. The last few pages of Thanksgiving—A Harvest Celebration contemporize the lesson and remind the children listening to be grateful to God and to our Savior, Jesus Christ.
This book is a welcome addition to MY SHELF because it helps me teach my grandchildren the truth that all blessings come from God our Father and His Son, Jesus.