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“Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandfather’s house we go.
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.”
Remember this Thanksgiving poem of six verses by Lydia Maria Child? Originally called “The New England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving”, it spoke of fun, frolic and festivities with these original lines:
“Over the river and through the wood,
When Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, “Oh dear, the children are here.
Bring a pie for everyone.”
How about a picture book perfect to go along with Thanksgiving prep or the trip to Grandma’s house this holiday season? “Baking Day at Grandma’s” displays in wonderfully evocative deliciously homey art by Christopher Denise, the wholesome New England coziness of a trip to Grandma’s for a day of baking fun.
Only as an additional picture book perfect plus, THIS Grandma happens to be a huge, maternal fur laden, bespectacled bear whose house is nestled deep in the wintry countryside.
Three small bruins are on an adventure, passing icy ponds, dressed in Nordic caps and sweaters, towing the smallest of the three in a wooden sled. Destination? Grandma’s house! Arriving at Gram’s, they are greeted by a shawl around her shoulders, image of “grandmotherhood” itself, in the persona of a bear. Kids will just imagine being scooped up in a furry hug by those gentle paws. Of course, Mr. Denise, the author’s husband has fashioned an amazingly cozy Grandma’s house for this baking day. His attention to detail is faultless with its log cabin lines, farm sink, hand turned victrola, wide pegged wooden floors topped with a glass fronted cupboard, AND even the MIXING bowls pattern I remember from MY childhood!!
This bear trio measure, stir, lick wooden spoons and bake to their heart’s content with their kindly Grandma guiding the day’s activities of hot cocoa and old-time music and tapping feet, passing the time while the kitchen timer ticks away! Love that hooked rug they prance their paws upon.
Brownies iced and bagged AND wrapped to perfection with red ribbons are the ultimate take away from a day spent with someone you love DOING SOMETHING you love.
And as those bears don their outdoor togs for the trek back home with warm hugs all around, Ms Denise has created the picture book that will cause YOU to want to ring up your own children’s Grandma and ask HER to echo the lines that dot this picture book,
“It’s baking day!
It’s baking day!
It’s baking day at Grandma’s!”
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Autumn is here again – in England, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, in the US also the season of Thanksgiving. On the fourth Thursday in November, schoolchildren across the country will stage pageants, some playing black-suited Puritans, others Native Americans bedecked with feathers. By tradition, Barack Obama will ‘pardon’ a turkey, but 46 million others will be eaten in a feast complete with corncobs and pumpkin pie. The holiday has a long history: Lincoln fixed the date (amended by Roosevelt in 1941), and Washington made it a national event. Its origins, of course, lay in the Pilgrim Fathers’ first harvest of 1621.
Who now remembers who these intrepid migrants were – not the early ‘founding fathers’ they became, but who they were when they left? The pageant pilgrims are undifferentiated. Who knows the name of Christopher Martin, a merchant from Billericay near Chelmsford in Essex? He took his whole family on the Mayflower, most of whom, including Martin himself, perished in New Plymouth’s first winter. They died Essex folk in a strange land: there was nothing ‘American’ about them. And as for Thanksgiving, well that habit came from the harvest festivals and religious observances of Protestant England. Even pumpkin pie was an English dish, exported then forgotten on the eastern side of the Atlantic.
Towns like Billericay, Chelmsford and Colchester were crucial to American colonization: ordinary places that produced extraordinary people. The trickle of migrants in the 1620s, in the next decade became a flood, leading to some remarkable transformations. In 1630 Francis Wainwright was drawing ale and clearing pots in a Chelmsford inn when his master, Alexander Knight, decided to emigrate to Massachusetts. It was an age of austerity, of bad harvests and depression in the cloth industry. Plus those who wanted the Protestant Reformation to go further – Puritans – feared that under Charles I it was slipping backwards. Many thought they would try their luck elsewhere until England’s fortunes were restored, perhaps even that by building a ‘new’ England they could help with this restoration. Wainwright, aged about fourteen, went with Knight, and so entered a world of hardship and danger and wonder.
One May dawn, seven years later, Wainwright was standing by the Mystic River in Connecticut, one of seventy troops waiting to shoot at approaching Pequot warriors. According to an observer, the Englishmen ‘being bereaved of pity, fell upon the work without compassion’, and by dusk 400 Indians lay dead in their ruined encampment. The innkeeper’s apprentice had fired until his ammunition was exhausted, then used his musket as a club. One participant celebrated the victory, remarking that English guns had been so fearsome, it was ‘as though the finger of God had touched both match and flint’. Another rejoiced that providence had made a ‘fiery oven’ of the Pequots’ fort. Wainwright took two native heads home as souvenirs. Unlike many migrants, he stayed in America, proud to be a New Englander, English by birth but made different by experience. He lived a long life in commerce, through many fears and alarms, and died at Salem in 1692 during the white heat of the witch-trials.
The story poses hard historical questions. What is identity, and how does it change? Thanksgiving pageants turn Englishmen into Americans as if by magic; but the reality was more gradual and nuanced. Recently much scholarly energy has been poured into understanding past emotions. We may think our emotions are private, but they leak out all the time; we may even use them to get what we want. Converted into word and deed, emotions leave traces in the historical record. When the Pilgrim William Bradford called the Pequot massacre ‘a sweet sacrifice’, he was not exactly happy but certainly pleased that God’s will had been done.
Puritans are not usually associated with emotion, but they were deeply sensitive to human and divine behaviour, especially in the colonies. Settlers were proud to be God’s chosen people – like Israelites in the wilderness – yet pride brought shame, followed by doubt that God liked them at all. Introspection led to wretchedness, which was cured by the Holy Spirit, and they were back to their old censorious selves. In England, even fellow Puritans thought they’d lost the plot, as did most (non-Puritan) New Englanders. But godly colonists established what historians call an ‘emotional regime’ or ‘emotional community’ in which their tears and thunder were not only acceptable but carried great political authority.
John Winthrop, the leader of the fleet that carried Francis Wainwright to New England, was an intensely emotional man who loved his wife and children almost as much as he loved God. Gaunt, ascetic and tirelessly judgmental, he became Massachusetts Bay Colony’s first governor, driven by dreams of building a ‘city upon a hill’. It didn’t quite work out: Boston grew too quickly, and became diverse and worldly. And not everyone cared for Winthrop’s definition of liberty: freedom to obey him and his personal interpretation of God’s designs. But presidents from Reagan to Obama have been drawn to ‘the city upon the hill’ as an emotionally potent metaphor for the US in its mission to inspire, assist, and police the world.
Winthrop’s feelings, however, came from and were directed at England. His friend Thomas Hooker, ‘the father of Connecticut’, cut his teeth as a clergyman in Chelmsford when Francis Wainwright lived there. Partly thanks to Wainwright, one assumes, he found the town full of drunks, with ‘more profaneness than devotion’. But Hooker ‘quickly cleared streets of this disorder’. The ‘city upon the hill’, then, was not a blueprint for America, but an exemplar to help England reform itself. Indeed, long before the idea was associated with Massachusetts, it related to English towns – notably Colchester – that aspired to be righteous commonwealths in a country many felt was going to the dogs. Revellers did not disappear from Chelmsford and Colchester – try visiting on a Saturday night – but, as preachers and merchants and warriors, its people did sow the seeds from which grew the most powerful nation in the world.
So if you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this year, or you know someone who is, it’s worth remembering that the first colonists to give thanks were not just generic Old World exiles, uniformly dull until America made them special, but living, breathing emotional individuals with hearts and minds rooted in English towns and shires. To them, the New World was not an upgrade on England: it was a space in which to return their beloved country to its former glories.
Featured image credit: Signing of the Constitution, by Thomas P. Rossiter. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons
The post Give thanks for Chelmsford, the birthplace of the USA appeared first on OUPblog.
The weeks of drinking gallons of Ovaltine, in order to get…
the Ovaltine inner seal to send off for my Little Orphan Annie…
secret decoder pen, was about to pay off.
Remember, kids, only members of…
Annie’s secret circle can decode Annie’s secret message.
Remember, Annie is depending on you.
Set your pins to B-2.
Here is the message.
12. 11. 2…
I am in my first secret meeting.
…25. 14. 11. 18.
Pierre was in great voice tonight.
I could tell that tonight’s message was really important.
That’s a message from Annie herself. Remember, don’t tell anyone.
Ninety seconds later I’m in the only room in the house…
where a boy of nine can sit in privacy and decode.
Ah! “B.” I went to the next.
“E.” The first word is “be”!
“S.” It was coming easier now. “U.”
“Be sure to.” Be sure to what?
What was Little Orphan Annie trying to say? Be sure to what?
I was getting closer now.
The tension was terrible. What was it?
The fate of the planet may hang in the balance.
Almost there! My fingers flew.
My mind was a steel trap.
Every pore vibrated.
It was almost clear.
A crummy commercial?
The elections, thankfully, are finally over, but America’s search for security and prosperity continues to center on ordinary politics and raw commerce. This ongoing focus is perilous and misconceived. Recalling the ineffably core origins of American philosophy, what we should really be asking these days is the broadly antecedent question: “How can we make the souls of our citizens better?”
To be sure, this is not a scientific question. There is no convincing way in which we could possibly include the concept of “soul” in any meaningfully testable hypotheses or theories. Nonetheless, thinkers from Plato to Freud have understood that science can have substantial intellectual limits, and that sometimes we truly need to look at our problems from the inside.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the Jesuit philosopher, inquired, in The Phenomenon of Man: “Has science ever troubled to look at the world other than from without?” This not a silly or superficial question. Earlier, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the American Transcendentalist, had written wisely in The Over-Soul: “Even the most exact calculator has no prescience that something incalculable may not balk the next moment.” Moreover, he continued later on in the same classic essay: “Before the revelations of the soul, Time, Space, and Nature shrink away.”
That’s quite a claim. What, precisely, do these “phenomenological” insights suggest about elections and consumerism in the present American Commonwealth? To begin, no matter how much we may claim to teach our children diligently about “democracy” and “freedom,” this nation, whatever its recurrent electoral judgments on individual responsibility, remains mired in imitation. More to the point, whenever we begin our annual excursions to Thanksgiving, all Americans are aggressively reminded of this country’s most emphatically soulless mantra.
“You are what you buy.”
This almost sacred American axiom is reassuringly simple. It’s not complicated. Above all, it signals that every sham can have a patina, that gloss should be taken as truth, and that any discernible seriousness of thought, at least when it is detached from tangible considerations of material profit, is of no conceivably estimable value.
Ultimately, we Americans will need to learn an altogether different mantra. As a composite, we should finally come to understand, every society is basically the sum total of individual souls seeking redemption. For this nation, moreover, the favored path to any such redemption has remained narrowly fashioned by cliché, and announced only in chorus.
Where there dominates a palpable fear of standing apart from prevailing social judgments (social networking?), there can remain no consoling tolerance for intellectual courage, or, as corollary, for any reflective soulfulness. In such circumstances, as in our own present-day American society, this fear quickly transforms citizens into consumers.
While still citizens, our “education” starts early. From the primary grades onward, each and every American is made to understand that conformance and “fitting in” are the reciprocally core components of individual success. Now, the grievously distressing results of such learning are very easy to see, not just in politics, but also in companies, communities, and families.
Above all, these results exhibit a debilitating fusion of democratic politics with an incessant materialism. Or, as once clarified by Emerson himself: “The reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance.”
Nonetheless, “We the people” cannot be fooled all of the time. We already know that nation, society, and economy are endangered not only by war, terrorism, and inequality, but also by a steadily deepening ocean of scientifically incalculable loneliness. For us, let us be candid, elections make little core difference. For us, as Americans, happiness remains painfully elusive.
In essence, no matter how hard we may try to discover or rediscover some tiny hints of joy in the world, and some connecting evidence of progress in politics, we still can’t manage to shake loose a gathering sense of paralyzing futility.
Tangibly, of course, some things are getting better. Stock prices have been rising. The economy — “macro,” at least — is improving.
Still, the immutably primal edifice of American prosperity, driven at its deepest levels by our most overwhelming personal insecurities, remains based upon a viscerally mindless dedication to consumption. Ground down daily by the glibly rehearsed babble of politicians and their media interpreters, we the people are no longer motivated by any credible search for dignity or social harmony, but by the dutifully revered buying expectations of patently crude economics.
Can anything be done to escape this hovering pendulum of our own mad clockwork? To answer, we must consider the pertinent facts. These unflattering facts, moreover, are pretty much irrefutable.
For the most part, we Americans now live shamelessly at the lowest common intellectual denominator. Cocooned in this generally ignored societal arithmetic, our proliferating universities are becoming expensive training schools, promising jobs, but less and less of a real education. Openly “branding” themselves in the unappetizing manner of fast food companies and underarm deodorants, these vaunted institutions of higher education correspondingly instruct each student that learning is just a commodity. Commodities, in turn, learns each student, exist solely for profit, for gainful exchange in the ever-widening marketplace.
Optimally, our students exist at the university in order, ultimately, to be bought and sold. Memorize, regurgitate, and “fit in” the ritualized mold, instructs the college. Then, all be praised, all will make money, and all will be well.
But all is not well. In these times, faced with potentially existential threats from Iran, North Korea, and many other conspicuously volatile places, we prefer to distract ourselves from inconvenient truths with the immense clamor of imitative mass society. Obligingly, America now imposes upon its already-breathless people the grotesque cadence of a vast and over-burdened machine. Predictably, the most likely outcome of this rhythmically calculated delirium will be a thoroughly exhausted country, one that is neither democratic, nor free.
Ironically, we Americans inhabit the one society that could have been different. Once, it seems, we still had a unique opportunity to nudge each single individual to become more than a crowd. Once, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the quintessential American philosopher, had described us as a unique people, one motivated by industry and “self-reliance,” and not by anxiety, fear, and a hideously relentless trembling.
America, Emerson had urged, needed to favor “plain living” and “high thinking.” What he likely feared most was a society wherein individual citizens would “measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is.”
No distinctly American philosophy could possibly have been more systematically disregarded. Soon, even if we can somehow avoid the unprecedented paroxysms of nuclear war and nuclear terrorism, the swaying of the American ship will become unsustainable. Then, finally, we will be able to make out and understand the phantoms of other once-great ships of state.
Laden with silver and gold, these other vanished “vessels” are already long forgotten. Then, too, we will learn that those starkly overwhelming perils that once sent the works of Homer, Goethe, Milton, and Shakespeare to join the works of more easily forgotten poets are no longer unimaginable. They are already here, in the newspapers.
In spite of our proudly heroic claim to be a nation of “rugged individuals,” it is actually the delirious mass or crowd that shapes us, as a people, as Americans. Look about. Our unbalanced society absolutely bristles with demeaning hucksterism, humiliating allusions, choreographed violence, and utterly endless political equivocations. Surely, we ought finally to assert, there must be something more to this country than its fundamentally meaningless elections, its stupefying music, its growing tastelessness, and its all-too willing surrender to near-epidemic patterns of mob-directed consumption.
In an 1897 essay titled “On Being Human,” Woodrow Wilson asked plaintively about the authenticity of America. “Is it even open to us,” inquired Wilson, “to choose to be genuine?” This earlier American president had answered “yes,” but only if we would first refuse to stoop so cowardly before corruption, venality, and political double-talk. Otherwise, Wilson had already understood, our entire society would be left bloodless, a skeleton, dead with that rusty death of machinery, more unsightly even than the death of an individual person.
“The crowd,” observed the 19th century Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, “is untruth.” Today, following recent elections, and approaching another Thanksgiving, America’s democracy continues to flounder upon a cravenly obsequious and still soulless crowd. Before this can change, we Americans will first need to acknowledge that our institutionalized political, social, and economic world has been constructed precariously upon ashes, and that more substantially secure human foundations now require us to regain a dignified identity, as “self-reliant” individual persons, and as thinking public citizens.
Heading image: Boxing Day at the Toronto Eaton Centre by 松林 Ｌ. CC-BY-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
The post After the elections: Thanksgiving, consumerism, and the American soul appeared first on OUPblog.Add a Comment
Happy Almost-Thanksgiving and Happy Poetry Friday (original poem and link to Poetry Friday below)
To enter our latest giveaway, a copy of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, check out Carmela's post.
I'm the third TeachingAuthor to chime in on our annual Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving--woo woo!
As we begin a season of reflection and celebration, we are pleased to share some of our favorite books on thankfulness and being grateful that will help young readers on their journey to understanding gratitude.Add a Comment
A few years ago, Oyate had a list of books about Thanksgiving that they did not recommend. The list was on their website.
Given the number of books that are published every year about that holiday and the ways that Native peoples continue to be misrepresented in children's books, you would be right to guess that their list is long.
That list is not at their website any longer. In a redesign a few years ago they decided to remove it and their Books to Avoid section. They decided that, although a list might seem efficient, it didn't give people the critical thinking skills they need to develop in order to make decisions on their own. I agree--I'd prefer people develop those skills and apply them their selection/deselection activities.
On the other hand, teachers use lists of good books all the time. Generally speaking, they assume that the person who put that list together has the expertise necessary such that their evaluations can be trusted.
I personally have not read all of these books, but I definitely learned a great deal from Oyate's work. I strongly encourage teachers and librarians to get materials published by Oyate.
My guess is that I'd concur with their decision about each of these books, and I'd also guess that any given book on the list got there because it put forth one or more of what Judy Dow called a myth in her Deconstructing the Myths of the First Thanksgiving. If one of these books is on your shelf and you're considering weeding it, I recommend you read it and Dow's essay and then make a decision. I've also shared Oyate's list of recommended books here.
Own your knowledge. Own your decisions.
Accorsi, William. Friendship's First Thanksgiving. Holiday House, 1992.
Aliki. Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians. Harper & Row, 1976.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving. Simon & Schuster, 2002.
Ansary, Mir Tamim. Thanksgiving Day. Heinemann, 2002.
Apel, Melanie Ann. The Pilgrims. Kidhaven Press, 2003.
Bartlett, Robert Merrill, The Story of Thanksgiving. HarperCollins, 2001.
Barth, Edna. Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of Thanksgiving Symbols. Clarion, 1975.
Borden, Louise. Thanksgiving Is... Scholastic, 1997.
Brown, Marc. Arthur's Thanksgiving. Little, Brown. 1983.
Bruchac, Joseph. Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving. Harcourt, 2000.
Buckley, Susan Washburn. Famous Americans: 15 Easy to Read Biography Mini-Books. Scholastic, 2000.
Bulla, Clyde Robert. Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims. Scholastic, 1990.
Celsi, Teresa. Squanto and the First Thanksgiving. Steck-Vaughn, 1989.
Clements, Andrew. Look Who's in the Thanksgiving Play! Simon & Shuster, 1999.
Cohen, Barbara. Molly's Pilgrim. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1983.
Conaway, Judith. Happy Thanksgiving! Things to Make and Do. Troll Communications, 1986.
Crane, Carol and Helle Urban. P is for Pilgrim: A Thanksgiving Alphabet. Sleeping Bear Press, 2003.
Dalgliesh, Alice. The Thanksgiving Story. Scholastic, 1954/1982.
Daugherty, James. The Landing of the Pilgrims. Random House, 1987.
Davis, Kenneth C. Don't Know Much About the Pilgrims. HarperCollins, 2002.
DePaola, Tomie. My First Thanksgiving. Putnam, 1992.
Donnelly, Judy. The Pilgrims and Me. Grosset & Dunlap, 2002.
Dubowski, Cathy East. The Story of Squanto, First Friend to the Pilgrims. Dell, 1990.
Fink, Deborah. It's a Family Thanksgiving! A Celebration of an American Tradition for Children and their Families. Harmony Hearth, 2000.
Flindt, Myron. Pilgrims: A Simulation of the First Year at Plymouth Colony. Interact, 1994.
Fritz, Jean. Who's That Stepping on Plymouth Rock? Putnam & Grossett, 1975.
George, Jean Craighead. The First Thanksgiving. Puffin. 1993.
Gibbons, Gail. Thanksgiving Day. Holiday House, 1985.
Gibbons, Gail. Thanksgiving Is... Holiday House, 2004.
Greene, Rhonda Gowler. The Very First Thanksgiving Day. Atheneum, 2002.
Hale, Anna W. The Mayflower People: Triumphs and Tragedies. Harbinger House, 1995.
Hallinan, P. K. Today is Thanksgiving! Ideals Children's Books, 1993.
Harness, Cheryl. Three Young Pilgrims. Aladdin, 1995.
Hayward, Linda. The First Thanksgiving. Random House, 1990.
Hennessy, B. G. One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims. Viking, 1999.
Jackson, Garnet. The First Thanksgiving. Scholastic, 2000.
Jassem, Kate. Squanto: The Pilgrim Adventure. Troll Communications. 1979.
Kamma, Anne. If You Were At... The First Thanksgiving. Scholastic, 2001.
Kessel, Joyce K. Squanto and the First Thanksgiving. Carolrhoda, 1983.
Kinnealy, Janice. Let's Celebratae Thanksgiving, A Book of Drawing Fun. Watermill, 1988.
Koller, Jackie French. Nickommoh! A Thanksgiving Celebration. Atheneum, 1999.
Marx, David F. Thanksgiving. Children's Press, 2000.
McGovern, Ann. The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving. Scholastic, 1973.
McMullan, Kate. Fluffy's Thanksgiving. Scholastic, 1997.
Melmed, Laura Krauss. The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story. HarperCollins, 2001.
Metaxas, Eric. Squanto and the First Thanksgiving. Rabbit Ears Books, 1996.
Moncure, Jane Belk. Word Bird's Thanksgiving Words. Child's World, 2002.
Ochoa, Anna. Sticker Stories: The Thanksgiving Play. Grosset & Dunlap, 2002.
Osborne, Mary Pope. Thanksgiving on Thursday. Random House, 2002.
Parker, Margot. What is Thanksgiving Day? Children's Press, 1988.
Peacock, Carol Antoinette. Pilgrim Cat. Whitman, 2004.
Prelutsky, Jack. It's Thanksgiving. Morrow, 1982.
Rader, Laura J. A Child's Story of Thanksgiving. Ideals Children's Books, 1998
Randall, Ronnie. Thanksgiving Fun: Great Things to Make and Do. Kingfisher, 1994.
Raphael, Elaine and Don Bolognese. The Story of the First Thanksgiving. Scholastic, 1991.
Rau, Dana Meachen. Thanksgiving. Children's Press, 2000.
Roberts, Bethany. Thanksgiving Mice! Clarion, 2001.
Rockwell, Anne. Thanksgiving Day. HarperCollins, 1999.
Rogers, Lou. The First Thanksgiving. Modern Curriculum Press. 1962.
Roloff, Nan. The First American Thanksgiving. Current. 1980.
Roop, Connie and Peter. Let's Celebrate Thanksgiving. Millbrook, 1999.
Roop, Connie and Peter. Pilgrim Voices: Our First Year in the New World. Walker, 1995.
Ross, Katherine. Crafts for Thanksgiving. Millbrook, 1995.
Ross, Katherine. The Story of the Pilgrims. Random House, 1995.
Ruelle, Karen Gray. The Thanksgiving Beast Feast. Holiday House, 1999.
San Souci, Robert. N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims. Chronicle, 1991.
Scarry, Richard. Richard Scarry's The First Thanksgiving of Low Leaf Worm. Little Simon, 2003.
Schultz, Charles M. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Simon & Schuster, 2002.
Sewall, Marcia. People of the Breaking Day. Atheneum, 1990.
Sewall, Marica. The People of Plimoth. Aladdin, 1986.
Sewall, Marcia. Thunder from the Clear Sky. Atheneum, 1995.
Siegel, Beatrice. Fur Traders and Traders: The Indians, the Pilgrims, and the Beaver. Walker, 1981.
Siegel, Beatrice, Indians of the Northeast Woodlands. Walker, 1992.
Silver, Donald M. and Patricia J. Wynne. Easy Make and Learn Projects: The Pilgrims, the Mayflower & More. Scholastic, 2001.
Skarmeas, Nancy J. The Story of Thanksgiving. Ideals Publications, 1999.
Sorenson, Lynda. Holidays: Thanksgiving. Rourke, 1994.
Stamper, Judith Bauer. New Friends in a New Land: A Thanksgiving Story. Steck-Vaughn, 1993.
Stamper, Judith Bauer. Thanksgiving Fun Activity Book. Troll, 1993.
Stanley, Diane. Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation. HarperCollins, 2004.
Steigemeyer, Julie. Thanksgiving: A Harvest Celebration. Concordia, 2003.
Tryon, Leslie. Albert's Thanksgiving. Aladdin, 19983.
Umnik, Sharon Dunn (Ed.). 175 Easy-to-Do Thanksgiving Crafts. Boyds Mills Press, 1996.
Waters, Kate. Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast. Scholastic, 2001.
Waters, Kate. Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy. Scholastic, 1993.
Waters, Kate. Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl. Scholastic, 1989.
Waters, Kate. Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Boy in Pilgrim Times. 1996.
Weisgard, Leonard. The Plymouth Thanksgiving. Doubleday, 1967.
Whitehead, Pat. Best Thanksgiving Book, ABC Adventures. Troll Communications, 1985.
It's a good thing we have a holiday dedicated to thankfulness. Otherwise I would rarely give my blessings a thought. I am one of those "the glass is half empty" people. So here is what fills my glass this year.
Sorry, Carmela, but I have to begin with one you already mentioned, our terrific Vermont College MFA group, The Hive. Outside of my family, they are my longest sustained relationship. Most of us met on the airport bus going to campus on a July evening in 1998. Rarely a day goes by that at I am not in contact with at least one of them. Collectively, they are a never-ending source of energy, enthusiasm and advice. I truly do not know how I survived as a writer without them. Thank you, lovely Bees!
Next up on the gratitude list is my own local critique group, WINGS (Writers in North Georgia). Every month (with occasional sabbaticals) since October 2001, I have driven the hundred miles, round trip, to meet with this group of five in Conyers, Georgia. Driving that far in Atlanta traffic is no small matter, but the reward is worth every nerve-wracking mile. Connie, Nancy, T.K. and Stephanie as well as our Fearless Leader Susan (plus member-in-absentia, Maureen) are the best writers and critiquers one could ever hope to find. Almost everything I have published is the result of their sharp eyes and spot-on suggestions. I could not fly without my WINGS.
Lastly, I am grateful for SCBWI, The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (we writers do like our acronyms!) I learned about SCBWI from a Hive member while I was at Vermont College and wasted no time joining. SCBWI is more than just an organization of like minded people.
It is an endless supply of all a writer needs: the latest publishing information, editorial contacts, writing conferences, and most of all Opportunity (with a capital O). The conferences alone provide the opportunity to meet editors and agents, to submit manuscripts to houses that would otherwise be closed to unagented authors (like me), to have work critiqued by industry professionals. SCBWI, you are worth every penny in membership dues and conference fees.
To enter our latest giveaway, a copy of Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market, check Carmela's Friday post. (http://www.teachingauthors.com/2014/11/thanks-giving-CWIM-giveaway.html). Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
Posted by Mary Ann Rodman
If your name wasn't selected in the drawing for our 2015 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market (CWIM) giveaway, I have good news for you: Writer's Digest Books, publisher of the CWIM, has generously donated a SECOND COPY for us to give away! See details at the end of this post. And congratulations to Sue H, who won the first copy.
If you're a long-time TeachingAuthors follower, you know about our tradition of setting aside time in November to give thanks. It started in 2011, with our Ten Days of Thanks-Giving, inspired, in part, by Esther post about thank-you haikus, also known as Thankus. In 2012 we expanded to Two Weeks of Thanks-Giving, which we repeated in 2013. This year, we've decided to stretch our Thanks-Giving posts to a full Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving!
10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston & illustrated by Rich Deas “Looky!” says a silly turkey swinging from a vine. Gobble gobble wibble wobble. Whoops! Now there are nine.” Girls and boys will gobble up this hilarious counting story about ten goofy turkeys roller-skating on a fence, doing a noodle dance, and more! Give …Add a Comment
Title: Ten Thankful Turkeys | Author: Angela Muse | Illustrator: Ewa Podleś | Publication Date: October 4, 2014 | Publisher: 4EYESBOOKS | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 2 to 8 Summary: This colorful autumn tale follows ten turkeys as they get ready for an important celebration. This story teaches about gratitude. There are also fun turkey facts in the back of the book.
Angela Muse was born in California to a military family. This meant that she got used to being the “new kid” in school every couple of years. It was hard trying to make new friends, but Angela discovered she had a knack for writing. In high school Angela began writing poetry and song lyrics. Expressing herself through writing seemed very natural. After becoming a Mom in 2003, Angela continued her storytelling to her own children. In 2009 she wrote and published her first rhyming children’s book aimed at toddlers. Since then she has released several more children’s picture books and released books in her first young adult romance series, The Alpha Girls, in 2013/2014. Her husband, Ben Muse writes suspense/thriller books that can also be found on Amazon.
Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest closes: November 23, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the Angela Muse and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway
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We are so excited to announce the release of our latest children’s book, Ten Thankful Turkeys. This colorful autumn tale follows ten turkeys as they get ready for an important celebration. This story teaches about gratitude. There are also fun turkey facts in the back of the book. You can get the kindle version of this book for a special launch price of $.99 for a limited time or FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited. We also have paperback versions on sale now at Amazon for $8.99.
Be sure to gobble up this deal before it disappears. :-)
We are so excited about our next children’s picture book release, Ten Thankful Turkeys. Stay tuned here for more details and promotions we will be doing. You’ll want to gobble up these deals before they disappear.
Earlier this summer I started doing some research on easy readers to see what sorts of images of Native people I'd find in them. I've written about some in the past (like Danny and the Dinosaur) but haven't done a systematic study.
This morning I put out a call asking librarians for titles in their collections. Michelle replied, sending me scans from Jack Prelutsky's It's Thanksgiving! That book was first published in 1982. Michelle sent me illustrations from the 1982 edition, and, from a newly illustrated edition in 2007. The text did not change. Just the illustrations. (A shout out to Michelle for sending them to me!)
I don't know what prompted the new illustrations, but certainly, it wasn't a concern for accuracy. The Wampanoag's didn't use tipis as shown in the old and new editions:
Misleading refers to information that is factually inaccurate due to new discoveries, revisions in thought, or new information that is now accepted by professionals in the field covered by the subject. Even in fields like physics, that were once thought to be pretty settled, changes occur that radically impact the accuracy and validity of information.So how 'bout it? Will you weed it? So kids don't keep growing up thinking that All Indians Lived in Tipis? There's a lot more to say about the "First Thanksgiving" story. I've reviewed a lot of books about it, but for now, check out this post. It features the thinking of a 5th grader: Do you mean all those Thanksgiving worksheets we had to color every year with smiling Indians were wrong?
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
Today, we eat like kings!
An oldie from last year but seems appropriate for the day!
I’ll be back to SkADaMo tomorrow. But just in case there are some die hard SkADaMoeres out there, you can check here.
Hoping that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Happy reading!
Gender and Reading/Writing
Programs and Research
Schools and Libraries
Yep, that’s what I was all day today. Bloated. It’s tradition.
I don’t do the shopping thing on Black Friday. But I do , in fact, bloat. So I suppose it’s really Bloat Friday… for me.
Ok, now on to Sensible Saturday, where smaller portions are the order of the day.
Join me in a waddle on over here to check out my fellow SkADaMoers.
So I was too busy enjoying the company of my home-too-briefly college girl and my beloved pal Kristen and her hubby and my goddaughter and the rest of my rowdy, riotous gang to REMEMBER TO TAKE ANY PICTURES (*smoke comes out of ears*)—but it seems Scott was clicking away during the frantic final moments of our feast preparation. (Who am I kidding. I was in the kitchen: all moments were frantic.) These just made me laugh and laugh. Which is exactly how I spent the holiday.
This last one is ridiculous but Scott made me include it because he likes how I go tharn. Which, too, is a fair representation of my state of mind while cooking: train rushing toward me and I’m frozen in my tracks. Help! Hrududu ain’t got nothin’ on gravy about to scorch.
(It didn’t. Whew.)Add a Comment
In introducing my Poetry Friday post on Sorrow, Diane Mayr wrote "Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is back. She's been having a difficult month and so, she's posting a poem called "Sorrow." Since a shared sorrow is a sorrow halved, then by the end of the day, her readers should have her back on the joy track."
Many of you dropped by to offer offer words of wisdom, virtual hugs, and kind thoughts.
Diane wrote "Embrace the sadness for without it, you can't appreciate the happy times."
Tanita left me this lovely poem.
Still MorningMary Lee reminded me why I love Poetry Friday and the Kidlitosphere so much when she wrote "I am thankful to be part of a community where you could lay it before us (along with a poem) and allow us to gather round you, hold you up, help you move on."
by W.S. Merwin
It appears now that there is only one
age and it knows
nothing of age as the flying birds know
nothing of the air they are flying through
or of the day that bears them up
and I am a child before there are words
arms are holding me up in a shadow
voices murmur in a shadow
as I watch one patch of sunlight moving
across the green carpet
in a building
gone long ago and all the voices
silent and each word they said in that time
while I go on seeing that patch of sunlight
"May I have some volunteers?" Mrs. Brown is saying. We are preparing skits for Thanksgiving, two weeks away. Although the Pilgrims never came to the Dominican Republic, we are attending the American school, so we have to celebrate American holidays.That opening was unexpected. But because I've read one of Alvarez's other books, my ears perked up. Where, I wondered, would this particular scene go in Alvarez's skilled hands! Mrs. Brown picks Anita (the protagonist) and her cousin, Carla, to play the parts of two Indians who will welcome the Pilgrims because,
Mrs. Brown gives the not-so-good parts to those of us in class who are Dominicans.Mrs. Brown then gives the two girls a headband with a feather sticking up like one rabbit ear. She asks them to greet the Pilgrims, being played by two boys wearing Davy Crockett hats. Anita thinks
Even I know the pioneers come after the Pilgrims.Mrs. Brown asks Anita/the Indian to welcome the pilgrims "to the United States" but Oscar raises his hand and asks:
"Why the Indians call it the United States when there was no United Estates back then, Mrs. Brown?"Some kids make fun of him. Anita hates it when the Americans make fun of the way the Dominicans speak English. Mrs. Brown tells him that
"It's called poetic license. Something allowed in a story that isn't so in real life."Beautifully done, Ms. Alvarez! I'm hooked. Add a Comment