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This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story
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This First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  278 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Celebrate the very first Thanksgiving in this exuberant counting story from best-selling author Laura Krauss Melmed. From I dressed in linen to 10 making baskets, this rollicking verse shows Wampanoag and Pilgrim friends preparing for and sharing a wonderful Thanksgiving feast.

Vibrant illustrations from critically acclaimed artist Mark Buehner only add to the fun! Count up
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 4th 2001 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 2001)
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Oct 17, 2015 Manybooks rated it liked it
Recommends it for: younger children just learning their numbers and interested in a Thanksgiving themed picture book
This is a fun and engaging counting rhyme for younger children; it introduces and practices the numbers one to twelve, while also showing the legendary story of the "first" American Thanksgiving (I appreciate the fact that the author has included historical details and that as far as I can tell, both Pilgrims and Native Americans are depicted as historically accurate, but I still wish Laura Krauss Melmed had acknowledged the fact that while the 1621 Plymouth Colony harvest celebration was perhap ...more
Before anything else, I have to say counting from one to twelve seems kind of an arbitrary number. Twelve has no significance with Thanksgiving, the harvest, or anything else. It would have made more sense to count from one to ten like many counting books I've seen.

That being said, I think the book was very cute, almost a little too cute. The illustrations were very child-like and almost overly happy, but I guess that's part of the appeal to children. More classic or beautiful artwork seems to h
Nov 23, 2008 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun story combining Thanksgiving holiday tradition, (somewhat of) a historical perspective, counting and a hidden bunny on every page to boot. Our girls enjoyed this story very much.

This book was featured as one of the selections for the November 2015: Thanksgiving discussion for the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Nov 19, 2014 Robin rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
With so few Thanksgiving books out there, it's great to come across one that I haven't seen before. This is a counting book with historically accurate details about Plimoth, it's colonists and the native peoples, the Wampanoags. Definitely worth adding to your home or library holiday book collection for very young readers.
Nov 02, 2012 Crystal rated it did not like it
My problem with this book is what other people seem to think is the strength - the illustrations.

This is another book that romanticizes the First Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag are smiling so hard their eyes are closed. It looks like summer and everyone is just so very happy and cheerful & the celebration looks like how we would act it out, but not so much like it probably was.
Jennifer Mixon
Nov 07, 2014 Jennifer Mixon rated it it was amazing
A really cute Thanksgiving book for the little ones. The daily activities of the Pilgrims and Indians are informative and fun. However my favorite part of the book are the illustrations! A bunny for each number hiding, turkey on every page, and perhaps even a few surprises to find! So clever my girls want to read it over and over at Thanksgiving. Love this cute book!
Nov 21, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
I have used this story successfully in story times about Thanksgiving. The illustrations are very cute and large enough to share with a group. Each of the short rhyming poems propels the story forward. A very nice Thanksgiving offering.
This counting book goes from 1 to 12 and features a variety of activities that the Wampanoag and Pilgrims most likely engaged in. I really loved the illustrations. It's a simple story, geared for younger readers and does not contain a great deal of detail.
Margaret Chind
Cute for counting. Good copy in our local library, but might buy if the price was right.
Chelsea Carey
Oct 28, 2016 Chelsea Carey rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit-for-children
Review: This historical fiction childrens book, is an adorably illustrated counting story that also tells its readers about the first Thanksgiving. Its a very cute story and does a wonderful job communicating the number their on into the illustrations. However, the only thing I didn't like was that it doesn't have much of an actual plot.

Content Areas:
This would be a great book to read to a younger class around Thanksgiving time, you could use it as a tool for math and learning how to count. I w
Dec 06, 2016 Hugo rated it really liked it
Shelves: counting
"This First Thanksgiving Day, A Counting Story" by Laura Krauss Melmed and illustrated by Mark Buehner. This is a perfect book for children in early start, and Kindergarten who are learning to count. The story follows Pilgrims and Wampanoags as they prepare to celebrate their very first Thanksgiving. The story goes back and forth between both cultures as they work throughout the day in their own unique way. The beautiful illustrations depict what we usually think of when we imagine how life woul ...more
Emily Hollander
Oct 14, 2013 Emily Hollander rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fab-40-file, poetry
Genre: Poetry
Grade Level: K-2

This poem about the first Thanksgiving Day is a very enriching poem to young children. It allows students to learn the history of the first thanksgiving and how everything was prepared to make the feast. Not only does it give a fun, educational account of the first Thanksgiving, but it also incorporates a counting up to the feast. This is a good tool for pre-k and Kindergarten students. For a follow up activity, I could ask the students to write what their families d
Annie Zuckerman
Oct 22, 2012 Annie Zuckerman rated it really liked it
Shelves: holidays
This book counts from one to twelve to discuss how the Pilgrims and the Wanapanoag Indians prepare for their Thanksgiving feast. The story demonstrates how different cultures prepare for this holiday and the various preparations that are necessary to help all of the festivities come together. Melmed does a good job of catering to a young audience with the use of basic vocabulary and rhyming sentences. This is a great book to use within the classroom because it helps students learn the basics of ...more
Oct 28, 2014 Cathy rated it liked it
Celebrate the very first Thanksgiving in this exuberant counting story from best-selling author Laura Krauss Melmed. From I dressed in linen to 10 making baskets, this rollicking verse shows Wampanoag and Pilgrim friends preparing for and sharing a wonderful Thanksgiving feast.

Vibrant illustrations from critically acclaimed artist Mark Buehner only add to the fun! Count up the rabbits, squirrels, and other small creatures tucked into each scene. Find the bold turkey on every page ... and for the
Oct 21, 2013 Kimberly rated it really liked it
This is a short counting book (from 1-12) that shows Wampanoug and Pilgrim friends coming together for a Thanksgiving feast. Each page flips back and forth between both groups showing what they did to prepare for the big day. It is told in an easy rhyme and includes some really spectacular illustrations. Charlotte loves to find the rabbits and turkey that are hidden throughout several of the pictures.

Counting book that goes through the very basic of basics for the first Thanksgiving focusing more on the pilgrim and american indian children than anything else. Prayer is mentioned in the last sentence of the book--I'll modify that to be able to use it for storytimes.

Good for preschool or toddler storytimes.
Holly Nelson
Oct 21, 2012 Holly Nelson rated it really liked it
This is a great book to introduce counting to a kindergarten class. Each page is beautifully illustrated with the deception of Thanksgiving through rhyming texts. It's a good book to use around Thanksgiving time and incorporate a lesson plan.
Mar 05, 2008 Terry rated it liked it
Shelves: pb-seasonal
It's a fun way to introduce where the Thanksgiving holiday comes from. It's a well-crafted story that allows parents to count other objects on the page, not just the ones described in the narrative. If the number is 4, you'll find four fish, four fisherman, four birds.
Oct 12, 2015 SamZ rated it really liked it
Shelves: thanksgiving
A sweet little counting story depicting the way Pilgrim and Native American children prepared for the first Thanksgiving. No, it's not factual, and yes, the children are all smiling, but hey - it's a cute story!
Jul 19, 2008 Cherry rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cherry by: Marci
OH We love this Thanksgiving book, I pull it out each Thanksgiving. I think it is one that my children will remember and what to show their children when they come to visit Grand and Grandp's at Thanksgiving, At least I hope.
Sarah Gayman
Stereotypical portrayal of American Indians which lacks cultural authenticity and a simplistic inaccurate description of Thanksgiving. Could be used for analysis with older students even though it is written for primary students.
Jan 04, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing
I loved the illustrations in this book. Every time I read it to my little girl I would find more things hidden in the pictures. It's a darling story to teach the basics of the first thanksgiving. Very cute!
Beautiful illustrations and counting fun for your preschooler with a lovely rhythm to the rhymes. Get a look at some of the real history and practices of the Wapanoag and Pilgrim inhabitants for a fun Thanksgiving read.
It's a very cute book. It counts and rhymes, but it is very stereotypical first Thanksgiving picture (the relationship between the pilgrims and Native Americans was perfect). Not that I expect an early childhood book to go into that deep of detail about that, but it works in the opposite direction.
Read on the day after Thanksgiving (2016).
Dec 10, 2016 Beckie rated it really liked it
A counting book about the first Thanksgiving. Cute pictures coupled with an equally cute story made this book at hit with the kids.
May 02, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
This counting story has thoughtful prose and beautiful illustrations.
Katie Fitzgerald
Nov 19, 2011 Katie Fitzgerald rated it really liked it
Read at Saturday Family Story Time on 11/19/11:
Dec 29, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
0 and up, Thanksgiving, counting, hidden pictures
Nov 16, 2015 Madison rated it really liked it
Breath taking detailed illustrations and a sequential storyline. A little two wordy for my toddler.
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