Continuing with our list of favorite children’s picture books for the Thanksgiving season, here’s one that my mom read to me. It remains one of my all-time favorites, and stands the test of historical scrutiny remarkably well. I just love it when an author takes the time to really research – even if it’s just for a kid’s book!
The Book: Three Young Pilgrims
Title: Three Young Pilgrims
Author & Illustrator: Cheryl Harness
Publication Date: 1995
Link To Amazon: Three Young Pilgrims
Why I Like This Book
Well, it’s considered a classic in my family home. Doesn’t that count?
For writing style, it is perfection. You see, I believe that a story (or a book) is great if it makes a reader laugh and cry, and Three Young Pilgrims does that. My mom always got a little choked-up in two sections, and, as a little kid, I couldn’t understand why. Ironically, now that’s were I have to take a deep breath and swallow hard when I’m reading the book aloud.
I love the artwork. Cheryl Harness always does lovely illustrations for her historical books, and, best of all, there’s lots of authentic details. The illustrations are “busy” – which is always fun in kid’s books because there’s so much to look at and find.
History – again five stars! The Allerton children – Bartholomew, Remember, and Mary – are featured in the story, and readers get to experience an exciting and challenging year of their young lives. The Allerton children really sailed on the Mayflower and were at the First Thanksgiving. There’s a lot of historical value in this book…to be continued in the next section:
The Historical Lessons In The Book
Gotta love a kid’s book that has illustrated historical notes in the back! In addition to a historically accurate main text, this book has an artwork timeline, pages showing the families of “Separatists and Strangers”, and details about the Native American tribes in the Cape Cod area.
In the actual story text, the main historical benefit is that the characters are real. Those three children crossed the Atlantic, played tag on the beaches, survived the heartbreaking winter, work hard, and celebrated. They also have to answer an important question: are they happy in the New World?
This book rates well in showing children’s work and authentic clothes too! (More details in last week’s post.)
Read, Read, Read…And Play!
We’ve mentioned how picture books are a great way to introduce kids to history. It helps them realize that history is a fascinating story.
Another great thing to do that goes right along with reading fun books is to PLAY history.
That’s right: play. Make a costume. Try an activity you read about in a historical picture book. You’d be amazed how much fun a child can have under a blanket covered table that alternates between the cramped space on the Mayflower and a Wampanoag wigwam. Give kids the tools to play and the desire to entertain themselves. Then there’s no limit to how far their curiosity will take them in history studies. (Just ask my mom…)
P.S. Don’t kids books sometimes say it best? Somehow, they take all that “dry, boring history” and find a way to share it that easy to remember and with lines that make us laugh or cry.