Here's my selection for Perfect Picture Book Friday:
Written by Mike Allegra
Illustrated by David Gardner
Albert Whitman & Company, September 2012
Suitable for: Amazon says grade level 1 and up.
Theme/Topic: Thanksgiving, Determination, Women, Non-fiction
Opening: The turkey was fresh from the oven. Sarah Josepha Hale asked her five children to join hands in thanksgiving.
The baby grabbed on to Sarah's finger, but the other four hesitated. Sarah understood. They had just returned from their father's grave and were not in a thankful mood.
So she bowed her head alone.
Brief Synopsis: From Amazon: During the nineteenth century, Sarah Josepha Hale dedicated her life to making Thanksgiving a national holiday, all while raising a family and becoming a groundbreaking writer and women's magazine editor. Sarah Hale's inspiring story, accompanied by luscious watercolor illustrations, tells the tale of one woman who wouldn't take no for an answer.
Link to Resources: Lots of fun ideas and discussions to go with this book. Lesson ideas from Education World and Family Education. Families can talk about the things they are thankful for at Thanksgiving and throughout the year. When I worked at newspapers, most featured stories from children on "How to Cook a turkey." Many of the answers were priceless. Parents can also talk about how girls were educated during Sarah's time as well as her work as a women's magazine editor. There are lots of historical facts and details woven into the story.
Why I chose this book: Well, I had to post it now or someone else would!
I met Mike Allegra in the blogosphere. I was intrigued by Sarah Hale's story after reading his my book page. The story is too text heavy for my son. Without him tugging at the pages, I learned how Sarah Hale survived and thrived during the time period after he husband died.
We live in an instant communication age where we share information through blog posts, tweets and Facebook updates. Sarah Hale didn't have that. She used pen and paper (and the mail) to send her message to presidents. She reached out to other women through her magazine. It's riveting to see how Sarah Hale's 36-year effort unfolds in the story.
For more picture books and resources, please check out Susanna Leonard Hill's Blog.