Friday, September 14, 2012

Perfect Picture Book: Sarah Gives Thanks

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.

22 comments:

  1. How fascinating, Stacy. I would have assumed it was the government who decided Thanksgiving. Lovely story!

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    1. The government did decide Catherine, but without Sarah Hale's persistence who knows if we would be celebrating it as a national holiday.

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  2. So glad you got to give Mike's first PPBF review Stacy. Enzo will appreciate the book in a few more years! Just love the strong female MC and the themes of persistence and resilience.

    As Thanksgiving draws near, I expect we will hear a lot more buzz for this book!

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    1. Cathy, I know he will in a few years. It's an easy read and the illustrations will draw him in sooner rather than later.

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  3. Love having this to go along with Thank You Sarah which was put up last year - a great pair - and you are so funny! It's true if you don't hustle people beat you to books :) Penny beat me today for THe Monster Who Lost His Mean! :) Thanks for a great addition to our list!

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  4. Wow, Stacy! I didn't know you were planning to review this!

    Many, many thanks!

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    1. Mike, You are welcome. It's a great book.

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  5. Sounds good. I love historical picture books.

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  6. Looks like a fascinating book about a strong woman with a mission.

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  7. I like learning about history. I would like to read this book!

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    1. Thanks Tracy, Janet, Sandi and Erik. It's an interesting story.

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  8. Sounds like a fascinating book. Thank you for sharing about it.

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  9. Your review is great. This sounds very interesting. I have added it to my library list.

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    1. Penny, I hope your library has it. I haven't checked ours to see if it is available.

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  10. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for sharing, I hadn't heard of Sarah or this book before!

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    1. Jennifer, her story is new to me. I obviously have forgotten about the other Sarah book on the PPBF list.

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  11. This sounds like a great one! I love finding picture book gems!

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  12. Gotta like her attitude. Sounds like an interesting read for young children, thanks for sharing.

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