I’d hoped that the books I picked for American history between 1492 and 1620 would get six-year-old S fired up over more than just the seasonally appropriate topic of the big feast at Plymouth. Ah, well.
Storm Boy was strikingly illustrated and brief enough that squirmy 22-month-old F could sit through it, but S paid it no mind. I liked it, though, and I’ll be bringing it back again.
The First Texans and We Asked for Nothing are just flat-out beyond what S is ready for. My mistake. These also will return. Eventually.
S gave a listen to both The Discovery of the Americas and The Lucky Sovereign. Neither one floated his boat. The former could provide some useful context for a reader interested in books focusing on individual explorers or voyages, but that interest needs to be there — and in S’s case, it wasn’t. The latter was only marginally tied to Jamestown, with John Rolfe and Pocahontas tossed into the story at the end.
So, yes, it came down to Diane Stanley’s Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation, which S read (and asked me to read) repeatedly. You can’t beat time travel, fascinating facts (kids in England drank beer for breakfast!), charming illustrations, and good humor. S did read Mary Pope Osborne’s Thanksgiving on Thursday, but only once, I think. The Magic Tree House formula may be wearing thin for him.
The Stanley book might be a useful springboard for other books on the topic and perhaps also for her wonderful biographies. But I’m certain that we’ll be seeing more of her Time-Traveling Twins (Joining the Boston Tea Party, Roughing It on the Oregon Trail) in the months ahead.