Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp, illustrate by Erwin Printup, Jr.
My edition Scholastic, New York, 1997, originally published by Lee and Low, 1995.
Picture book, 24 pages.
Lexile: AD520L ( What does AD mean in Lexile? )
AR Level: 3.3 (worth 0.5 points) .
NOTE: There is another book by the same title but subtitled “The 1621 Harvest Feast.”
A children’s book adaptation of the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address by Mohawk Chief Jake Swamp.
This is one of those books that gives the lie to publishers who say they can’t find qualified Native authors and illustrators. Already back in 1995, Lee and Low had Cayuga/Tuscarora painter Erwin Printup, who not only has a degree in fine arts, but also provides gorgeous, culturally appropriate illustrations for this title. In fact, we were so taken with this book that I went searching for other children’s books illustrated by Printup. But it seems that he was also underemployed, because all I found was a few anthologies he was included in.
While this is a handy alternative for librarians to give parents and teachers who insist on Thanksgiving books, truly this book could be read at any time of year. As Swamp explains in his can’t-miss author’s note, not only is the Thanksgiving Address read at every gathering of the Six Nations, it’s also taught to children as a morning thank you.