cover image Nickommoh: A Thanksgiving Celebration

Nickommoh: A Thanksgiving Celebration

Jackie Koller. Atheneum Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-81094-7

If Squanto (reviewed above) offers background to the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving, Koller (The Promise, reviewed p. 62) demonstrates that a celebratory gathering to commemorate the harvest, Nickommoh, had long been the custom on these shores. In prose with the cadence of a drumbeat, the author reveals the rhythms of Narragansett life, devoted to the Creator, Kautantawwitt, and punctuated by praise: ""They come together, together to give thanks. Nickommoh!"" In marked contrast to her usual style, Sewall's (The Pilgrims of Plimoth) scratchboard and gouache illustrations convey both simplicity and complexity. Even as she portrays individuals--men cutting poles for the great lodge, women covering the poles with bark, children playing tug-of-war--her compositions build a unity among the characters. Almost hypnotic in their power, art and text are infused with the communal spirit of Thanksgiving. Ages 6-9. (Oct.)