cover image Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story

Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story

Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten, illus. by Garry Meeches Sr. Charlesbridge, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62354-290-0

Opening sidebars contextualizing the Wampanoag tribes’ cultivation of their ancestral homeland and a glossary of Wôpanâak words is an edifying setup for this First Peoples narrative around Thanksgiving. While harvesting food from her garden, N8hkumuhs tells her grandchildren the tale of how the corn spirit Weeâchumun and her sisters, despite hesitance from watchful Fox, encouraged the First Peoples to teach European newcomers how to plant, fish, and hunt. In celebration, the newcomers prepared a feast and, together with the First Peoples, rejoiced for three days, leading to what most Americans call the First Thanksgiving, and “many of our people,” call a “day of mourning.” The creators’ poetic prose sensitively conveys the First Peoples’ lived history and foreshadows historical hardships to come. Meeches’s delicate brushstrokes, paired with bold swathes of earthen toned acrylic, add vibrancy. Additional information, including a traditional recipe, concludes. Ages 3–7. (Aug.)