Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten illustrated by Garry Meeches Sr.

Published by Charlesbridge

Summary:  Maple and Quill love visiting N8hkumuhs (pronounced NOO-kuh-mus), their grandmother, and hearing her stories.  One story she tells is of Weeâchumun (corn), and how she and her sisters Beans and Squash helped new people who came to their land.  They sent dreams to the First People to alert them of the newcomers’ plight, and the people sent Ousamequin and Tisquantum to greet them and show them how to plant corn, beans, and squash.  When there was a successful harvest, the First People and the new people celebrated together with a three-day feast.  “Many Americans call it a day of thanksgiving,” concludes N8hkumuhs.  “Many of our people call it a day of mourning.” Includes a glossary and introduction at the beginning and additional information about the Wampanoag tribes, storytelling tradition, harvest feasts, and tradition of giving thanks at the end, as well as a recipe and a photo of the real Maple and Quill.  32 pages; grades K-4.

Pros:  An excellent addition to Thanksgiving collections that gives the Wampanoag perspective and includes some good information in the back matter.  The illustrations beautifully portray various animals and the spirits of the Three Sisters.

Cons:  Kids might need some help with the transition between the opening scene with N8hkumuhs, Maple, and Quill and the main story. I was confused until I realized that the weeâchumun (corn) that N8hkumuhs mentioned was the same as Weeâchumun, the spirit of corn and the protagonist of N8hkumuhs’ story.

August 16, 2022 at 06:17PM Janet Dawson