Review of Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story

Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving StoryKeepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story
by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten; illus. by Garry Meeches Sr.
Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp.    g
8/22    978-1-62354-290-0    $16.99

“Many Americans call it a day of thanksgiving. Many of our people call it a day of mourning.” A team of Native creators provides an illuminating look at what the ­Wampanoag called Keepunumuk, or “the time of harvest,” highlighting that the ­Pilgrims’ survival was largely due to the assistance offered by the ­Indigenous people who lived on the land. In the framing narrative, an elder speaks to children about their ancestors, and how Weeâchumun, the seed of corn and one of the Three Sisters (corn, beans, and squash), witnessed the struggles of the newcomers. Using an earth-tone palette, the impressionistic illustrations beautifully convey their settings. Front and back matter include a glossary, a recipe, and more information about Wampanoag traditions, storytelling, and ­contemporary life.

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Donna Sabis-Burns

Donna Sabis-Burns, Ph.D., is a board member for the Children's Literature Assembly and member of the Biography Clearinghouse. Her research background is in language and literacy in curriculum and instruction with a focus on social justice issues and Indigenous representation in books for children and young adults. She is a group leader for the Office of Indian Education, U.S. Department of Education.

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