Book Review: Prince of the Birds

Reading Level

Ages 4-8

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Just in time for Thanksgiving comes a wonderful picture-and-text book for young kids called Pilgrims of Plymouth, written by Susan E. Goodman. (You might remember Goodman from the Ultimate Field Trip series.)

Most of the book is pictures, of modern people dressed as the Pilgrims of old, doing Pilgrim chores, eating Pilgrim food, and so on. Each picture has a simple description, so kids can match words with pictures.

By seeing these people doing their everyday things, the readers understand more about the Pilgrims and how hard their lives were sometimes. They built their own homes. They grew or hunted their own food. They made their own clothes and shoes.

The book does a good job of showing how different Pilgrim life was from life today and also showing how some things haven't changed. Pilgrim children didn't to go school; rather, they learned how to do the work they would one day do as adults. They helped their fathers cut wood to build houses and outhouses. They learned how to sew so they could help their mothers make the family's clothes. But they also played games and blew soap bubbles and laughed and prayed, just like kids do today. (The last words of the book are these: "The Pilgrims were real people, just like us."

For younger kids, this is the perfect introduction to Pilgrim life. It gives the basic facts that students would be very familiar with, along with some new facts and a lot to think about.

Graphics courtesy of National Geographic

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David White