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Childrens’ Book of the Week: Plimouth Plantation books

Samuel Eaton’s Day
Sarah Morton’s Day
Tapenum’s Day
by Kate Waters, photos by Russ Kendall

For some reason, recently, Henry and I got to talking about New England, where we live, and about colonial times, and just when I was about to start getting nostalgic for colonial times, as though I’d actually lived through them, rather than just fantasized mightily about them from ages 7-14, I decided we should go to the library and get some books that might be a little more factual than what my brain could muster. (Ok, let’s pause a bit and consider how to get Julie to make shorter sentences and give up the comma.)

Our helpful librarian handed us these three books, which are all photo essays as told from the perspectives of a pilgrim girl, a pilgrim boy, and a Wampanoag Indian boy. All the photos are taken of kids who actually work at Plimouth Plantation, and it’s a nice bit to have it be modern photography but otherwise look like it could be a “real” kid in 1627. I guess the characters are all based on actual people, so they are real, in a sense. Henry was fascinated by the clothing (like adding a pocket to your dress) and the food, and I appreciated the books showing how darn hard life was then compared to the cushy world of chore shirking that exists for kids today (in this house, anyway). I do want to read the Little House books and Birchbark House at some point, but these are a great intro, I think.

This whole post is essentially for Emily, who will want to read these books herself. And Anne. Oh, Sarah, I bet you’d like these too. And Sutswana. Ok, all of my peeps who spent childhood afternoons pretending you were grinding your own corn to make Indian Pudding, these are for you. (I’m suddenly thinking this might be 95% of my readers.)


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4 Responses to “Childrens’ Book of the Week: Plimouth Plantation books”

  1. 1
    Anne:

    Ha! This reminds me of the time we discovered that as kids we’d both played the same imaginary game of “Explain Life in 19[75-85] To Laura Ingalls.”

    A harder game to play today. “Well, Laura, the subprime mortgage crisis put the country in a bit of a pickle. It’s not like when Pa could just dig a home out of the side of a hill.”

  2. 2
    Julie:

    Ha! I forgot about that game. I really liked that game.

    And yes, to underscore your second point, I was just posting today’s summer jar item on Facebook, and Henry came up and said, “Are you doing Twitter?” (Note that I have never even been on Twitter, personally, so how on earth does HENRY know about it? He claims Dave told him about it.)

  3. 3
    emily:

    Oh, I’m so honored! I was just away at camp chaperoning 45 11 and 12 year old girls from NYC in the “country” (read: Goshen, NY, on a CSA farm a few miles from a strip-mall town), and boy, I was feeling the need for some serious little house there! the shrieking! the “ew bugs gross”. the not-doing or offering to help when others were working!! arrg! however, many of them were the exact opposite, liking bugs, helping, wanting to see how the vegetables grow and taste out of the ground… anyway, YEAH I want to see those books! I’m PSYCHED! THe best part of camp was, of course, whittling the sticks for marshmallow roasts on the bonfire…I’m totally taking up whittling!

  4. 4
    Mary (Anne's Sister):

    Lurve all things colonial—and pioneerish. Used to pretend my mother’s polyester sleeveless nighties we both petticoats AND pinafore aprons.

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