Please welcome my guest author today, Antony Perry, Danielle Greendeer, and Alexis Bunten; all the authors of Keepunmuk, a Thanksgiving picture book from the perspective of the Native Americans that we all need in our libraries! They are sharing their Top 5 Books to Read Alongside Keepunumuk for Thanksgiving.
Keepunumuk by Danielle Greendeer (Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Citizen, Hawk Clan), Anthony Perry (Chickasaw), and Alexis Bunten (Unangan/Yup’ik), illustrated by Gary Meeches Sr. (Anishinabe)
In this Wampanoag story told in a Native tradition, two kids from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe learn the story of Weeâchumun (corn) and the first Thanksgiving. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
In the list below, we are sharing our favorite children’s books to complement Keepunumuk’s themes of Thanksgiving, the Wampanoag Peoples, and contemporary Native American life.
We are giving away 25 copies of Keepenumuk to 25 winners! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
Top 5 Books to Read Alongside Keepunumuk for Thanksgiving
If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving by Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy), illustrated by Winona Nelson
This book provides a historical account of the Pilgrims’ arrival into Wampanoag territory and what happened in the “First Thanksgiving.” It offers an even-handed and richly detailed depiction of the peoples and events that took place leading up to the harvest meal of 1621. It’s a natural fit with Keepunumuk, which we envision as younger readers’ first exposure to a new Thanksgiving narrative. If You Lived During the Plimoth Thanksgiving is ideal for younger readers as they grow older and transition into critical thinking about the topics raised in Keepnumuk. [picture book, ages 7 and up]
Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times by Kate Waters, photographs by Russ Kendall
The immersive photos in Tapenum’s Day bring 17th-century Wampanoag culture to life and help readers understand the world the Pilgrims encountered. The coming-of-age story especially resonated with Tony, whose book Chula the Fox follows a similar journey for a Chickasaw boy in the 18th century. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition by Russell Peters (Wampanoag), photographs by John Madama
Steven, a Mashpee Wampanoag boy, learns how to prepare for the appanaug (clambake) that is a central part of Wampanoag life. Clambake reminds readers that the Wampanoag people are still here, passing cultural traditions to their children as many Native families do. This challenge hits close to home for all of us as creators of Keepunumuk. Like Clambake, Keepunumuk also depicts contemporary Wampanoag children keeping traditions alive with their grandmother. [picture book, ages 8 and up]
Otsaliheliga: We Are Grateful by Traci Sorell (Cherokee), illustrated by Frane Lessac
Otsaliheliga shows readers how “Thanksgiving” isn’t about a single day for Native Americans. Many Native families give thanks every day of the year for their families, their homes, and their world. This echoes the theme of Keepunumuk, which highlights the role of nature in how people lead their lives. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Plymouth Rocks!: The Stone-Cold Truth by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Sam Streed
Plymouth Rocks!: The Stone-Cold Truth is a witty account of the events leading up to the 1620 landing of the Mayflower. Like Keepunumuk, Plymouth Rocks! addresses common misconceptions and challenges common narratives about this slice of American history through the playful poems of the Rock, who witnessed it, contrasted with the voice of a straight-laced fact checker. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
25 Copies of Keempunumuk GIVEAWAY to 25 Winners!
We are giving away 25 copies of Keepenumuk to 25 winners! Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only mail to U.S. and A.F.O. addresses.
Danielle Hill, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Citizen, Hawk Clan. Mother of five children, Julian, 17, Anysa 14, Maple 5, Quill 4, Tulsi 2, and wife of David Greendeer, Ho-Chunk/Narragansett. We are an art family and enjoy spending our days, crafting, painting, building, making wampum jewelry, and spending days and nights at the beach. As a writer, farmer, crafter, dancer, and artist I always find inspiration from museum archives and collections. When the children go to bed, I spend time looking at old photographs and imagining what life our ancestors lived. Through the silence, I find motivation to create new imagery and stories. I am also a seed steward of King Philip Corn, a historically Wampanoag heirloom corn variety stolen during the King Philip War but now rematriated back into Wampanoag soil. When I am not out in the corn field or in the gallery, you can find me teaching a Native Food Systems Course for UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture. The future for me is to continue to merge my love of art and corn.
Alexis Bunten, Ph.D., is an Alaska Native writer, media maker, consultant, and educator. Her first book, “So, how long have you been Native?” Life as an Alaska Native Tour Guide” (2015) won the Alaska Library Association Award for its originality and depth. Her writing has appeared in “First American Art Magazine,” “Cultural Survival Quarterly,” “NMAI Magazine,” and many academic journals. Her first children’s book, Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story, co-authored with Danielle Hill and Tony Perry, will be published with Charlesbridge Press in 2022.
Alexis has won awards for her work from the US National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation, among many others. She has also been featured in Forbes, the Washington Post, and the Seattle Times. Alexis lives in Monterey, California with her husband, daughter, 3 dogs, cat, and lizard. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, studying DNA, and creating cultural tours.
Anthony Perry (Chickasaw) grew up in Oklahoma and now lives in England with his wife and young children. He works as a quality improvement manager in the National Health Service in England and volunteers with hospitals in Pakistan to improve health services. He loves history and enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.
Perry has an undergraduate degree in comparative religion from Dartmouth College, a master’s degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a master’s degree in public policy from Birkbeck College, University of London.
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