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Rivka's First Thanksgiving by Elsa Okon Rael
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Rivka's First Thanksgiving (2001)

by Elsa Okon Rael, Maryann Kovalski (Illustrator)

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I think the story “Rivka’s First Thanksgiving” is a great informational story. Personally, I learned a few things from this story and I think children could learn a lot, too. The language is clear, although contains many difficult words. But, with this being said, the back of the book contains a glossary, defining words such as pogrom, bubbeh, kotchka, seder, etc. In addition, I love that this book was written in first person point of view in the perspective of Rivka, a young Jewish girl. Rivka was a resilient girl who fought for what she believed in. She never gave up or took no for an answer. In the end her hard work paid off and her and her family were able to give thanks on the holiday of Thanksgiving with many other American families. I think the big idea of this story is to share the author’s family memory while informing and encouraging readers to fight for what they believe in. ( )
  Ebutzn1 | Oct 15, 2014 |
Listen to an interview with Maryann Kovalski, illustrator for Rivka's First Thanksgiving, on The Book of Life podcast's Thanksgiving Shout-Out Special, November 2007, at www.bookoflifepodcast.com.
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  bookoflife | Dec 3, 2007 |
Having heard about Thanksgiving in school, nine-year-old Rivka tries to convince her immigrant family and her Rabbi that it is a holiday for all Americans, Jews and non-Jews alike. ( )
  STBA | Oct 9, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elsa Okon Raelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kovalski, MaryannIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689839014, Hardcover)

More than anything, Rivka wants to celebrate Thanksgiving. She has learned all about the holiday in school and knows her family has a lot to be thankful for in America. But Rivka's parents are Jewish immigrants from Poland, and they wonder what Pilgrims and Indians have to do with them. Is Thanksgiving really a holiday for Jews?

Rivka's grandmother, Bubbeh, decides to take over: She will bring Rivka to see the Rabbi Yoshe Preminger -- and whatever the Rabbi concludes, Rivka will have to live with. Rivka knows that Thanksgiving is a holiday for all Americans, from all backgrounds and religions. But how can she convince the esteemed Rabbi Preminger?

Elsa Okon Rael and Maryann Kovalski bring the bustling Lower East Side to life in this heartwarming story. Set in the 1910s, Rivka's First Thanksgiving is about respecting old traditions while embracing new ones, about giving thanks and celebrating freedom in America. Perhaps most important, Rivka's story teaches us that even the wisest adults have something to learn from children.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:17 -0400)

Having heard about Thanksgiving in school, nine-year-old Rivka tries to convince her immigrant family and her rabbi that it is a holiday for all Americans, Jews and non-Jews alike.

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