Book Review: First South Carolinians

I recently had the privilege to preview a set of several picture books about South Carolina and the history of the Revolutionary War by local author Kate Salley Palmer and her family. While some these picture books are specific to our local area, they would still be appropriate for any family trying to learn more about the history of South Carolina. In particular, I would like to highlight the most recent publication by the Palmer family, First South Carolinians which is written by Kate Salley Palmer and her husband Jim Palmer, and illustrated by James H. Palmer, Jr.

james and kate palmer

Disclosures: I received the following picture books in order to review them. No Twiddle Twaddle uses Amazon affiliate links in order to cover the costs and time of this blog.

Review of First South Carolinians

First South Carolinians by Kate Salley Palmer & Jim Palmer, illustrated by James H. Palmer

The First South Carolinians tells the story of the Native American tribes that inhabited South Carolina and describes their lifestyle. The picture book covers a wide breadth of information about the differences between the different regional areas’ tribes and how they lived, ate, and socialized. While the text was quite dense and full of factual information, the book contained a number of illustrations on every page.

sample illustration from the first carolinians

I was surprised that  my preschooler sat and listened to almost the entire First South Carolinians because the book was actually more on a second grade or above level. I think that the illustrations of Native Americans helped captivate his attention, and I was impressed by how the illustrations helped make the facts visual and kid-friendly.

sample page from The first carolinians 2

He especially enjoyed the detailed illustrations that showed how the Native Americans in South Carolina made their weapons and other tools.

the first carolinians: a picture book about native americans in south carolina

Other picture books by Kate Salley Palmer:

Palmetto: Symbol of Courage by Kate Salley Palmer

Dedicated to the “young students of South Carolina” this picture book written and illustrated by Kate Salley Palmer tells the story of the victory at Sullivan’s Island in the Revolutionary War and the part that the South Carolina state tree: the Palmetto Tree played in the victory.

Almost Invisible: Black Patriots of the American Revolution  by Kate Salley Palmer

This book intersperses details about racial discrimination and unity in the Revolutionary War with short biographies of black men who fought for the American Revolution.

Francis Marion and the Legend of The Swamp Fox 

This picture book about Francis Marion, the Revolutionary War Hero, would be perfect reading for July 4th.


The Pink House

Kate Salley Palmer captures the delight of a large family vacation to the beach in this picture book that recalls the family’s large yearly visit to the Pink House on Edisto Beach, South Carolina.

A Gracious Plenty

A warm book that examines two children’s relationship with their Great Aunt who has no children of her own but as she says has “a gracious plenty”.

My kids in particular really enjoyed The Pink House and A Gracious Plenty and asked for both books to be read to them over and over again. The other books were of more value educationally though, and I think if my kids had been older would have been enjoyed equally. My preschooler did enjoy looking through the illustrations of all the picture books even if he wasn’t quite old enough to listen to the entire text.

Meet Kate Salley Palmer and Jim Palmer

If you live near Greenville, South Carolina, you may be interested to know that you can attend a special Fiction Addiction Book Your Lunch with Jim and Kate Salley Palmer at City Range on Friday, August 2, at 2 pm. You must buy your tickets in advance on

Are you new? I’m Bethany, mom and blogger. No Twiddle Twaddle is full of ideas for kids’ activities, information on picture books, and parenting inspiration. Join me on Facebook or subscribe to get our newest posts! If you love children’s books, don’t forget to check out the Great Summer Library Challenge! You can also find me on Kidding Around Greenville SC and as a weekly columnist in the Greenville News.


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