Although I usually focus on middle grade novels here at The Starborn Revue, today I’m making an exception for two stellar picture books.
Tomorrow, Thursday, is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, a day in which to remember what you’re grateful for in your life. These two books help us think about gratitude in a fun but meaningful way.
Authors: Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton
Illustrator: Christine Davenier
Publisher: New York, Boston: Little Brown & Co, 2016
Genre: Picture book fiction
Audience Age: 4 and up
Themes/Topics: Giving thanks, gratitude, coping with setbacks
Opening Sentences: Hooray! It’s Gratitude Day! At school, we’ll be practicing an Attitude of Gratitude by showing kindness and appreciation all day long! Well…NO ONE has a fuller heart or is more appreciative than a fairy princess. That’s me! Gerry, the VERY fairy princess.
Synopsis: Gerry is looking forward to Gratitude Day at school, and plans to be the most grateful, appreciative, kind and caring kid (oops, fairy princess) that anyone could hope for.
But things start to go wrong as soon as she gets on the school bus. Her best friend is sick, and won’t be at school. She has to work to maintain her Gratitude Attitude when she has to sit beside Connor on the bus instead. Things just keep getting worse and worse. It gets harder and harder to have an attitude even CLOSE to gratitude, until it’s practically impossible.
However, fairy princesses never give up. Gerry has to find a way to get that Gratitude back. How she does it demonstrates resilience, imagination, and of course a LOT of SPARKLE. (Fairy princesses excel at SPARKLING in the face of adversity.)
I’m sure you’ll find this book delightful – and if you read it to a younger sibling or cousin, they’re sure to feel an attitude of gratitude toward you!
And just for fun, here’s a link to an interview with the authors! Click here.
Author: John Bucchino
Illustrator: Anna-Liisa Hakkarainen
Publisher: New York: HarperCollins, 2003
Genre: Picture book, song lyrics
Audience Age: Any age at all!
Opening Sentences: I’ve got a roof over my head. I’ve got a warm place to sleep. Some nights I lie awake counting gifts instead of counting sheep.
Synopsis: Through his gentle lyrics, John Bucchino celebrates the gift of gratitude, remembering all the things there are to be grateful for, including having “a heart that can love” and “a mind that can think.” He also acknowledges that there are times when gratitude is difficult, but somehow remembering the things there are to be grateful for, like people and friends around him. That helps lift his spirits up and make him even more grateful!
And there is a bonus – a CD at the back of the book that features Art Garfunkel singing this lovely song. (John Bucchino wrote both words and music.)
Activities/Resources to help develop an attitude of gratitude:
Make a poster or collage (using old magazines for pictures) of things to be grateful for.
Do something for someone else – Gerry gave some things to the food bank. Some families help serve Thanksgiving dinner (or some other holiday meal) at a homeless shelter.
Learn to sing John Bucchino’s song. The music and lyrics are at the back of the book, as well as the CD. Maybe sing it around the table when you’re gathered with your family.
Talk about things you’re grateful for – I bet someone is grateful for YOU!