This Is a Gift for You

Random. Nov. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781524714161.
PreS-Gr 1–This sweet list of “gifts” or wishes from parent to child is enhanced by lovely illustrations and spare text. There is really no story here. It is a poetic list: “The gift of quiet.../ And the gift of loud.../ Your hand in my hand/ Out in a crowd.” The sentiment is genuine, though verging on saccharine, and the meter and rhyme mostly flow well. It sells appreciating the moment, being oneself, feeling safe, and caring about the world. Acrylic, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations are lovely, depicting a multicultural cast of children and their families reading, drawing, riding a train, playing outside, and visible through apartment windows. They are detailed and varied, from a close-up of two hands, to crisp items on a white background, to double-page scenes. There is a lovely bit of continuity, with a father giving his daughter a blue marble with the words “I’ll give you this world like a lucky blue stone,” and a later reference to the “blue stone” with a depiction of the earth in space. The nature images are particularly arresting, including a page that is full of butterflies.
VERDICT While the text here will likely appeal more to parents than children, the sentiment is a worthy one to share, and the lovely illustrations will keep the children engaged. Add where Martin’s other books are in demand.

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