The Thank You Book

illus. by Stephanie Graegin. 32p. HMH. Sept. 2018. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780544791367.
PreS-Gr 2—The idea of being grateful and exploring happiness is the core of this relentlessly cute little book. A group of human children with round heads, varying skin colors, and button eyes occupy a quaint world full of equally adorable bipedal animals dressed in human clothes. From tiny birds in bowler hats and bow ties to long-necked deer in peacoats and pom-pom hats, the illustrations portray a warm, cozy, and happy world full of farmers markets, picnics, parties, and friendship. The text focuses on experiences of happiness that kids can actually relate to, and is poetic enough to evoke real feeling and understanding of the concept of gratitude for the good things in life. "Thank you isn't just for learning manners. It's also for when something wakes a little hum—a happy little hum—inside you and you want to answer back. So when the sun brings a new day, a thank you is for morning." The book also references the idea that thank you is also for when bad things improve: "It's also for when hurt or sad or not-so-good gets better." After hedgehog trips and drops his ice cream cone, cat helps him up and they share another cone.
VERDICT Discussions of gratitude, happiness, and kindness are always needed, and this small book makes the medicine go down with a delicious spoonful of sugar. Perfect for one-on-one sharing.

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