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The Children's Bookshelf: Thankful - October 11, 2021


THANKFUL written by Elaine Vickers and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill is a beautiful look at life through the eyes of a young school- girl. Each year she welcomes the opportunity to make a paper chain out of pieces of colored paper on which she writes down the things for which she is thankful.

Her list will engage readers and includes things that some might just take for granted such as having a home, books and friends. This young storyteller is pleasantly aware of the world around her and what her world means to her. She is thankful for the moon and the sun because they always come back. She is thankful for stop signs and seatbelts because they keep her safe. She is thankful for colors, teachers and the poem her mother whispers to her each night:

“Good night, dream sweet things,

let them carry you on their wings,

and whatever tomorrow brings,

I love you.”

The illustrations have a unique 3-D quality. The items in each picture were hand-built by the illustrator before being digitally photographed. The illustrations are rich in both color and detail. The reader will enjoy the visual content including the picture of the little girl making her paper chain while stretched out on her bedroom floor and the gorgeous illustration of her relaxing in a high back chair at the Book Nook all cozy and totally lost in a book.

THANKFUL written by Elaine Vickers and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill is a gentle but thought- provoking book for readers 4-8 years of age (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2021).

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and Activity Questions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

 Activity Questions for THANKFUL

Have you ever made and decorated a paper chain as has the little girl in this story? She decided to make a paper chain in celebration of the things for which she was thankful. What would you like to celebrate in this manner? Think about it. Some possibilities could be celebrating a holiday, a grandparent, friends, a pet or perhaps the things for which you are thankful just as the girl does in this book.

All you need is construction paper cut into strips I-2 inches wide and 8 inches long depending on the space you think you will need. After you finish writing or drawing on each strip you are ready to put the chain together. The first strip is then pasted or glued to make a loop. All other strips loop into each other making the chain the length you need. Have fun! Ask a parent to help you hang your paper chain to avoid hazardous areas such as near candles, lamps, stoves and fireplaces.

Read the story again and make a list of the things the girl says she is thankful for. She mentions over 30 things! Then find a quiet corner and think about the things for which you are thankful. Make your own list. You can add to your list during the weeks ahead.