Thankful (Elaine Vickers)

Hello friends, and Happy Thanksgiving! Our book today is a special holiday treat: Thankful, written by Elaine Vickers and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill, a visually stunning tale of appreciation.

Every year, when the first snow falls, our unnamed child narrator has a special family tradition. They always make “thankful” paper chains to last through December, with each handwritten link expressing thanks for something the maker feels gratitude for. It can be hard to think of so many things, so the narrator explains that they like to start in their own room. They give thanks for a safe and warm home, loving parents, and the goodnight poem they repeat each bedtime. They are thankful for night and mornings, the moon and sun, and stars and candle to make wishes on. Soon our narrator is thinking of plenty of things to be thankful for, even as they grow too sleepy to continue the chain. Tucking into bed, the child expresses gratitude for what they are most thankful for: the wide, wonderful world outside.

A Thanksgiving feast for the eyes. While the text can read a little mature for a child’s voice, the sentiment of appreciating the little things in one’s life is always a welcome one. To that end, there are a few special moments that are particularly heartwarming, such as expressing thanks for a furry friend who comforts us when we’re scared, a teacher who shows patience and support, or the worlds of imagination that lie between the pages of books. But what truly elevates this title is the phenomenal artwork, comprised of illustrated characters placed within gorgeously-detailed miniature sets and then photographed. The play of focus, color, motion, and texture creates an incredible visual world filled with stunning detail, and each page is as striking as the last. The length is best for elementary-aged readers, and JJ loved the beautiful artwork. Well worth the read – a sweet and timeless message with a remarkable visual style. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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