Be Thankful For What You Have (Miranda Mittleman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Be Thankful For What You Have, written by Miranda Mittleman and illustrated by iNDOS Studios, the third installment of the adorable Paws And Think! series.

Weaver the Dog is back with a new lesson in self-reflection for little readers. Weaver lives in a city with his family, and they love going on walks and trips together. One of Weaver’s favorite places to visit is the pet store, where the owner always gives him a treat, he can look at all the toys and bones, and even pick out a brand new plaything to take home with him. But as Weaver is leaving, he notices something new in the store: a crate with a rescue dog inside. Reflecting on all that he has when the rescue dog has nothing, Weaver decides to share his toy with the pup and offer words of encouragement, he being a rescue dog as well. Later at home, Weaver takes stock of all that he has to be thankful for – his home, his toys, and especially his family – and reminds himself that he doesn’t need new things to be happy when he already has so much.

Lovely. So far, the Paws & Think series has been one of our favorite independent series, and once again Weaver’s winning look and voice make him instantly likable. The story could have used slightly more stakes – perhaps Weaver could have been too greedy at the store – to draw focus to the lesson, but it still stands on its own, reminding kids of the importance of appreciating what they have and being generous to others who have less. The art is still some of the best we’ve seen in self-publishing, with adorable character design and a great sense of color and scale. I especially loved the detail of the dog in the pet store being a rescue – always, ALWAYS adopt, don’t shop! The length was great and JJ loved it. Another fine chapter to Weaver’s story, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

The Thank You Book (Mary Lyn Ray)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Thank You Book, written by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, a lovely little read that encourages us to find time to be thankful.

Learning to say “thank you” is important, of course; we learn it to be polite, and to express gratitude and respect for the people in our lives. But sometimes, it’s also important to pause and say “thank you”, not to a person, but to the things in life that make us feel safe and happy. To take a moment to thank the sun for rising each day, for glitter and glue, for parades and storytime, for picnics and warm food shared with friends. There is goodness in this, taking stock of all the wonderful things in life and quietly, inwardly expressing gratitude for them – it helps us find peace and satisfaction in the little things. And at the end of each day, we can all snuggle into our cozy beds and be thankful for the world we live in, its promise, and that we are all sharing the next sunrise.

How absolutely wonderful. From the first page, I loved the focus on, not only saying thank you to others, but on being thankful for the many small and wondrous blessings we encounter each day (and while I say “blessings”, the book is not religious – though it could absolutely be interpreted that way if the reader so chose). There is such a lovely gentleness to the way the text points out all the tiny pleasures of life that fill us with a spark of joy or happiness, using quiet imagery that feels like being wrapped in a blanket. The illustrations are absolutely fantastic, featuring a diverse cast of anthropomorphic animals and multi-ethnic children to show a community of diversity and inclusion. The length is perfect for a short storytime, and JJ loved it. A beautiful encouragement to find gratitude in daily life, and we adored it. Baby Bookworm approved!

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