Tag: thankfulness

A Letter to My Teacher by Deborah Hopkinson

A Letter to My Teacher by Deborah Hopkinson

A Letter to My Teacher by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (9780375868450, Amazon)

The framework of this picture book is a thank you letter to a childhood teacher. Inside that framework, it is the story of a girl who is struggling to learn to read and the 2nd-grade teacher who taught patience and gave the little girl space and opportunity to bloom. Along with the little girl, there is also a gardening project in the classroom, one too that takes its own time to come to fruition though the hard work is done throughout the year. Through the year, there are learning moments, accidents, setbacks and leadership opportunities. It’s a year of inspiration that clearly lasted a lifetime.

Hopkinson’s words paint a vivid picture of a little girl who much prefers the out of doors over books and classwork. She is something of a loner, someone who learns to love books during the year and becomes much more part of the group by the end. Hopkinson shows a wonderful individual child who is still universal while being so specific. Hopkinson does the same with the character of the teacher, who is patient and yet has structure in her classroom and expectations. It is the story of all teachers who make a difference and see a child for who they can become.

Carpenter’s illustrations are also exceptional. They use color to keep the focus of the illustrations on the teacher and the little girl. The other child become part of the background at times, though they are still there. Carpenter also shows the relationship of teacher and child with a depth that is very effective, using expression on the characters faces to show the trust that is being built.

A perfect gift for teachers, this picture book is also full of hope and opportunity for children to notice how special their teachers are. Appropriate for ages 5-7.

Reviewed from e-galley received from Edelweiss and Schwartz & Wade.

 

10 Great Picture Books on Thankfulness

In this week of Thanksgiving in the United States, I wanted to share my own thankfulness for those of you who take the time out of your busy day to read my blog. Thank you too to the librarians and teachers who connect children and books each and every day. Thank you to parents who spend bedtime with books shared together. May you have a lovely holiday week.

All of Me!  A Book Of Thanks Badger's Fancy Meal

All of Me! A Book of Thanks by Molly Bang

Badger’s Fancy Meal by Keiko Kasza

Bear Says Thanks Gracias/Thanks

Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora, illustrated by John Parra

Pecan Pie Baby Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story

Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Thank You and Good Night Thank You, World

Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell

Thank You, World by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

8754563 Winter Candle

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Grace Lin

Winter Candle by Jeron Frame, illustrated by Stacey Schuett

Review: Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson

bear says thanks

Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

The Bear series by Karma Wilson continues to impress with its latest entry.  There are only a few children’s picture book series that have maintained the quality of both writing and illustration as this series has.  In this latest tale, Bear has an idea to create a big feast and invite his friends over to share.  The only problem is that Bear has nothing in his cupboard at all.  Mouse shows up with a pie to share, and Bear says “Thanks!”  Bear continues to fret that he has nothing to share when Hare pops by with a batch of muffins to share.  Badger then arrives with fish, Gopher and Mole bring warm honey nuts, and Owl, Raven and Wren have herbs for tea and pears to munch.  But with no food to offer at all, what in the world can Bear give his friends?

I’ve always enjoyed the rhythm of this series and the repetition that makes them ideal to read aloud to toddlers.  There is also a wonderful friendly warmth to the books, captured both by the colors of the illustrations and the story itself.  That same warmth is here, friends offering food and sharing time with one another with no expectations.  Chapman’s illustrations stay true to the series, offering pictures large enough to share with a group.

While this book is perfect for Thanksgiving story times, I’d also use it throughout the year when talking about sharing.  This is a bear’s den that any of us would love to crawl into and spend some time in no matter what time of year it is.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Margaret K. McElderry Books.