In a series of poetic sentences, a young boy (biracial Mexican/Caucasian) tells about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful.
Children's Literature - Carlee HallmanThis bilingual text is translated from the Spanish into English. A little boy gives thanks for specific things and events in his life such as: a ladybug which lands on his finger and waves at the shore where he plays with his younger sister. When his kite string catches on a bee's nest, the text says: "For the bees that didn't sting me and turn me into a pincushion, thanks." He gives thanks for a book his friend shared, for worms that brought a fish to his line, and for his uncle's guitar music. The boy lives with his mother, father, little sister, and little brother. The colored pictures show people with large heads and are reminiscent of children's drawings. The Spanish text appears on the right hand page of a two page spread, with the English on the left. In the end, the author tells of small things for which she is thankful and encourages readers to share small pleasures with friends. "Keep the circle of giving thanks, growing." Without naming an implied deity, children are encouraged to give thanks. Children will enjoy the pictures of a happy family. Bilingual parents can read both texts and help children learn another language. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library JournalK-Gr 2-A boy recounts the many things he is thankful for, like his time at the beach and the bees that don’t sting him when he is outside playing. The poetic writing flows in both Spanish and English and carries a sense of happiness brought by the simple things in life. The cheery and brightly colored acrylic illustrations are full of fun details and add depth to the text. Multicultural characters are revealed page by page, but unless readers are paying close attention, they might not pick up on the boy’s Mexican-American heritage. This delightful bilingual book has universal appeal and would be a wonderful choice for library storytimes or classroom read-alouds as the “giving thanks” theme lends itself to holidays and social topics. The author’s endnote challenges readers to list the things for which they are thankful. A must buy for all libraries looking to add to their children’s Spanish collections.–Shannon Dye Gemberling, Peoria Public Library, AZ
Kirkus ReviewsFrom "the sun that wakes me up so I don't sleep for years and years and grow a long, white beard" to the "old pajamas, so soft they feel like I'm putting on air" and "the cricket hiding when he serenades us to sleep," a little Latino boy says "¡gracias!" with sweetly ingenuous enthusiasm. Mora has a keen sense of the concrete, child-friendly detail, and it's put to splendid use here. Readers will find themselves nodding in agreement as the unnamed narrator gives thanks to the ladybug that lands on his finger, the bees that don't sting him and his little brother, who throws mashed peas at their sister. Parra's folk-art-style acrylics evoke a suburban neighborhood replete with twining morning glories, green lawns and red-tiled roofs. The flat perspectives and bright colors skillfully complement the child's voice. Dominguez's Spanish translation precedes the English text of this bilingual tale on each spread, a thoughtful touch that honors both the book's creators and its Latino audience. For this graceful celebration, ¡gracias! (Picture book. 4-8)\
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