Thanks a Million: Poems


What makes you thankful?

A book?
Your family?

How do you say thanks?
With a flower?
With a chocolate bar?
With a surprise?

In sixteen extraordinary poems that range in form from a haiku to a ...

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What makes you thankful?

A book?
Your family?

How do you say thanks?
With a flower?
With a chocolate bar?
With a surprise?

In sixteen extraordinary poems that range in form from a haiku to a rebus to a riddle, Nikki Grimes reminds us how wonderful it is to feel thankful, and how powerful a simple "thank you" can be.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The simple act of saying "thank you" can change relationships and attitudes. This lovely collection of sixteen poems that describe thankfulness and expressing thanks is a wonderful way to share the importance and power of these two words with children. The opening poem "Reward" is worth the price of admission—simple but very moving: "Thank you / is a seed I plant / in the garden of your heart. / Your smile is the flower. / A slow and sweet surprise, / it blooms before my eyes!" The illustrations are well suited to the tenor of the poetry giving visual substance to the words so nicely laid out by the author. I especially like the wide range of types of poems, including a rebus, a riddle, haiku, and other verse forms. The colorful pictures showcase the talent of the artist, such as for the poem "Even the Trees" where the illustrations embody the words themselves. I do have a concern with "A Lesson from the Deaf" in which the beautiful poem describes making the sign for "thank you" without "breathing a word." The sign described seems to be the gesture for "good" instead of for "thank you." Just as speech patterns vary across the country, perhaps this is just a difference in where and when a person learned sign language and which system was studied (American Sign Language, Signed English, or another system), nevertheless it is confusing. Otherwise, this is a notable addition to the world of poetry and will be utilized by all who work with children in any aspect of what is currently referred to as "character education." I think of books like this as enhancing basic life lessons—good for all of us. 2006, Greenwillow/HarperCollins, Ages 5 up.
—Sheilah Egan
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Sixteen thoughtful poems about being thankful for everyday things. Grimes uses a variety of forms that include haiku, a riddle, and a rebus in selections that speak directly to the experiences of young children. In "Lunch Box Love Notes," a big sister sometimes resents having to watch out for her baby brother, but a note left in her lunch box by her mother thanking her "for taking such good care of Ray" makes it worthwhile. "Dear Teacher" closes, "Signed, David/who only hates math/ as much/as he used to." "A Lesson from the Deaf" simply and eloquently describes saying thank you in sign language. Cabrera's acrylic illustrations are distinctive, folksy, and effective. The art for "Mystery" is particularly effective, showcasing 42 children of different ethnicities in small, rectangular portraits. A lovely book for reflection and discussion.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Gratitude for simple pleasures and small kindnesses is the theme of Grimes's newest collection of poems. A child thanks his teacher for helping him "hate math 1/2 as much as he used to"; a new boy in school shares his pie with a classmate who welcomes him; a mother sends her daughter an appreciative lunchbox love note; and a young girl writes to an author expressing her appreciation for a book that touched her heart. Grimes employs quite a potpourri of forms and rhyme schemes, including a rebus, matching them carefully to the mood. The poems are presented on one or two-page spreads surrounded by Cabrera's vibrant acrylic paintings that add pop and personality. One can envision this collection stimulating discussions about the need to say "thank you," as well as encouraging young writers to try their hand at expressing their thoughts in poetry. Good job. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688172930
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,488,620
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Nikki Grimes began penning poetry at the age of six. Her many award-winning titles include the picture books Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, which won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and Meet Danitra Brown, which won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. Coretta Scott King Author Honors went to her novels The Road to Paris, Jazmin's Notebook, and Dark Sons, and her novel Bronx Masquerade won the Coretta Scott King Author Award. She lives in Corona, California.

Cozbi A. Cabrera received a B.F.A. from Parsons School of Design. Her cloth dolls (Muñecas) have garnered the attention of collectors around the world and have been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She is the illustrator of the picture book Beauty, Her Basket, which Publishers Weekly called "a quiet treasure" in a starred review. Her work is featured in her eponymous shop and atelier in Brooklyn. She lives in New York City.

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