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Thanks & Giving: All Year Long

Thanks & Giving: All Year Long

by Marlo Thomas (Editor), Christopher Cerf (Editor)

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Free to Be...You and Me creator Marlo Thomas has once again produced a joyful volume for children and the grown-ups in their lives. Reaching into the heads and hearts of our most acclaimed writers, artists and performers, Thanks & Giving celebrates the best things in life -- family, friendship, giving, thankfulness and love (and just for fun, a few


Free to Be...You and Me creator Marlo Thomas has once again produced a joyful volume for children and the grown-ups in their lives. Reaching into the heads and hearts of our most acclaimed writers, artists and performers, Thanks & Giving celebrates the best things in life -- family, friendship, giving, thankfulness and love (and just for fun, a few of their opposites -- stinginess, bullying, ingratitude, and the occasional urge to stamp your feet and throw a fit).

From Tiger Woods and Maurice Sendak to Hilary Duff and Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo, this colorful collection of stories, poems and songs will take readers on a light-hearted and thoughtful (but never over-serious) adventure. Whether in the brilliant child's-eye paintings of illustrator Eric Carle, or the off-the-wall humor of Mel Brooks, the creators of Thanks & Giving invite you to read aloud or sing along as you journey from one magical moment to the next.

Designed for both cover-to-cover reading and selective excerpting (when you can't refuse that last impassioned call for "One more story!" just before lights out), this sparkling anthology also includes marvelous contributions from Avi, Shel Silverstein, Arthur creator Marc Brown, Matt Groening, Deepak Chopra, Donald Trump, Frankie Muniz, Tom Chapin, Walter Dean Myers, Paul Newman, Jerry Pinkney, Whoopi Goldberg, Sumner Redstone, the Sesame Street Muppets, Julianne Moore, Ed Koren, Wendy Wasserstein, and Paul O. Zelinsky.

Marlo Thomas and Friends are contributing all royalties from Thanks and Giving All Year Long to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, founded by Ms. Thomas's father, Danny Thomas, in 1962.

Editorial Reviews

Actor Marlo Thomas, creator of the 1970s hit Free to Be...You and Me, returns with a bang in this star-studded collection of stories, poems, and written music about helping others and appreciating what we have. Donating all proceeds to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Thomas brings together top celebs from all avenues of entertainment -- including children's book team Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, Maurice Sendak, actor Julianne Moore, and comedian Ray Romano -- for a lighthearted, diverse book that reminds us that "thanksgiving" is more than one day a year. From Bruce Hart and Christopher Cerf's song "An Attitude of Gratitude" to Whoopi Goldberg's short story "Christmas and My Magic Mom," Thanks and Giving delivers something for every taste while packing an important message throughout. With a "Read Me First" introduction by Thomas and a lengthy section of short bios on the book's many contributors, this volume is a pure treat that's worth its weight in gold.
Publishers Weekly
Thomas (Free to Be, You and Me) and Cerf gather the work of more than 80 individuals who contribute words, music or art to this energetic, eclectic anthology, all royalties from which will be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Recurrent themes in these pieces-which range in mood from jocular to contemplative-include being a good friend, reaching out to those less fortunate and appreciating one's family. Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith kick things off with an irreverent "not-often-told Grimm's Fairy Tale" starring a mouse, bird and sausage and ending with the moral, "give thanks for what you have and what your friends give to you." Maurice Sendak contributes a wordless vignette starring one of his Wild Things, called "Give and Take," and Ed Koren's art adds the frosting to the humorous "Aunt Delia's Holiday Manners Quiz" by Delia Ephron. Paul O. Zelinsky, Eric Carle, Walter Dean Myers, Jerry Pinkney and Kate DiCamillo number among the many other children's book luminaries. Contributors more often found in other spotlights include Kevin Bacon, who, together with his sibling, Michael, formed The Bacon Brothers, co-wrote a song paying tribute to brotherhood; Tiger Woods, who tells of sending his cherished coin collection to Ethiopia to aid starving children; and Whoopi Goldberg, who celebrates her mother's ability to create magical Christmases. The timelessness of the topics explored here and the fact that many writers reach into their own childhood to find their stories make this collection at once universal and personal. Thematically and visually, this is an uplifting volume. All ages. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 6-Thomas brings together children's book authors and illustrators, actors, musicians, and others to celebrate the kindness of others and the joys of giving. Paul Newman shares a poem written by his uncle, Wendy Wasserstein and her daughter present a mini-play, the Bacon Brothers (Kevin and Michael) contribute a song, and Thomas has a chat with Bert and Ernie. Other contributors include Tiger Woods, Whoopi Goldberg, Avi, Maurice Sendak, Jerry Pinkney, Kate DiCamillo, Walter Dean Myers, David Shannon, Jon Scieszka, and Lane Smith. A fair sprinkling of Sesame Street creators rounds out the list of credits. The selections include poems, stories, songs, scripts, and memoirs that all speak to the themes of giving, sharing, receiving, and being thankful. Page turns are not always well planned; sometimes a two-page song or story includes a turn in the middle while there is a single-page entry opposite one of those pages. Parents may want to use this anthology to introduce the ideas of altruism and philanthropy. A pleasant enough offering for most collections.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Thomas does her compilation thing again, gathering like-themed stories, anecdotes, poems, scripts, songs, cartoons, and illustrations from over 80 celebrity contributors. Not only is the cast a stellar one, ranging from the likes of Maurice Sendak and Marc Brown to Matt Groening, from Julianne Moore and Ray Romano to Mel Brooks and Wendy Wasserstein, but readers expecting a barrage of sugary bromides are in for a surprise. Jon Scieszka's opening fable-in which quarreling mouse, bird, and sausage housemates immediately come to bad ends after switching mealtime tasks-is only the first of many refreshingly unsentimental takes on what giving and receiving are all about. Nearly every entry here is new, and like Thomas's The Right Words at the Right Time (2002) and her perennial "Free to Be . . . " titles, this collection is both tailor-made for sharing, and sure to spark plenty of illuminating discussion. (royalties donated to pediatric research) (Anthology. 5-8)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.72(w) x 11.18(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
6 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Teeny Meany by David Slavin, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering

Jeannie Meany was mean. Really mean. We're talking mean like you've never seen. Meaner than a tiger with a toothache. Meaner than a bear with a bellyache. Meaner than a whole herd of hippos with headaches. She woke up mean, she ate breakfast mean, she went to school mean, she drew pictures mean, she had snack mean, she read books mean, she ate lunch mean, she napped mean, she had circle time mean. . . . You get the picture. The girl was mean.

Don't believe me? Ask Sheldon's shin. Or Patty's pinky. Or Lyle's . . . well, you can't ask Lyle-he's still in the hospital.

Like I said, mean with a capital M-E-A-N.

Maybe Jeannie was mean because of her name-it was Meany, after all. If her name had been Jeannie Joyful, or Sunny Disposition, or Happy Rockefeller, maybe she would have been joyful or sunny or happy. Who knows?

But the bigger problem was her nickname. See, Jeannie Meany was-what's a nice way to put this? She was . . . petite. Diminutive. Lilliputian. Oh, all right, she was small. And, kids being kids, you can imagine what they called her, can't you? Right. "Teeny Meany."

Now, most people aren't bothered by nicknames. Tall people are sometimes called "Stretch," left-handed people are called "Lefty," people named Art are called "Farty Arty," and they couldn't care less. (Well, Art probably cares.) But Jeannie Meany hated being called "Teeny," and it made her meaner and meaner with each passing nicknamey day. Everyone was so afraid of her, they'd run and hide whenever she came near. It didn't matter where you were-the playground, the pool, even the library. If Teeny Meany was coming, you were going.

"How can you be scared of her?" grown-ups would ask. "She's so . . . tiny."

To which the kids would always respond, "She's a mean girl in a small package."

Well, just about the time that Teeny Meany was getting close to being the meanest she'd ever been in her whole entire life, a new boy moved into town. His name was Michael McCatty and he was-what's a nice way to put this? He was . . . husky. Rotund. Portly. Oh, all right, he was big. And, kids being kids, you can imagine what they called him, can't you? Right again. "Fatty McCatty."

One day, Fatty McCatty was standing in line at the ice-cream truck, when who should walk up but Teeny Meany. The rest of the line moved aside lickety-split, but because Fatty McCatty had never met or even heard of Teeny Meany before (and because he really liked ice cream), he simply walked to the head of the line and asked for a Nutty Buddy.

"What do you think you're doing?" said Teeny Meany.

"Getting a Nutty Buddy," said Fatty McCatty.

("Uh-oh!" said the kids.)

"You're in my spot," said Teeny Meany.

"No, actually, I was here first," said Fatty McCatty.

("Oh, man!" said the kids.)

"Do you know who I am?" asked Teeny Meany.

"No. Who are you?" replied Fatty McCatty.

("Oh, no!" gasped the kids.)

"I'm Jeannie Meany," said Teeny Meany.

"Nice to meet you, Jeannie. My name's Michael McCatty. I'm new in town. Want an ice cream?" said Michael.

Teeny Meany was speechless. It had been so long since anyone called her Jeannie, and even longer since anyone offered her anything out of friendship, that she just didn't know what to say. Here, standing before her, was a kind and gentle stranger who wanted nothing more than to make a new friend and buy that friend an ice cream.

Teeny Meany thought back on all of the teasing she had put up with over the years, and all of the loneliness she felt as everyone became more and more afraid of her. And she looked up at this new boy-this warm and tender soul-and said:

"Move it, Fatty."

I told you she was mean.

Meet the Author

Marlo Thomas graduated from the University of Southern California with a teaching degree. She is the author of six bestselling books: Free to Be…You and Me; Free to Be…a Family; The Right Words at the Right Time; The Right Words at the Right Time, Volume 2: Your Turn!; Thanks & Giving: All Year Long; and her memoir, Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny. Ms. Thomas has won four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy, and has been inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame for her work in television, including her starring role in the landmark series That Girl, which she also conceived and produced. She is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which was founded by her father, Danny Thomas, in 1962.

In 2010, Ms. Thomas launched her website, MarloThomas.com, on The Huffington Post and AOL. She lives in New York with her husband, Phil Donahue.

Christopher Cerf is an Emmy and Grammy award-winning author, composer, and producer. A charter contributing editor of the National Lampoon, Cerf has written more than 300 songs for Sesame Street and co-edited the celebrated newspaper parody Not The New York Times.

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