Thanks & Giving: All Year Long


Did you ever
dream of talking to a mermaid?

Can you imagine
facing off with a bully who
barely reaches your knees?

What would you do
with a box of golden coins?

Have ...

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Did you ever
dream of talking to a mermaid?

Can you imagine
facing off with a bully who
barely reaches your knees?

What would you do
with a box of golden coins?

Have you ever
said thank you to...a button?

And how would you respond if you met a magic genie who asked you for a handout instead of granting you a wish?

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 lighthearted and thoughtful (but never overserious) adventure. Whether you're gazing at the brilliant child's-eye paintings of illustrator Eric Carle, or laughing out loud at the off-the-wall humor of Mel Brooks, you'll enjoy every step of the magical journey that the creators of Thanks & Giving have planned for you:

• Delight in Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith's fractured fable starring a mouse, a bird, and a sausage who learn all about sharing — the hard way.

• Hold on tight as Rosie Perez recounts the tale of a little girl confronted with a heart-stopping decision.

• Rock along with Kevin and Michael Bacon's funky valentine to sibling rivalry and brotherly love.

• And laugh with Ray Romano as he reveals how his life was changed by a giant burrito.

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, Tom Chapin, Arthur creator Marc Brown, Matt Groening, Deepak Chopra, Donald Trump, Frankie Muniz, Walter Dean Myers, Paul Newman, Sumner Redstone, Jerry Pinkney, Whoopi Goldberg, Sonia Manzano, the Sesame Street Muppets, Julianne Moore, Ed Koren, Wendy Wasserstein, and Paul O. Zelinsky.

Be sure to check out the Thanks & Giving All Year Long companion cd!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416915867
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/25/2005
  • Edition description: Book and CD
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 794,533
  • Age range: 6 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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,, 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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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.

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Table of Contents

The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage
Retold by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

Stones in a Stream
By Jeff Moss, illustrated by Barry Root

A Tale of Two Friends
By Jon Stone (adapted by Norman Stiles), illustrated by Joe Mathieu

Teeny Meany
By David Slavin, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering

An Attitude of Gratitude
Words by Bruce Hart, music by Christopher Cerf, illustrated by S. D. Schindler

The Birthday Doll
By Gail Carson Levine, illustrated by Dan Andreasen

Give and Take
By Maurice Sendak

A Different Aladdin
By Norman Stiles, illustrated by Jimmy Pickering

A Smile Connects Us
By Carol Hall, illustrated by Joe Mathieu

Letters to My Brother...and My Sister
By Julianne Moore

You Know My Brother (He's So Heavy)
Words and music by Kevin Bacon, Michael Bacon, and Robin Batteau, illustrated by Loren Long

Josie's First Allowance
By Rosie M. Perez, illustrated by Dan Andreasen

Sing Me the Story of Your Day
Words and music by John Forster and Tom Chapin, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Aunt Delia's Holiday Manners Quiz
By Delia Ephron, illustrated by Ed Koren

Point of View
Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein

What Nana Told Her
By Deepak Chopra, illustrated by Demi

Ezekiel Johnson
By Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Christopher Myers

By Joseph Newman, introduction by Paul Newman, illustrated by David Shannon

All Kinds of People
Words and music by Nikki Anders and Phil Galdston, illustrated by Geraldo Valerio

What I Did with My Coin Collection
By Tiger Woods, illustrated by Sarah Brannen

Nuts to You
By Mo Willems

(I'll Give) Anything But Up
words and music by Hilary Duff, Sarah Durkee, Jim Marr, Charlie Midnight, Wendy Page, and Marc Swersky

The Nothingest Girl in the World
By Bruce Kluger, illustrated by Henry Cole

Right Under Your Nose
By Mel Brooks, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

The Rotten Tomato
By Wendy Wasserstein, illustrated by Joe Mathieu and Lucy Jane Wasserstein

What Ruby Saw
By Avi, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

You Made My Day
Words and music by Sheldon Harnick, illustrated by Eric Carle

Thanking Is Just One Letter Away from Thinking
By Larry Gelbart, illustrated by Karen Katz

Thank You, Mrs. Abruzzi
By Ray Romano, illustrated by Lisa Kopelke

Unsung Heroes
By Christopher Cerf and Norman Stiles, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Snow, Aldo
By Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Harry Bliss

Christmas and My Magic Mom
By Whoopi Goldberg, illustrated by Elise Primavera

Presents I Have Known
By Frankie Muniz, illustrated by David Catrow

By Sonia Manzano, illustrated by Jon J Muth

Split Decisio
by Matt Groening

I Want It
Words and music by Laurie Berkner, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Arthur Goes to the Bank
by Marc Brown

Thank Someone
By Sarah Durkee, music by Paul Jacobs, illustrated by Loren Long

By Donald Trump, Ted Turner, Barry Diller, Suze Orman, Sumner Redstone, David Geffen, and Warren E. Buffett, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2008

    This book is amazing and has so many awesome tales!

    I read this book once and I want to read it over and over again! My favorite poem was one called 'A Smile Connects Us' By: Carol Hall. It tells a wonderful poem about smiles and their endless powers to mankind. I highly reccomend this book and espicially the poem, 'A Smile Connects Us'.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2005

    Tell the Whole Story

    I just received copies of this book and CD to give to neighboring families with young children for Christmas. Knowing how in their own childhoods, our now grown daughters had loved listening to 'Free to Be You and Me', I was disappointed to find that the CD accompanying this book held only 3 selections. Because the B & N description/synopsis was not explicit, I thought I was getting a full recording rather than a mere sampling. The book in itself is wonderful, but the length of the CD is a disappointment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2004

    Great, challenging vocabulary in this book

    My local bookstore keeps selling out of this book so I ordered it sight-unseen for my 5 year old niece based on the age rating. While it's an excellent book I feel it's a little too old for her. That's not necessarily a bad thing as it can be good to introduce advanced concepts and vocabulary. But I did have to double-check with my sister that she had a good scholastic dictionary so my niece could look up all those new words. I'd have rated it for ages 7 through 10.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2004


    Excellent book and an terrific opportunity to teach children the spirit of giving to great organizations such as St. Jude Children's Reasearch Hospital. My son was a patient at St. Jude and received superb care. The hospital paid for our air fare and lodging from California. Mark passed away in February, 2004 but we will never forget what a wonderful organization St. Jude is and the GREAT things they do for kids.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2004

    The Gift That Keeps Giving

    I am buying this book for my 8 year old daughter and 10 year old Goddaughter and can't wait to read it with them. This book should be in everyone's collection. The lessons of selfless giving and gratitude transcend the holiday season and the world would be a better place for our children if we all taught and practiced these on a daily basis. What a wonderful example of giving to share this book with my child and explain how my gift to her will help many other children in return. God bless Ms. Thomas and all the generous contributors for creating a gift that will keep giving to so many. Let's all keep the children at St. Jude's in our prayers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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