Let’s Read Three: Thankful Books!

Continuing our week of Thanksgiving preparation, I thought it appropriate to have a grouping of books revolving simply around the theme of thankfulness. While these are perfectly themed for the holiday ahead, a grateful attitude is beautiful and necessary all year round. Let’s read three books about thankfulness!

1. Thank You For So Many Things by Rosalind Welcher, 1968

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This is a darling little book from the 60s that has nothing to do with the holiday of thankfulness, yet abounds in gratefulness. I happened upon this book in a used book sale and fell in love with its simplicity, quirkiness, and sweet heart. It reads like a gift book, thanking a beloved person for being so many things, but most especially themselves.

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I love the sweet, simple illustrations and the many darling sentiments expressed between friends. It has a bit of cheek to it, occasionally seen in the way the comment is illustrated, which is fitting for Welcher whom was a part of creating off-beat studio cards. This book is a delight and helps put you in the thankful mood.

2. Thankful by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Archie Preston, 2015

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I kept hearing about this book this fall, but I honestly thought it was an older book getting continual love. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it is brand new and just as wonderful as everyone was spouting! The text reads as a list of people and what they are thankful for, while the illustrations revolve around a sister and brother acting out each profession in their home play. And the ending is perfectly sweet with thankfulness for each other.

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It is a beautiful list of tasks and simple things to be thankful for regarding them, but I especially love the arc created in the illustrations of the activities in daily life. There is an intimacy and personalization to the thankful thoughts that would not be there if they were disconnected professionals and their tools. I will be adding this one to our personal library as a reminder of thankfulness even in mundane things and a sweet look at playful and loving sibling interactions.

(And a small note, I am having trouble finding any information about the illustrator, Archie Preston. My apologies for not linking to him. I will update if I can find a website or bio somewhere. The illustrations are delightfully loose and yet tenderly sweet. They remind me a bit of Quentin Blake and that is always a good thing!)

3. Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Amy June Bates, 2007

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The last of the bunch, this book seems the most Thanksgiving themed without actually saying the holiday name within it. I love this book. Written by the creator of the more famous Bear Snores On, Karma Wilson pens a lovely rhyming text that follows a little boy during an autumn family gathering. The refrain “It is good to give thanks to the Lord!” appears many times and the boy’s heart flooded with gratitude is quite contagious and endearing as you read.

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I also love the illustrations. Fall is my favorite season and I think Amy June Bates captures the essence of it so beautifully. There are warm colors, cozy sweaters, seasonal food, leaves, pumpkins, and many more iconic fall imagery. I love the sketchy quality of the illustrations and the beaming smiles of the obviously jovial characters. Also, the dog is quite a lovable character and most definitely my youngest daughter’s favorite feature of the story. I love beautifully created picture books like this with a distinctive Christian theme that isn’t cheesy or overly saccharine. We’ll be reading this many times this week and more as we enjoy the fruits of the season and family gatherings over holidays. Indeed, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord!”

I hope to be back tomorrow, with a slight break in the gratitude posts, with another Wordless Wednesday book. But until then, and in case family matters take precedence, Happy Thanksgiving to fellow Americans, and more importantly, may we all take on a heart of thankfulness as we trek through the crazy and fun holidays and family gatherings. For starters, I’m always thankful for books!

4 thoughts on “Let’s Read Three: Thankful Books!

  1. I just took “Thankful” out from the library because I RECOGNIZED the characters from a previous book (that I own). They are from the book “Nurse Clementine” written and illustrated by Simon James. But this illustrator is listed for “Thankful” is Archie Preston?!? I looked online- wondering why he would illustrate under this name instead. I found your blog indicating you could not find info about Preston. Preston is clearly the same illustrator as Simon James. And if you look at the library of congress informationin “Thankful” it also lists “James, Simon.” Yet the jacket flap indicates that this is Archie Preston’s “first published book”. Interesting. Why didn’t he want his name on “Thankful”? And to go so far as to say this is his first published book? I feel like I have uncovered more questions than answers. But at least you now know more about Archie Preston, I mean Simon James. Simon James has a website. http://www.simonjamesbooks.com/about-simon/


    1. I am so confused about this too! This is the only other reference I could find online that shares my confusion. Any update?


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