Thursday, November 26, 2009
Gracias / Thanks (English and Spanish Edition) by Pat Mora. Illustrations by John Parra. Lee & Low Books. 2009. Review copy supplied by publisher.
The Plot: A young boy gives thanks for the people and things in his life, starting with "for the sun that wakes me up so I don't sleep for years and years and grow a long, white beard, thanks."
In both English and Spanish: "Por el sol que me despierta y no permite que siga durmiendo por anos y anos, y que me crezca una larga barba blanca, gracias."
The Good: Anyone (boy, girl, adult, child) will identify with what the narrator is thankful for. And, of course, the reader can then add what they are thankful for. The book is both mirror and window; when you see a ladybug, is it window or mirror? When a boy gives gives thanks for his "Abuelita," is it window or mirror?
I loved the illustrations by Parra; they, add to the multicultural aspect of the book, along with the use of Spanish and English. The folk-art story is both appealing and also works for this story; additional details flesh out the story. When the "ladybug that landed on my finger," the narrator has a book on insects, another open to a page on ladybugs, a baseball glove; stylized birds and butterflies fill up the page. The colors are rich and gorgeous; blues, yellows, reds that spring off the page.
I'm posting this on Thanksgiving, because it's a great book to use for giving thanks. But, because there is no mention of holidays here, it's not limited to Thanksgiving and can be used any time.
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy