If you're looking for a picture book to help your child understand the spiritual meaning behind Thanksgiving, Dandi Daley Mackall's Thank You for Thanksgiving is a good choice.
Written in Mackall's signature rhyming style, the book's voice is a young boy, enjoying Thanksgiving day. First, he appreciates the smell of pumpkin pie, has fun as he makes turkey place cards, and gets excited as relatives - with food - begin dropping in. Finally, dinner is ready and it's time to pray.
"Gramps goes first,
which means I'm last:
'Thanks for loved one from our past'
Guess I better think real fast...
What am I thankful for?"
Grandma gives thanks for God's love and for sending Jesus to earth, the boy's mom and dad give thanks for their children and family, and cousin Roger thanks God that he can play sports. Still not sure what to pray for, our young protagonist finally says: "Lord, can I give thanks for You? And thank You for Thanksgiving!"
What I Like: The focus on being thankful, while showing a young boy thinking hard about what he's most thankful for, is excellent. As a parent, I hope this encourages my own child to think hard about what she's thankful for. The illustrations by John Walker are realistic, while whimsical, and remind me - just a tad - of some of Normal Rockwell's paintings.
What I Dislike: Sometimes I find Mackall's rhymes a bit on the fluffy side and wish they had more substance, but overall, this book gets its point across well.
Overall Rating: Very Good.
Age Appeal: According to the publishers, 4 - 8, but my 3 year old likes it, too.
Publisher Info: Concordia Publishing House, 2008; ISBN: 0758615000; hard back; $12.99
Special Info: Check out our other reviews of prolific author Dandi Daley Mackall's books.