Cultivating Gratitude with Picture Books

“What I have come to believe is that joy is the twin sister of gratitude.  I am most joyful when I am most grateful.”*
         –Katherine Paterson, Newbery Medal-winning author

Thankfulness doesn’t end with Thanksgiving. Enjoy these wonderful picture books celebrating gratitude!

Gracias, Thanks by Pat Mora, illustrated by John Parra
A boy recounts the many things he is thankful for, in both Spanish and English.  This Pura Belpré Honor winner brims with a sense of happiness brought by the small pleasures in life.

Thank You, Bees by Toni Yuly
Using few words and bright, cheerful collage artwork, local author/illustrator Yuly gives young readers a subtle sense of how everyday things are related — inspiring an appreciation for life’s simple gifts.

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
When the delicious aroma of Omu’s homemade stew fills the air, her neighbors arrive, one by one, for a taste. Omu gladly shares with everyone, until her dinner is all gone.  But when her generosity is reciprocated by her grateful community, this joyful story shows how good it feels to share!

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac
Follow a Cherokee family through a year, as they express gratitude, or otsaliheliga, for celebrations big and small. This look at modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation is highly recommended by Native American Children’s Literature scholar, Debbie Reese – check out her American Indians in Children’s Literature blog, an essential resource.

For even more picture books about gratitude, generosity and sharing, check out this list: Gratitude in Picture Books.

*from Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving, edited by Katherine Paterson

~ posted by Lauren M.

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