Gracias/Thanks
Pat Mora, author
John Parra, illustrator
2009
Pura Belpre Honor Winner

This is a wonderful picture book to check out this time of year. Gracias/Thanks is a bilingual celebration of giving thanks no matter what. The child in the book doesn’t direct his thanks to anyone or anything in particular–which gives parents the freedom to discuss their own religious traditions and holidays. For instance, my family focuses on how we are to thank the Lord in everything, in all situations. Because this book doesn’t say to thank the earth or some other entity, we are free to interpret as we choose. And we can read it at any time of the year because the holiday of Thanksgiving is never mentioned or alluded to (partly because the boy in the story is Mexican-American and may or may not celebrate that holiday).

Illustrations are delightful and showcase what the boy is thankful for. This book is original and a great complement to the myriad Thanksgiving oriented books–we can give thanks all year!

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