Thankful” by Elaine Vickers; illustrated by Samantha Cotterill 

Review by Amy Atzert, collection development librarian

At the first snowfall of the season, a young girl begins to make a paper chain that lists all the things she is thankful for. Her family makes one every year and leaves it up in the house through December. She has to think of all the things she was grateful for all year. That takes a lot of thinking so she sets to work quickly in the quiet of her room. She writes each idea down on separate slips of colored paper.

Each page of this story has pictures of the things she is thankful for — some are big like a home where she is safe and warm and for parents who tuck her into bed at night. Others are small like ice water in a favorite cup and a cloth on her forehead when she is sick. The pages show not only the thing she is thankful for in words but also a memory behind the thought so you can clearly “see” her feelings. In the end, she turns all of the slips into a long paper chain that hangs around her window. She says it is like a frame around the biggest thing she is thankful for — the world.  

I love the style of pictures in this book. Samantha Cotterill uses what looks to be paper cutouts that capture the eye’s attention. They give each page a 3D effect. The colors are vibrant and abundant. This sweet story is a great reminder to every reader there are many things, everyday things, that make each day special.