Thanku: Poems of Gratitude

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Millbrook Press (Tm)
Publish Date
9.5 X 11.1 X 0.4 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Miranda Paul is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for children, including Little Libraries, Big Heroes illustrated by John Parra, 365 illustrated by Julien Chung, Nine Months illustrated by Jason Chin, and Speak Up illustrated by Ebony Glenn. She is a founding member of the organization We Need Diverse Books, and lives with her family in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Marlena Myles is a Native American graphic designer and fine artist who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


"This anthology of 32 poems by a diverse array of writers invites readers into a deeper understanding of gratitude. Paul, a We Need Diverse Books cofounder, knits together an impressive patchwork of poetic forms and voices, including an acrostic ode to dimples and a ballad about uncovering a beach's most perfect rock. Illustrations by Myles (who is Spirit Lake Dakota, Mohegan, and Muscokee Creek) have a static quality that frames the lyricism of the texts with myriad colors and textures. Back matter includes contributor bios, easy-to-digest descriptions of poetic and literary devices used throughout, and a letter from Paul about 'the myths and half-truths' about Thanksgiving, and related misrepresentations of Native and First Nations people. Though some works are stronger than others, this is a thoughtful resource for poetry students and teachers."--Publishers Weekly

-- (8/19/2019 12:00:00 AM)

"Authors from diverse backgrounds contribute poems (each displaying a distinct literary form) focusing on the concept that gratitude is appropriate in all seasons, not only at Thanksgiving. The collection opens with 'Giving Thanks, ' by Joseph Bruchac, who emphasizes that every day is a gift. Many of the verses highlight nature ('Dear Sky, ' by Naomi Shihab Nye, and 'Constellation, ' by Ed DeCaria); others celebrate diverse cultures ('The Race of Friends, ' by Jane Yolen, and 'Stories for Dinner, ' by Cynthia Leitich Smith); while still others, such as Sylvia Liu's 'Thanks in Advance (for Not Squishing Me), ' will elicit laughter. Myles' full-color digital illustrations exhibit variety as well, and she is equally adept at creating panoramic vistas, playground close-ups, and inventive collages. Many spreads feature poems with complementary themes, which allow one illustration to bleed seamlessly into the next. Appended with an explanation of poetic forms, biographical information on the creators, and an editor's note, this attractive and accessible collection should be popular with browsers and useful for creative writing classes."--Booklist

-- (7/24/2019 12:00:00 AM)

"An anthology of diverse voices united by the theme of giving thanks. In her editorial debut, Paul (Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born, 2019, etc.) pairs over 30 poems with Myles' (Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscokee Creek) spirited illustrations capturing favorite things for which the nearly three-dozen poets represented here are thankful. Motivated by the sentiment that gratitude should be expressed year-round, Paul collects poems as varied in form as content. The poets not only select a wide array of objects inspiring gratitude--including dimples, 'Deep indents in my brown skin / Inspired by the smile bouncing upward from my toes'; an alluring 'ocean rock' too perfect for skipping across the water; and the rich experience behind 'each scar'--but employ incredibly varied lyric forms such as acrostic, ballad, tricube, even 'math poems' ('family + friends + love = a thankful heart'). Myles' colorful digitally rendered illustrations help contextualize the poems, saturated, often abstract backgrounds complementing neatly outlined, diverse figures. While Paul's choice of contributors and Myles' depictions of characters are refreshingly inclusive, the collection succeeds more in its individual poetic efforts than an anthology as a whole. Backmatter includes a guide to the forms and devices on display, thumbnail bios of each contributor, and an author's note complicating simplistic perceptions of Thanksgiving. Lovely lyric lessons in appreciating the ordinary."--Kirkus Reviews

-- (6/18/2019 12:00:00 AM)