The Most Thankful Thing
By Lisa McCourt
Illustrated by Cyd Moore
Mama is thankful for many things, but what in her life is she most thankful for? It must be something really amazing – better than acting in the school play . . . more exciting than going to the prom . . . more important than getting her first job – because Mama insists that her real-life most thankful thing can top them all. Sure to spark curious questions from children, The Most Thankful Thing confirms for young readers what’s most precious in every mother’s heart.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 4-After a mother tells her daughter that she’s remembering everything she has to be thankful for, the child pulls out Mama’s scrapbook and asks, “-what are you the very most thankful for?” The ensuing story follows the two as they page through the woman’s memories. The girl expects each entry to be Mama’s most thankful thing-a camp experience, winning a soccer trophy, her first job, getting married-and Mama’s refrained response is that it wasn’t her most thankful thing. Ultimately, Mama describes holding her child for the first time, saying, “-forevermore you would be my most thankful thing.” The comical captions on the cartoon-style “photographs” appear in handwritten lettering to fit the scrapbook layout. The warm words and pastel illustrations are playful representations of a child, teen, and young woman’s memories. This is a wonderful, reassuring read-aloud for storytime and for individual sharing.
Deborah Rothaug, Pasadena Elementary School, Plainview, NY – Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 1. The girl who narrates this breezy picture book tries to guess what her mother is most thankful for in her “whole long, long, long life.” Leafing through a big scrapbook, she stops to consider the possibilities as Mama reminisces about the high points in her past. The pictures show her at summer camp, on a soccer team, on stage, at her prom, in a college musical, at her first job, and in her wedding. The child is heartened to discover her mother’s “most thankful thing.” What might have been a sticky-sweet ending is kept palatable and reassuring in a child-centered way thanks to the light touch used by McCourt and Moore, who previously collaborated on I Love You, Stinky Face (1997) and several other books. The use of a black background on the scrapbook pages is an effective device, setting the photos apart from the other scenes, nicely reinforcing the notion that mothers have lives before parenthood, sure to be a new idea for some children.
Carolyn Phelan – Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved