Thank You, World

Alice B. McGinty, Author, Wendy Anderson Halperin, Illustrator
Alice B. McGinty, Author, Wendy Anderson Halperin, Illustrator Dial Books $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2705-2
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Idyllically underscoring the universality of childhood, McGinty (Eliza's Kindergarten Surprise) and Halperin (Nothing to Do) follow eight children from different countries, as they express thankfulness throughout a day. Every two-page spread is divided into eight squares, each dedicated to a child's homeland, including the U. S., Mexico, Mali, Saudi Arabia, India and China. As McGinty's lilting, rhymed narrative celebrates things such as trees, clouds or mothers (""Thank you, Mommy, for tucking in my tiptoes and kissing me good night""), the children are seen appreciating that gift-flying kites in the wind, playing in trees, gazing at the moon-often interacting with friends and family. Each passage flows easily into the next: gratitude to clouds, ""for painting cotton pictures and sending cool, sweet rain,"" leads into thanks for the rain ""for watering my flowers and washing my windowpane."" Halperin's illustrations (which were partly created using Crayola crayons) give a brief cultural overview of each land, from native flora and fauna to styles of architecture and dress, which may well pique kids' curiosity about foreign lands. The equally gentle verse and art make this most appropriate for bedtime. Ages 4-up.
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