THE MOST THANKFUL THING

Lisa McCourt, Author, Cyd Moore, Illustrator , illus. by Cyd Moore. Scholastic/Cartwheel $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-439-65083-0

The team behind I Love You, Stinky Face presents another loving portrait of parent and child in their latest effort. When her daughter asks, "What are you most thankful for?," Mom tells her that she must guess the answer. Looking through Mom's scrapbook, the girl stops at each achievement, asking, "Was that your most thankful thing?" No, Mom replies. "I loved being [high school yearbook] editor," the woman says in a typical passage, as Moore shows snapshots of the then teenager juggling her many responsibilities. "But if I had become a real writer and written the best-selling book in the world and made a trillion dollars, it wouldn't top my most thankful thing." A fantasy spread shows Mom greeting a long line of fans at a book signing. Some readers will predict what Mom is most thankful for (hint: it can be found in another of her scrapbooks, entitled "Baby Sweet Baby"). McCourt's crisp text, dominated by dialogue, keeps the story from getting bogged down by sentimentality or by the repetitive framework. Moore's heartfelt, cartoonish illustrations manage to keeps things lively. Kids will get a kick out of watching Mom's numerous wardrobe changes and imagined professions (rock star, president), while grownups will savor the parade of cultural touchstones (e.g., the ruffled tuxedo shirt of Mom's "hot" prom date; the James Taylor concert ticket stub, a memento of her first date with Daddy). Ages 3-5. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Children's
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