Lisa McCourt, Author, Cyd Moore, Author, Angela Royston, Author , illus. by Cyd Moore. Troll/BridgeWater $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8167-7721-1

Offering a somewhat saccharine twist on a well-worn theme, this picture book by the creators of the Stinky Face titles reaches an obvious conclusion when a girl, perusing her mother's old scrapbook, tries to guess just what Mama is most thankful for. The child flips the scrapbook pages, wondering aloud if Mama's "most thankful thing" might be her mother's experiences participating in a soccer team, playing guitar on stage, acting in a play in college or marrying the girl's father. Pictures and narrative art take a mildly fanciful flight as her mother replies that "even if" the experience had led to something extraordinary (e.g., if she had become a famous rock star or had won an Academy Award) it would not match having a child. Moore's cheerfully hued pictures offer an animated view of the present, past and hypothetical, to some extent combating the rigged quality of the story. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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