We Give Thanks

Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Sergio Ruzzier. Beach Lane, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-6507-7

On the title page of this journey in couplets, a lanky-limbed rabbit and frog approach a house in a sun-drenched, fancifully colored landscape. “We give thanks for mittens/ and for coats and boots and hats,” Rylant’s gentle verse begins, as the rabbit and frog speculatively don clothing before a mirror. “We give thanks for nice warm soup/ and fires to warm our toeses,” a later spread continues. Fine-lined pen-and-ink art show a rat-manned bonfire and a great soup cauldron set outside, awash in watercolor hues. The concluding feast assembles all of the anthropomorphic animals the duo has visited in a tiled kitchen as they sit down to a tableful of elaborate desserts. Even simple generosity is conceived of in droll, unexpected ways as a bear slips a cookie under the table to a fish in a bowl in Ruzzier’s fresh-eyed interpretation of Rylant’s simple, holiday-ready blessing. Ages 2–8. (Sept.)