cover image Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving

Katherine Paterson, illus. by Pamela Dalton. Chronicle/Handprint, $18.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-4521-1339-5

Paterson and Dalton, who collaborated on Brother Sun, Sister Moon, return with a wide-ranging and gorgeously executed collection of poetry, prayers, and other grateful musings fit for Thanksgiving or any time of year. Paterson groups her selections into four categories—celebrating food, life, inner spirit, and community—accompanied by Dalton’s trademark scherenschnitte scissor-cut illustrations, which are tinted with coffee and painted in watercolor (delicately cut beetroots, wheat sheaths, honeycombs, and berries appear within intricate panels in the “Gather Around the Table” section, for instance). Paterson pulls from a wide range of traditional and modern sources that include traditional proverbs and blessings from around the world, excerpts from the King James Bible, poems from the likes of Whitman and Dickinson, and even speeches and songs. She also points out that reverence and a sense of humor can go together, as in a haiku from Basho (“This snowy morning/ That black crow I hate so much.../ But he’s beautiful!”). A joyfulness of spirit permeates the compilation, underscoring Paterson’s early reflection that “joy is the twin sister of gratitude.” Ages 5–up. Author’s agent: Phyllis Wender, the Gersh Agency. (Oct.)