cover image The Secret of Saying Thanks

The Secret of Saying Thanks

Douglas Wood, , illus. by Greg Shed. . S&S, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-85410-1

With a gentle, assured tone and graceful phrasing, Wood (Old Turtle ) shares a life lesson sure to inspire: that true happiness lies in giving thanks and appreciating all there is to be thankful for. Addressing readers directly, the author suggests that everyone learns this secret in their own way and own time. "Maybe you'll first find the secret/ in your own home/ sitting around a table with people you love..."; "You might discover the secret at dawn,/ a morning like all other mornings." In this same fashion he creates a descriptive catalogue of many of the simple gifts to be treasured, from a warm hand to hold, to a cool breeze or singing bird. The spiritual notes rung here, and a brief mention of "your bedtime prayer," should prove applicable to a broad readership of many faith traditions. Shed's airy oil paintings depict a girl and her dog exploring and experiencing their outdoor surroundings on a sunny spring day in the country. The skillful play of light and shadow in his work adds depth to the soft-edged portraits. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)