cover image You Are a Gift to the World

You Are a Gift to the World

Laura Duksta, illus. by Dona Turner, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4022-1954-2

One question, two answers, and another Duksta "flip-sided" inspirational book (after the bestselling I Love You More) is born. This time, the motivating query is "What's the best gift in the whole wide world?" On one side, a parent answers his daughter that "You are the best gift that I have ever received./ You're a one-of-a-kind YOU better than I could have ever believed." Scenes of frolicking, swing pushing, and other quality time activities follow, after which readers can turn the book over and find the other answer: "You see the world itself is a big gift,/ full of miracles just like you and me./ There is so much to discover/ to learn, to do, and to see." These pages take readers up mountaintops and, in the book's most winning vignette, down to the depths of the ocean, where a toothy, grinning whale awaits. Although Duksta's writing is platitudinous and rhythmically challenged, at this point it's probably critic-proof, too. The real shout-out goes to Turner (My Cat Pearl), whose naïf, cheery watercolors have a bubbly energy that smooths over the text's rough spots. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)