As the title of today’s Perfect Picture Day indicates, today is a day to celebrate! Not only am I excited to share this lovely new anthology, but I’m excited to participate in Multicultural Children’s Book Day (see below for more about this annual celebration).
Title: For Every Little Thing: Poems and Prayers to Celebrate the Day
Written & Edited By: June Cotner & Nancy Tupper Ling
Illustrated By: Helen Cann
Publisher/Date: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers/2021
Suitable for Ages: 4-10
Themes/Topics: gratitude, family, nature, blessings, friendship
FOR EVERY LITTLE THING (Nancy Tupper Ling)
For morning song and gentle brook,/ a faithful friend, a favorite book,/ for robin’s eggs and swinging trees/, the daffodils and dancing bees—
Brief Synopsis: An anthology of poems and prayers to celebrate and express gratitude.
Links to Resources:
- Try writing your own poem or prayer of gratitude beginning with the words, “May you always be blessed by” or “I am kind like”.
- What do you like to see or feel when you wake up in the morning? Is it the smiling face of a loved one, a purring kitten, the sun lighting up the room, or maybe puppy kisses? Try describing your favorite morning sight in words or pictures.
- One of the poems describes dreams as a “nighttime quest”. Where do you like to wander in your dreams? Describe a dream in words or pictures.
Why I Like this Book:
In this lovely anthology of over 50 poems and prayers, the authors have written and chosen works that celebrate family, friends, and nature and that express gratitude for life’s many blessings.
I especially loved the first morning poem, My Day Begins with Kisses (Susanne Wiggins Bunch) with its image of “kisses, the slobbery, doggy kind.” What child could resist that wake-up call?
In I Can Be Kind (Leslie Paramore), we read in the opening lines that “I can be kind, although I am small, I can be kind, to one, or to all”. And in the final self-affirming lines, we learn that “I can be kind, as kind as can be, I can be kind, to you and to me!” What a wonderful reminder for kids of all ages to love ourselves as well as others!
As day ends and we prepare to drift off to sleep, we can set off on a Sea of Dreams (Susanne Wiggins Bunch) as “[w]aves of slumber and welcome rest invite me on a night-time quest.” Even the most reluctant sleepers will be excited for that journey!
From a Navajo Night Way Song, to a poem by Emily Dickinson, to reflections by Helen Keller and Rabbi Rami M Shapiro, and to a selection from the Chandogya Upanishad, For Every Little Thing includes traditions of gratitude from many cultures. Several poems and prayers mention “God”, but none is preachy nor sectarian. Diversity is present in the gorgeously-detailed illustrations, too. Rich shades of blue and yellow infuse each page, including the endpapers. I can envision children pouring over these illustrations, especially the finely-drawn flora and fauna, as they find joy in ordinary moments and appreciate the small wonders of their worlds.
Divided into seven sections that span a day from morning to nighttime and dreams, For Every Little Thing includes poems and prayers that families will enjoy reading again and again.
A Note about Craft:
In “A Note about this Book,” the authors share that “When a child expresses gratitude, the world feels like a better place….Our hope is that families will celebrate the wonders of the universe as they read together.” I think that by including a wide variety of poems and prayers by a diverse selection of voices, and by arranging the selections into seven distinct categories that span an entire day, the authors achieve their goal.
*I received a copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review.
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 (1/28/22) is in its 9th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.
MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
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FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents
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Join us on Friday, Jan 29, 2021, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party! Be sure and follow MCBD and Make A Way Media on Twitter!
This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.
We will be giving away an 8-Book Bundle every 5 minutes plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **
Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. See you all very soon on Twitter!
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What a beautiful anthology for children and adults. I’m impressed with the many contributors from different cultures, religious beliefs. God is love and kindness, so I would expect to see a reference. Am curious about Chandogya Upanishad’s entry. Happy MCBD!
This sounds like a lovely addition to books about expressing gratitude. I particularly like the use of poetry to do so. It feels like it elevates the idea of gratitude. Thanks for sharing, Patricia!
It’s so important for kids to have quiet, thoughtful books. These poems sound lovely!