by Mary Jedlicka Humston
Warm, young bodies tightly snuggle in my lap, eyes directed at what I hold in my hands. Occasionally, they look at me, smiling in anticipation for a new experience or in glee at reliving a familiarity over and over and over. Either expression is joy-tinged, a balm to this grandmother’s heart. I open the book, read the first word, and a new world opens.
Reading to my grandchildren ranks high on my list of mountain-top experiences, a bliss that bonds us over words and cuddles. For my husband Jim, too. As former teachers, we understand firsthand the importance of reading, first to our own three children as they grew, and now to our five grandchildren, the oldest recently turning six-years-old.
Everyone reading this blog knows by now how much Mary and I love reading and writing. I mean, we even wrote a book Mary & Me: A Lasting Link Through Ink about how writing letters for almost 30 years linked our friendship in unbelievable ways.
So, can you imagine my joy and surprise when Jim and I were in Michigan last week, watching our two granddaughters (three-and-a-half-years-old and three-months-old), and I came upon one of Zoey’s new picture books, titled Ten Thank-You Letters written and illustrated by Daniel Kirk? What? A children’s book centering on the joy of sending thank-yous to others? As Zoey and I read, I couldn’t wait to finish the book to see how it ended. I wasn’t disappointed.
Here is the synopsis of Ten Thank-You Letters provided by the publisher:
While Pig is trying to finish a thank-you note to his grandmother, his best friend Rabbit repeatedly interrupts to borrow supplies for a series of his own notes, thanking all the special people in their lives.
I highly recommend this book to all lovers of letter writing. It opens up a window to children about how writing thank-yous to those who help us is rewarding not only to the writer but also to the recipient. And, the illustrations are fun and captivating.
Ten Thank-You Letters by David Kirk (Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group, 2014) would be an excellent gift. While the story is cute, the encouragement it gives to write others makes it a real treasure.
Hmmm. Wait a minute. I feel the need to send the author a thank-you for writing this wonderful children’s book. See ya!