Creatures thank God and each other in this gorgeous children’s picture book.
In this debut, appropriate for infants through nursery school–age children, author Lashmit and illustrator Manning have struck gold. Bright, lush illustrations illuminate a repeated, simple, lullabylike message: “I know I am loved. / This you can truly see. / I know God in Heaven loves me.” As a flower thanks the sun, a bee thanks the flower; likewise, a bear thanks the bee, a fox thanks the bear, a bluebird thanks the fox, and so on. Each page features a different animal or plant repeating a sudden, joyful piece of knowledge: I am loved because the world shows me so. This singularly appealing story’s culminating event is a young girl’s triumphant exclamation. The book portrays a few simplistic natural relationships that bear little resemblance to actual biological ones (such as a kitten thanking a lamb for her wool), but others mimic ecological relationships well, such as a bear thanking bees for honey or a flower thanking the sun for shining. The linked chain of gratitude logically propels the story forward in a way that will likely satisfy adults as well as perceptive young ones. The story clearly endorses religious values, but secular-minded parents may also find that the book retains its power to reinforce children’s belief in their self-worth and the worth of creatures the world over. It’s possibly one of the most powerful messages a child can hear, and one that may be shared with even very young children. A cadence repeated to children often enough can become a song they sing to themselves, and this book’s soothing quality may help its message to become a lifelong mantra.
A charming picture book with an inspiring message.