An anthology of diverse voices united by the theme of giving thanks.
In her editorial debut, Paul (Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born, 2019, etc.) pairs over 30 poems with Myles’ (Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscokee Creek) spirited illustrations capturing favorite things for which the nearly three-dozen poets represented here are thankful. Motivated by the sentiment that gratitude should be expressed year-round, Paul collects poems as varied in form as content. The poets not only select a wide array of objects inspiring gratitude—including dimples, “Deep indents in my brown skin / Inspired by the smile bouncing upward from my toes”; an alluring “ocean rock” too perfect for skipping across the water; and the rich experience behind “each scar”—but employ incredibly varied lyric forms such as acrostic, ballad, tricube, even “math poems” (“family + friends + love = a thankful heart”). Myles’ colorful digitally rendered illustrations help contextualize the poems, saturated, often abstract backgrounds complementing neatly outlined, diverse figures. While Paul’s choice of contributors and Myles’ depictions of characters are refreshingly inclusive, the collection succeeds more in its individual poetic efforts than an anthology as a whole. Backmatter includes a guide to the forms and devices on display, thumbnail bios of each contributor, and an author’s note complicating simplistic perceptions of Thanksgiving.
Lovely lyric lessons in appreciating the ordinary. (resources) (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)