Little Grace is full of gratitude for the meal she’s about to eat.
“Thanks to the rain, the soil and the sunshine,” says Mama, it’s dinnertime. Grace sits down to eat, promptly thanking the kangaroos. When Mama asks why, Grace explains that the kangaroos didn’t eat the carrots. She goes on to thank Leo, who enabled her to pick the lemons that she squeezes onto her fish, as well as the alpaca that provided the wool that Auntie Amber used to knit a scarf for Uncle Fred so he wouldn’t freeze when he went fishing. More thanks go to the road workers who fixed the path along the creek, which allowed Mama to get to Suki’s vegetable stand and buy the corn and kale that they were eating. Mama has a “thank you” too, for the flower tree where they met their friend Trish, who gave them the jar of relish that they are eating right now. Finally, Grace thanks Mama, and Mama thanks her back…for saying thanks. Balla’s tale has a giddy flow that should appeal especially to the very young. Her illustrations have an appropriate childlike quality, as if drawn by Grace herself (with Mama’s help). Grace has light-brown skin and puffy black hair, and her Australian country neighborhood is a diverse one.
A gentle lesson, deftly told. (Picture book. 3-6)