Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Elaine Vickers
Illustrator:  Samantha Cotterill 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2021   ISBN: 978-1534477346

Every year a little girl and her family start making “thankful chains” on the day when the first snow starts to fall. On strips of colored paper they write down what they are thankful for, and then they create a paper chain using the pieces of paper.

The little girl starts with the things that she is thankful her in her home. She has parents who love her, and who show their love with every story that they read to her, every time they brush their hair, and every night when they close the day with a poem full of good wishes for her. One of those wishes has come true and now the little girl can be thankful for the little dog who “jumps when I am happy and comforts when I am scared.”

The little girl goes on to give thanks for big things like “a heart that beats” and “every breath” and colors that makes her world so beautiful and exciting. Then we hear about the wonderful things that are warm and give comfort, for things that are cold, for things that are soft, and for things that are hard.

Onto the little strips of paper all these words of thanks go, with one sentence of thanks leading to a memory that brings forth another.

Many of us forget that we have a great deal to be thankful for. We are in so much of a hurry to move on to the next thing that we don’t take the time to stop and look and to remember. It is only when we do this that we realize that we have so many beautiful, special, and enriching things in our lives.

One the pages of this picture book, readers will find a lyrical text that summons up memories as they are read; as the little girl remembers her thankful things, we remember ours. These lines are paired with photos that combine dioramas and drawings in a unique and emotive way.

This is book that will encourage children and their grownups to pause and find gratitude, and readers might even decide to bring chains of thankfulness into their homes.